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There has been a global push for many years to increase our use of clean, renewable electric energy. Mathematical models that adequately represent the dynamic behavior of the entire wind or solar plant at the point of interconnection are a critical component for daily analysis and for computer model simulations.
Technically, storage is an ideal flexible resource that is quick to respond to the fluctuation of generation and demand. On a warm afternoon in August 2003, in rural Ohio, a high-voltage power line brushed against some untrimmed tree limbs.
What ensued that day was a cascade of failures throughout the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Rick Hartlein, director of Georgia Tech National Electric Energy Testing Research and Applications Center (NEETRAC), explains the present challenges and future potential of the Smart Grid. The electricity grid is a large, complex system of power generation, transmission and distribution. This long-standing electricity paradigm is phasing out as advancements to the grid essentially make it “smarter.” Smart grids are equipped with advanced sensing, communication, and control systems that will allow unprecedented interaction between electricity providers and consumers. The potential of the smart grid is enormous: improved energy efficiency, optimization of power supply and demand, and greater transparency into power consumption.
Georgia Tech researchers across several disciplines are helping to advance the smart grid by developing technologies, creating methodologies and analyzing policies.
A phenomenon called a “voltage collapse” can cause a blackout when electricity demands reach a critical level, even if there is sufficient power generation to meet the demand. By placing phasor measurement units at critical points in the network, operators can assess system stress. Wind, sun, water, wood, organic waste, and geothermal energy generated about 12 percent of the electricity in the United States in 2012. This new architecture is based on the emerging concept of “prosumers” — a combination of the words “consumer” and “producer” — which are economically motivated small-scale energy ecosystems that can consume, produce and store electricity. Researchers from Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and School of Economics are analyzing and recommending policies that promote the path toward the next generation of the electric utility grid.
In addition to asset management concerns, utilities are also worried about cyber threats. A National Research Council report warned that a coordinated strike on the electric grid could have devastating effects on the American economy. To help prevent cyber attacks, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, National Electric Energy Testing, Research and Applications Center and the Strategic Energy Institute are working with experts in smart grid technology to develop tools that can detect weaknesses. Technical, regulatory and financial obstacles have slowed its worldwide adoption, and it is estimated to take decades for the entire grid renovation. Georgia Tech researchers continue their development of this transformative technology and the smart grid momentum is growing.
Parts of the Eastern and Western Grid are shared with Canada, and some of the Western and Texas grids are shared with Mexico.
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Rows of battery racks at Portland General Electric’s Salem Smart Power Center in Salem, Ore. In the context of modern survival, electricity (the lack thereof) is near the top of the list of risks to our way of life, as it feeds systems that the majority of the population rely upon for their very survival. If you really stop and think about the essence of what would or could cause real and life-threatening disaster, the loss of electricity or power grid failure is near or at the top of the list. Given the current heat wave that is occurring across much of the US at this time (yes, it is summer time), and the main-stream-media is reporting on the records and power consumption, it may be interesting to view some of the facts regarding the US power grid, where the power comes from, and what the power sources are that keep the systems of modern life running. Contemplate adapting for a period of time without electricity and think about what you would need to get by without it. State and local governments of many countries adopted renewable portfolio standards, which require a certain percentage of electric energy production to come from renewable resources. The analysis and simulations are used by system planners and operators to assess the potential impact of power fluctuations, to perform proper assessment of reliability, and to develop operating strategies that retain system stability and minimize operational cost and capital investment.

Its functions include provision of energy arbitrage, peak shifting, and storing of otherwise-curtailed wind. Intuitive or rule-of-thumb approaches currently used in the industry will be inadequate for future power systems.
In the United States, 149 power outages affecting at least 50,000 customers occurred between 2000 and 2004, a number which grew to 349 between 2005 and 2009.
What’s more, our need to accommodate renewable energy generation is rising, and threats to infrastructure security and concerns over global climate change are growing. High-voltage transmission lines carry power from large power plants to load centers hundreds of miles away.
The smart grid will integrate renewable energy sources and allow a new class of utility customers to be both providers and consumers of power. The Northeast Blackout of 2003 led utilities and the government to team up to install a phasor network throughout the United States.
Miroslav Begovic, a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, helped to develop a methodology that uses the data collected from phasor measurement units.
Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Strategic Energy Institute, and School of Mechanical Engineering  are working together to allow expansion of this percentage.
For example, prosumers could include homeowners who consume electricity from the grid while also producing power onsite from solar panels on their homes’ roofts that feeds back into the grid. This map of the USA shows the 3 main grids which distribute electrical power across the nation. This helps with strategic planning of your off grid location. It could help you in picking out a good location for your off grid homestead that is far enough away from any major grid ties that you can truly be self reliant. PGE is a participant in the Battelle-led Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, which will use the center’s 5-megawatt energy storage system to test several smart grid technologies and approaches. It wouldn’t take much more than just a few days without electricity in major populous regions to bring on chaos and desperation.
First, think about what supplies and services would not be available given a large scale power outage (the answer is, just about everything).
And, as much as I am NOT a huge fan of Texas, I do admire them for having their own power grid… however, that came about. She worked at the Danish Geodetic Institute, and she had access to the data recorded at seismic stations around the world. The title was Quantum Mechanics and the Future of the Planet and the location was the Korn Convocation Hall at UCLA. Reliable power system operation requires the continuous balance of supply and demand at every moment in time. Traditional models used by power industry cannot meet this goal for power grids with a large-scale integration of intermittent generators, but active research on better models is being carried out by several organizations and institutions.
More sophisticated quantitative techniques and indices have been developed for many years and they are still an active focus of research. As system operators worked to understand what was happening, three more lines sagged into trees and were shut down.
For many, this blackout served as a wake-up call to the fragility of the electric energy grid. In 2012, the prolonged power outages in New York and New Jersey caused by Hurricane Sandy once again demonstrated the system’s vulnerability.
To help address these concerns, Georgia Tech is conducting research that crosses many disciplines, including electrical and computer engineering, public policy, mechanical engineering and information security. Next, lower-voltage distribution systems draw electricity from the transmission lines and distribute it to individual customers. System operators can quickly assess the state of the power system and determine in real time whether it is in danger of a blackout.

Researcher teams are developing a more distributed and flexible control architecture that supports high levels of renewable energy generation and storage.
It includes information on voltages, and AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) lines. The energy storage facility is part of PGE’s contribution to the Battelle-led Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project.
Preparing for longer than a few weeks requires much more preparation, and the consideration of the likelihood that mass chaos and desperation will develop in your region. However, large-scale integration of variable generations such as solar and wind can significantly alter the dynamics in a grid because wind and solar resources are intermittent. However, efficiency issues coupled with the high capital costs make the justification of new storage difficult. The work involves many areas of mathematics, including the mathematical concepts and models of reliability, nonlinear optimization, and large-scale simulations. In addition, they are studying market mechanisms that balance supply and demand in the presence of these energy sources.
The power output can have fast fluctuation due to various reasons such as weather change and system reliability of a large number of turbines.
A report from the American Institute of Mathematics in 2012 arising from a workshop there dealt with some technical problems related to storage, such as the linear programming model that optimizes the required battery storage size and a nonlinear optimal control problem for batteries of predetermined size. Generators that use renewable energy to produce electricity often must be sited in locations where wind and solar resources are abundant and sufficient space exists for harnessing them. The regional demonstration is a five-year, $178-million project that launched in 2010.“The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project is a successful public-private partnership involving 17 organizations across five Northwest states,” said Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary for DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, which oversees regional smart grid demonstration projects. However, these locations are likely far away from population centers that ultimately consume the energy. The required transmission grids present additional challenges in various aspects including operational control, economic concerns, and policy-making. The battery and microgrid are examples of the innovative technologies and methods being tested through the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project.The energy storage system will respond to regional grid conditions with the help of a key aspect of the demonstration called transactive control.
Transactive control is based on technology from DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is managed by Battelle. The technology helps power producers and users decide how much of the area’s power will be consumed, when and where. This is done when producers and users automatically respond to signals representing future power costs and planned energy consumption. The cost signals originate at Battelle’s Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center in Richland, Wash. They are updated every five minutes and sent to the project’s participating utilities, including PGE.The automated signals allow project participants to make local decisions on how their piece of the smart grid project can support local and regional grid needs.
Participants are now gathering data to measure how the signal can help deliver electricity more effectively, help better integrate wind power onto the power grid and more.
Beyond the energy storage system unveiled today, PGE is working to integrate renewable power sources to the power grid. It is also implementing a demand-response program with residential and commercial customers to help meet peak demand. All these resources will be optimized with the automated transactive control signal.“Together with our project partners and customers, we are demonstrating smart grid technologies to help Oregon and the nation learn how to build intelligent energy resources for the future while continuing to deliver long-term value for customers,” said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO.

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