Description of the Commelec framework

Slideshow (PDF, 1.1 MB): Introduction to COMMELEC (March, 2016)

Demonstration of Commelec on the EPFL Microgrid

The real-time control of electrical grids is based on a combination of frequency and voltage controls at different time scales. It is difficult to design good controls using such methods in grids of the future, which will be characterized by: a large penetration of stochastic generation (such as solar PV panels); DC/AC converters (which have no inertia, unlike diesel generators); storage systems such as batteries and supercapacitor arrays; and real-time demand response.

An alternative approach is to directly control the targeted grid by defining explicit and real-time setpoints for active/reactive power absorptions/injections obtained by solving an optimization problem; but this quickly becomes intractable when systems get large or diverse. With Commelec, we address this problem and propose a method for the explicit control of the grid status, based on :

  1. A common abstract model and protocol. Resources advertise their state to a grid agent, using a device independent description. A grid agent controls its resource using a single algorithm, common to all grid agents. The goal of this algorithm is to maintain the system in safe state of operation while trying to satisfy the resources’ willingness to produce/absorb power.
  2. An aggregation method, i.e. subsystems can be aggregated into virtual devices that hide their internal complexity. Thus the proposed method can easily cope with systems of any size or complexity.

The Commelec framework is presented in Part I, whilst in Part II we illustrate its application to a CIGRÉ low voltage benchmark microgrid. In particular, we provide implementation examples with respect to typical devices connected to distribution networks and evaluate of the performance and benefits of the proposed control framework.

  • Andrey Bernstein, Lorenzo Reyes-Chamorro, Jean-Yves Le Boudec, Mario Paolone, A composable method for real-time control of active distribution networks with explicit power setpoints. Part I: Framework, Electric Power Systems Research, Available online 15 April 2015, ISSN 0378-7796, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsr.2015.03.023.
  • Lorenzo Reyes-Chamorro, Andrey Bernstein, Jean-Yves Le Boudec, Mario Paolone, A composable method for real-time control of active distribution networks with explicit power setpoints. Part II: Implementation and validation, Electric Power Systems Research, Available online 18 April 2015, ISSN 0378-7796, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsr.2015.03.022.

Slide shows about Commelec from 2014: part 1, part 2