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Journal Articles Automatica Year : 2023

A unified framework for coordination of thermostatically controlled loads


A collection of thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs) -- such as air conditioners and water heaters -- can vary their power consumption within limits to help the balancing authority of a power grid maintain demand supply balance. Doing so requires loads to coordinate their on/off decisions so that the aggregate power consumption profile tracks a grid-supplied reference. At the same time, each consumer's quality of service (QoS) must be maintained. While there is a large body of work on TCL coordination, there are several limitations. One is that they do not provide guarantees on the reference tracking performance and QoS maintenance. A second limitation of past work is that they do not provide a means to compute a suitable reference signal for power demand of a collection of TCLs. In this work we provide a framework that addresses these weaknesses. The framework enables coordination of an arbitrary number of TCLs that: (i) is computationally efficient, (ii) is implementable at the TCLs with local feedback and low communication, and (iii) enables reference tracking by the collection while ensuring that temperature and cycling constraints are satisfied at every TCL at all times. The framework is based on a Markov model obtained by discretizing a pair of Fokker-Planck equations derived in earlier work by Malhame and Chong [21]. We then use this model to design randomized policies for TCLs. The balancing authority broadcasts the same policy to all TCLs, and each TCL implements this policy which requires only local measurement to make on/off decisions. Simulation results are provided to support these claims.

Dates and versions

hal-03541767 , version 1 (24-01-2022)



Austin Coffman, Ana Bušić, Prabir Barooah. A unified framework for coordination of thermostatically controlled loads. Automatica, 2023, 152, pp.111002. ⟨10.1016/j.automatica.2023.111002⟩. ⟨hal-03541767⟩
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