Optimal ensemble control of loads in distribution grids with network constraints

Michael Chertkov, Deepjyoti Deka, Yury Dvorkin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Flexible loads, e.g. thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs), are technically feasible to participate in demand response (DR) programs. On the other hand, there is a number of challenges that need to be resolved before it can be implemented in practice en masse. First, individual TCLs must be aggregated and operated in sync to scale DR benefits. Second, the uncertainty of TCLs needs to be accounted for. Third, exercising the flexibility of TCLs needs to be coordinated with distribution system operations to avoid unnecessary power losses and compliance with power flow and voltage limits. This paper addresses these challenges. We propose a network-constrained, open-loop, stochastic optimal control formulation. The first part of this formulation represents ensembles of collocated TCLs modelled by an aggregated Markov Process (MP), where each MP state is associated with a given power consumption or production level. The second part extends MPs to a multi-period distribution power flow optimization. In this optimization, the control of TCL ensembles is regulated by transition probability matrices and physically enabled by local active and reactive power controls at TCL locations. The optimization is solved with a Spatio-Temporal Dual Decomposition (ST-D2) algorithm. The performance of the proposed formulation and algorithm is demonstrated on the IEEE 33-bus distribution model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication20th Power Systems Computation Conference, PSCC 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781910963104
StatePublished - Aug 20 2018
Event20th Power Systems Computation Conference, PSCC 2018 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: Jun 11 2018Jun 15 2018

Publication series

Name20th Power Systems Computation Conference, PSCC 2018


Other20th Power Systems Computation Conference, PSCC 2018


  • Distribution Feeder
  • Linearly solvable MDP
  • Loss Reduction
  • Markov Decision Process
  • Power Flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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