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Short Term Unit Commitment as a Planning Problem

CAMPION, JOSHUA,ROBERT (2014) Short Term Unit Commitment as a Planning Problem. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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‘Unit Commitment’, setting online schedules for generating units in a power system to ensure supply meets demand, is integral to the secure, efficient, and economic daily operation of a power system. Conflicting desires for security of supply at minimum cost complicate this. Sustained research has produced methodologies within a guaranteed bound of optimality, given sufficient computing time.

Regulatory requirements to reduce emissions in modern power systems have necessitated increased renewable generation, whose output cannot be directly controlled, increasing complex uncertainties. Traditional methods are thus less efficient, generating more costly schedules or requiring impractical increases in solution time.

Meta-Heuristic approaches are studied to identify why this large body of work has had little industrial impact despite continued academic interest over many years. A discussion of lessons learned is given, and should be of interest to researchers presenting new Unit Commitment approaches, such as a Planning implementation.

Automated Planning is a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence, where a timestamped sequence of predefined actions manipulating a system towards a goal configuration is sought. This differs from previous Unit Commitment formulations found in the literature. There are fewer times when a unit’s online status switches, representing a Planning action, than free variables in a traditional formulation. Efficient reasoning about these actions could reduce solution time, enabling Planning to tackle Unit Commitment problems with high levels of renewable generation.

Existing Planning formulations for Unit Commitment have not been found. A successful formulation enumerating open challenges would constitute a good benchmark problem for the field. Thus, two models are presented. The first demonstrates the approach’s strength in temporal reasoning over numeric optimisation. The second balances this but current algorithms cannot handle it. Extensions to an existing algorithm are proposed alongside a discussion of immediate challenges and possible solutions. This is intended to form a base from which a successful methodology can be developed.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Keywords:Unit Commitment;Power Systems Engineering;AI Planning;Automated Planning;Meta-Heuristics
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of (2008-2017)
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:28 May 2014 12:26

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