Title: Plug'n'Play Operation of Microgrids: Objectives and Strategies
Abstract: Motivated by the growing interest in smart grid architectures, we are interested in the problems of stabilization, power balancing, optimization, and secondary regulation in microgrids. Microgrids are low-voltage electrical distribution networks, heterogeneously composed of distributed generation, storage, load, and managed autonomously from the larger transmission network. Whereas traditional power system operation and control is hierarchical and centralized, microgrids are ad hoc networks without a centralized decision maker. These unique challenges call for scalable, robust, and plug'n'play control and optimization strategies with low (or no) communication complexity. In this seminar, we study the operation of power inverters in islanded microgrids. We discuss different decentralized primary control strategies, such as droop, quadratic droop, and virtual oscillator control. We show how these primary control strategies can achieve objectives such as power sharing, shaping of arbitrary flows, or an optimal economic dispatch. We motivate the need of additional secondary control strategies and present a distributed averaging-based controller. Finally, we illustrate our theoretic findings through simulation studies and hardware experiments.
Biosketch: Florian Dörfler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California Los Angeles, and he is affiliated with the Center for Nonlinear Studies at the Los Alamos National Laboratories. He received a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2013, and a Diplom degree in Engineering Cybernetics from the University of Stuttgart in 2008. His primary research interests are centered around distributed control, complex networks, and cyber-physical systems with applications to smart power grids and robotic coordination. He is recipient of the 2009 Regents Special International Fellowship, the 2011 Peter J. Frenkel Foundation Fellowship, the 2010 ACC Student Best Paper Award, and the 2011 O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award. As a co-advisor and a co-author, he has been a finalist for the ECC 2013 Best Student Paper Award.