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Siemens gives an IEEE PES Webinar on Microgrid Strategic Planning

As we have discussed many times, Smart Power Grids is one of the four essential research themes at the LIINES.  Our work generally advocates the concept of power grid enterprise control and a number of blogposts have been devoted to the topic.   One novel aspect of this work is the use of microgrids which may coordinate their own renewable energy but also have the potential to island themselves from the rest of the grid.  Microgrids — as the name suggests —  are relatively small and so their reliable operation requires careful attention to its design & planning.  In a sense, each generation, load, line and bus must be carefully considered.  

To that effect, we thought we’d share Siemens’ take on the subject.  Their recent IEEE PES Webinar on Microgrid Strategic Planning has recently been put up on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWXt9v1JTA0

Full text of our smart power grid reference papers may be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Websitehttp://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries & Masdar Institute Joint Workshop

Following on the heals of their back-to-back conferences, Reem Al Junaibi and Prof. Amro M. Farid presented the results of their Abu Dhabi Electric Vehicle Technical Feasibility study in a joint workshop including participants from the Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.  They were joined by Mohammad Al-Hadrami and Prof. Sgouris Sgouridis who also investigated the socio-economic barriers to electric vehicle adoption.  The workshop was held on the Masdar Institute campus on December 17th 2013 and marked the official end to what has been a tremendously successful project demonstrating collaboration between public, private, and academic entities.

After the day-long workshop, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries hosted Masdar Institute and the Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation in a two-day workshop in Malaga, Spain on December 19-20 2013.  Malaga, Spain proudly marks itself as one of Europe’s leading smart cities. The Zem2All project, with the largest deployment of Electric Vehicles, is a testament to this achievement.

Prof. Farid continues to advocate Intelligent Transportation-Energy Systems.  In other words, the intelligent system consisting of monitoring, decision-making and dispatching functionality should have a transportation as well as energy management function.  Efforts are currently underway at the LIINES to develop models and control solutions which may be directly integrated into Intelligent Transportation-Energy Systems.  A full reference list of energy-transportation nexus research at the LIINES can be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

Reem Al Junaibi & Prof. Amro M. Farid present results of Abu Dhabi Electric Vehicle Technical Feasibility Study

In back-to-back conferences, Reem Al Junaibi and Prof. Amro M. Farid presented the results of their Abu Dhabi Electric Vehicle Technical Feasibility study.  Ms. Al Junaibi attended the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Connected Vehicles & Expo held December 2-6, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV, USA.  There, she presented the first published results of the study in the paper entitled:  “Technical Feasibility Assessment of Electric Vehicles : An Abu Dhabi Example”.  Meanwhile, Prof. Farid was invited to speak at the Gulf Traffic Conference held December 9-10 2013 in Dubai, UAE.

Both presentations revolved around the same theme.  The true success and feasibility of electric vehicles depends not just on the vehicle itself but also how it interacts with three large scale infrastructure systems:  the road transportation system, the power grid, and the intelligent transportation system.

Ms. Al Junaibi specifically presented some of the results of the study.  It considered twelve potential scenarios in which EV taxis were rolled out at a penetration of 3, 5 and 10% of road traffic with four possible charging system designs.  The results showed that if EV Taxi are to be deployed then their dispatching, queue management, charging and vehicle-2-grid stabilization activities must be simultaneously considered.  The ramifications of not doing so would be either degraded vehicle availability or high variable loads on the electric power grid or both.

Prof. Farid consequently argued that given the rapid push to transportation electrification and connected vehicles, intelligent transportation systems would better be considered as Intelligent Transportation-Energy Systems.  In other words, the intelligent system consisting of monitoring, decision-making and dispatching functionality should have a transportation as well as energy management function.

Efforts are currently underway at the LIINES are currently underway to develop models and control solutions which may be directly integrated into Intelligent Transportation-Energy Systems.  A full reference list of energy-transportation nexus research at LIINES can be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

Journal Paper Accepted at the Applied Energy Journal: Real-Time Economic Dispatch for the Supply Side of the Energy-Water Nexus

The LIINES is happy to announce that Applied Energy Journal has accepted our recent paper entitled:  Real-Time Economic Dispatch for the Supply Side of the Energy-Water Nexus.   The paper is authored by Apoorva Santhosh, Prof. Amro M. Farid and Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi.

As previous blog posts have discussed, the topic of the energy-water nexus is timely.  In the Gulf Cooperation Council nations, it is of particular relevance because of the hot and arid climate.  Water scarcity is further aggravated high energy demands for cooling.  The GCC nations, however, have a tremendous opportunity in that they often operate their power and water infrastructure under a single operational entity.  Furthermore, the presence of cogeneration facilities such as Multi-Stage Flash desalination facilities fundamentally couple the power and water grids.

This paper is the first of its kind to present an optimization program that would economically dispatch power plants, cogeneration plants, and water plants.  In such a way, significant costs and resources can be saved in the production of both power and water.   The paper concludes with an illustrative example of how the optimization program could be implemented practically.

A full reference list of energy-water nexus research at LIINES can be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

William Lubega presents Energy-Water Nexus Research at Complex Systems Design & Management Conference in Paris, France

On December 6th 2013, William Lubega and Prof. Amro M. Farid attended the Complex Systems Design & Management Conference in Paris, France.  William Lubega presented the jointly written paper entitled:  “An engineering systems model for the quantitative analysis of the energy-water nexus”.

This work builds upon the Reference Architecture for the Energy-Water Nexus recently published in the IEEE Systems Journal.  In our last blogpost, and as shown in the figure below, we described that this work provided a graphical representation of the energy-water nexus to qualitatively identify the couplings of energy and water.  The CSD&M paper was the first step in the quantification of this qualitative model using the bond graph modeling methodology.   As such, it could begin to answer questions about the energy intensity of the water supply chain and the water intensity of the energy supply chain in a rigorous and systematic framework.

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The aim of the CSD&M 2013 conference is to cover as completely as possible the field of complex systems sciences & practices.  It equally welcomes scientific and industrial contributions.

A full reference list of energy-water nexus research at LIINES can be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

Journal Paper Accepted at the IEEE Systems Journal: A Reference System Architecture for the Energy-Water Nexus

The LIINES is happy to announce that The IEEE Systems Journal has accepted our recent paper entitled:  “A Reference Architecture for the Energy-Water Nexus” for publication. The paper is authored by William N. Lubega and Prof. Amro M. Farid.

The topic of the energy-water nexus is a timely one.  Global climate change, water scarcity, energy security and rapid population are at the forefront of sustainability concerns.  Furthermore, the fact that energy and water value chains very much depend on each other complicates how either system should be planned an operated.  And yet, the number, type and degree of interactions are hard to identify.  While the graphical depiction below illustrates many of the couplings, we are still a long way off from planning and operating this “systems-of-systems” sustainably.  And so we ask a first basic question:  “How can we begin to quantitatively understand the energy and water interactions in this nexus?”


As the paper explains, a good first step is develop what systems engineers call a reference architecture.  Plainly speaking, this requires three steps:

  1. Figure out all the component parts of the energy-water nexus (e.g. power plants, water treatment plants, etc)
  2. Figure out how each one works
  3. Figure out the inputs and outputs for each one focusing especially on flows of energy and water.

This starts out qualitatively with flow diagrams like the one shown below:

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In a sense, this helps us to see the “wood from the trees”.  The web of energy and water interactions now become clear for further quantified analysis.  As the readers will see in the coming weeks, this is exactly what we have done at the LIINES.

A full reference list of energy-water nexus research at LIINES can be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

Journal Paper Accepted at the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems: An Axiomatic Design Approach to Passenger Itinerary Enumeration in Reconfigurable Transportation Systems

The LIINES is happy to announce that The IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems has accepted our recent paper entitled:  An Axiomatic Design Approach to Passenger Itinerary Enumeration in Reconfigurable Transportation Systems for publication. The paper is authored by Dr. Asha Viswanath, Edgar Eugenio Samano Baca and Prof. Amro M. Farid.

The topic of path enumeration in a transportation network has a long history.  As one can easily imagine, we have been asking: “How many different ways can I get from here to there?”  for a very long time.  The question is fundamental to many operations research problems and has new applications in the resilience of infrastructure systems.  So why a new approach to such an old problem?

Well, as the paper explains, the traditional graph theoretic based method lacks in four ways:

  1. it does not explicitly describe the different potentially redundant modes of transport.
  2. it does not explicitly address the implicit functions of parking, loading/unloading, or sitting at an intersection.  Naturally, if these “null-processes” were somehow unavailable you might be stuck along your path for a very long time.
  3. given its highly abstracted nature, traditional graph theoretic methods do not integrate well with existing engineering design methodologies.
  4. it does not explicitly describe changes or reconfigurations to the transportation network structure in real-time and hence has limited application to the design of real-time reconfigurable transportation systems.

Instead, this paper presents a passenger itinerary enumeration approach based upon Prof. Nam Suh’s axiomatic design theory for large flexible systems.  Here, the system form and function are both explicitly described to overcome all of the weaknesses mentioned above.  The work has immediate relevance to transportation systems that require real-time switching decisions in their network structure.  Furthermore, many transportation system life cycle properties functionally depend on path enumeration.

Further applications of this work can already be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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