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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Generation Following with Thermostatically Controlled Loads via Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers Sharing Algorithm


A fundamental requirement of the electric power system is to maintain a continuous and instantaneous balance between generation and load. The intermittency and uncertainty introduced by renewable energy generation requires the expansion of ancillary power system services to maintain such a balance. In this paper, we examine the potential of thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs), such as refrigerators and electric water heaters, to provide generation following services in real-time energy markets (1 to 5 minutes). To simulate the non-linear dynamics of hysteretic dead-band systems in a manner suitable for convex optimization, we introduce an alternative control trajectory representation of the TCLs and their discrete input signals. To perform distributed optimization across large populations of TCLs, we propose a variation of the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) algorithm. Based on our simulation results, we have demonstrated the potential for controlling a population of TCLs within an error tolerance of 10 kW.

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