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Junshan Zhang

Junshan Zhang is the principal investigator on a new $3M ARPA-E grant. The project will develop a stochastic optimal power flow framework to integrate renewable resources into bulk power systems.

Professors Junshan Zhang, Kory Hedman, Vijay Vittal and Anna Scaglione in collaboration with Sandia National Lab and Nexant Inc. have won one of 12 Department of Energy grants to accelerate technology that improves the efficiency and reliability of the nation’s electric grid.

The ASU electrical engineering professors will develop a stochastic (randomly determined) optimal power flow (SOPF) framework, which would integrate uncertainty from renewable resources, load, distributed storage, and demand response technologies into bulk power system in a holistic manner. The algorithms will be implemented in a SOPF software tool to provide system operators with real-time guidance to help coordinate between DERs and demand response. ASU’s project features unique data-analytics based short-term forecast for bulk wind and solar generation and an advisory tool that generates real-time recommendations for market operators based on algorithm outputs.

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $33 million in funding for 12 innovative projects as part of ARPA-E’s Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES) program on Dec. 11, 2015. NODES project teams will develop technologies that coordinate load and generation on the electric grid to create a virtual energy storage system. The teams will develop innovative hardware and software solutions to integrate and coordinate generation, transmission, and end-use energy systems at various points on the electric grid. These control systems will enable real-time coordination between distributed generation, such as rooftop and community solar assets and bulk power generation, while proactively shaping electric load. This will alleviate periods of costly peak demand, reduce wasted energy, and increase renewables penetration on the grid.

The NODES program aims to create a new approach to management of the two-way flow of power to and from homes and businesses that consume and deliver electricity back to the grid. The resulting virtual energy storage will manage the intermittency of renewable energy, the lack of electricity production when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. The expected benefits of these technologies include improving grid efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions in power generation, and significant savings of system costs.

The increasing use of renewable generation and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), such as residential solar and home energy storage, along with customers’ changing energy use patterns is leading to greater uncertainty and variability in the electric grid. NODES project teams will address these challenges in grid operation through system-wide control and coordination of DERs and flexible load. These technologies will seek to improve the overall efficiency and reliability of the U.S. electric grid while retaining customers’ quality of service. The goal of the program is to enable more than 50 percent usage of renewable power on the grid.

Read about all 12 of the NODES projects


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