Date: Monday, June 22, 2020

Basics and recent advances in optimal power flow for transmission and distribution networks

Prof. Maria Vrakopoulou (University of Melbourne) and
Prof. Ian Hiskens (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Prof. Maria Vrakopoulou, University of Melbourne, Australia Prof. Ian Hiskens, University of Michigan, USA

Operation of transmission and distribution networks is becoming increasingly challenging. Network loading is steadily increasing and flow patterns are becoming less predictable as renewable resources replace conventional generation. Under such conditions, ideal operating strategies are often difficult to determine and track. Optimal power flow (OPF) addresses this challenge by determining optimal set-point values throughout a network such that a specified objective (such as generator cost or loss minimization) is met whilst satisfying (at least to a probability guarantee) network constraints, including voltage, line-flow and generator limits.

The course will provide a thorough coverage of OPF algorithms and applications. It will begin by considering the various power flow models and representations that are commonly used in OPF. Contingencies will be incorporated through N-1 security and operating reserves. Stochastic variations of OPF, necessary for capturing uncertainty inherent in renewable generation, will be presented.


Maria Vrakopoulou joined the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Australia in October 2018 as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor). She received her diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece in 2008, and her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, at ETH Zurich, Switzerland in December 2013. She pursued her research as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and then as a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and ETH Zurich. Her research interests concentrate on the optimization and analysis of planning problems for power systems under uncertainty. She is a Member of the IEEE and active in numerous IEEE technical societies.

Ian Hiskens holds the Vennema Endowed Chair in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received the BEng (Elec) and BAppSc (Math) degrees from Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia in 1980 and 1983 respectively, and the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1991. Professor Hiskens has held prior appointments in the Queensland Electricity Supply Industry (from 1980 to 1992), and various universities in Australia and the United States. His research interests lie at the intersection of power system analysis and systems theory, with recent activity focusing on integration of renewable generation and non-disruptive load control. Professor Hiskens is active in numerous IEEE technical societies, is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of Engineers Australia, and a Chartered Professional Engineer in Australia.

Blockchain and Energy

Prof. Srinivasan Keshav, University of Cambridge, UK

Prof. Srinivasan Keshav, University of Cambridge, UK

This tutorial will introduce blockchains at a high level, then discuss how they can be used in the context of energy systems. We will focus on use cases that have been identified as being particularly important by both blockchain and energy experts.

  1. Part 1: Introduction to Blockchain
    1. History and Context
    2. Blockchain Attributes
    3. Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains
    4. Limitations
  2. Part 2: Blockchain and Energy
    1. Role of Blockchains in Energy Systems
    2. Renewable Energy Certificates, One- and Two-sided Markets, Auditing
    3. Some Open Research Questions


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