Pan Li, University of Washington. “A bottom Up Perspective of Power System Operation: Coordination of Demand Response and Distributed Energy Resources”


Position:  PhD Student

Current Institution:  University of Washington

Abstract:  A Bottom Up Perspective of Power System Operation:  Coordination of Demand Response and Distributed Energy Resources

The new perspective of looking at power system operation is to utilize the flexibility from electricity consumers and distributed energy resources. These flexibilities are starting to play an increasingly important role in energy generation and consumption. For example, with the advances in smart meters, the system operator will have more access towards end consumption profile. The program that promotes the interaction and responsiveness of the customers is called demand response. It offers a broad range of potential benefits on system operation and expansion and on market efficiency. It is, therefore, crucial to estimate its impact on the power system which we treat as an experimental design problem that allows sequential decision. In addition, the installation of renewables, i.e., photovoltaic (PV) panels, across the world, has grown exponentially during the past decade. These renewable resources tend to be different from traditional large-scale generators as they are often spatially distributed, leading to many small generation sites across the system. The proliferation of these individual renewable generators (especially PV) has allowed for a much more flexible system but also led to operational complexities because they are often not coordinated. We design a decentralized market to engage the participation of small-scale distributed renewable energy resources. We also use reactive power compensation as demand response to alleviate the problem of fluctuated voltage resulted from introduction of renewables. We show that our proposed methodology achieves a more efficient, flexible, and secure environment to integrate renewables into the power distribution system.

Pan is a fourth-year PhD student at the University of Washington, advised by Professor Baosen Zhang. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the class of Gifted Young in Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. She also holds the diplôme d’ingénieur from École centrale de Lille in France. Her interests focus on optimization and learning algorithms in complex physical systems with humans in the loop — for example, a power grid. She interned at Pinterest in 2017 and received the Keith and Nancy Rattie endowed fellowship and graduate fellowship from Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington. Her work was featured in Electrical Engineering Kaleidoscope at the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington.