November 29, 2010
A Bit of Give and Take on the Grid
How is electricity distributed? How is it consumed? Is this done efficiently, or should there be major improvements?
The answer to these questions is the focus of the study by PhD student Mehdi M. Karbasioun, who is supervised by professors Evangelos Kranakis from the School of Computer Science and Ioannis Lambadaris from the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering.
“The introduction of electrical cars, wind generators of electricity and solar panels has made it possible to have input on the electrical grid and, at the same time, is helping create a sustainable energy environment,” says Karbasioun.
“Smart-metering techniques allow us to allocate and schedule electricity consumption in an economical way,” adds Kranakis. “One thing to consider is the consumption grid, and its peaks and dips at the time of high and low consumption respectively.”
“…individuals will be able to sell power to electrical companies and consume power only when they need it”
The project is stemming from the area of computer networks and computer network control. The main challenge for the team is to develop efficient control mechanisms that will maximize the utilization of the network and bring profits to the consumer and the electrical power industry.
“Today, we deviate from the traditional model of power generation,” says Lambadaris. “In the future, individuals will be able to sell power to electrical companies and consume power only when they need it, using a ‘smart’ electrical power distribution grid.
Therefore, we will have to optimally control a network of power production and consumption, the goal being to optimize its performance and generated revenue. This problem is very similar to control of quality of service in computer and communications networks, an area that has been long studied by communication engineers.”
“At the initial stage, our project will create and analyze models that will enable us to do distributive scheduling,” adds Karbasioun. “Later on, we will try to validate the analytical work by contacting our industrial partners.”
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