Powering the Bottom Line

Reading time ( words)

A scheme to balance risks may help realize the benefits of being able to combine complementary power technologies, such as thermal generation, wind power and energy storage. Such benefits include lower capital costs and more responsive and reliable energy delivery while leveraging renewable energy technologies.

Image caption: The challenge is the optimization of operations and electricity market participation for a VPP comprising a thermal unit such as a conventional gas-fired power plant, a wind farm, and a pumped storage hydro unit for energy storage.

Optimizing the operation of a mixed-technology power plant is vital to make such power generation profitable and reliable. Yet this is far more complex than for single-technology units due to the simultaneous fluctuations in generation from variable sources like wind, energy storage levels, and market electricity prices. 

While optimization schemes have been proposed for such virtual power plants (VPPs), the existing approaches take a rigidly risk-neutral approach to dealing with uncertainty in future conditions. 

Now, by integrating risk parameters into an efficient optimization program for VPP operation, Ricardo Lima and colleagues Omar Knio and Ibrahim Hoteit from KAUST have developed a platform that allows the system to be tweaked for better reliability and profitability. “Renewable energy resources are inherently uncertain,” explains Lima. “The operation and interaction of these resources with the electricity market brings uncertainty about the best ways to maximize profit.” Furthermore, "this methodology enables us to capitalize on wind ensembles from weather forecast models, accounting for the uncertainties inherent in future projections," says Hoteit.

The problem considered by Knio’s team is the optimization of operations and electricity market participation for a VPP comprising a thermal unit, such as a conventional gas-fired power plant, a wind farm and a pumped storage hydro unit for energy storage. The goal of the calculation is to predict the optimal energy output of the thermal unit and input/output from the hydro unit, with consideration for fluctuating wind conditions and electricity price in the market, that will optimize profit over the next few hours. 

“The key issue for optimization is always the balance between level of detail of the model and the capacity for obtaining optimal solutions from it,” says Lima. “In this work, we propose efficient approaches to solve large problems and push the limits of the problem sizes we can solve in reasonable computational times.”

This is a large-scale calculation problem with many variables even before the inclusion of risk, which presents significant challenges for finding the most accurate solution. To be able to consider the additional complexity of risk, the team had to develop an efficient calculation scheme, which they achieved by calculating the two parts in parallel. The result is a framework that can accommodate both conservative risk-avoidance and aggressive risk-seeking approaches to maximize VPP profits.

“Our optimization model supports the calculation of risk-averse decisions that hedge against low profits due to the uncertainty in future wind power generation and electricity prices,” says Lima.


Suggested Items

Bangladesh Smartphone Market Continues Double-Digit Growth in 2017

03/13/2018 | IDC
One out of the three smartphones shipped in Bangladesh was a 4G-enabled smartphone in 2017. Global and China-based vendors have already upgraded most of their devices to 4G.

What’s Coming in 3D Printing Technology in 2018

12/27/2017 | Cullen Hilkene, 3Diligent
First, the arrival of extrusion metal printing. Today's extrusion printers are the most prevalent and, arguably, user-friendly 3D Printers in the market. Now, after years of there being zero metal extrusion printers, there will be two in the new year from Desktop Metal and Markforged. These technologies promise new materials and a higher degree of user friendliness for metal printing.

Global LED Market Expected to Record a CAGR of close to 17% until 2020

05/26/2016 | Business Wire
This research report titled ‘Global LED Market 2016-2020’ provides an in-depth analysis of market growth in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. The market size is calculated on the basis of revenue generated from four segments, including general lighting, backlighting, automotive lighting, and others.

Copyright © 2018 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.