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Getting More Out of Control All the Time

"Control Day at PNNL" brings attention to capabilities for improving the operation of the power grid, buildings, transportation systems and more

October 2018
Getting More Out of Control All the Time

Control Day speakers shared new ideas they’re working on with an audience that included staff from PNNL and attendees from universities and industry. Enlarge Image

Control systems operate America’s large infrastructures, such as the power grid. Although these systems do the job, their performance in delivering services to the nation could improve considerably with advancements in control methods and tools.

Progress in control research and development was featured in “Control Day at PNNL,” held on August 29 at PNNL’s Discovery Hall in Richland, Washington. Sponsored by the Control of Complex Systems Initiative (CCSI), the gathering attracted representatives from PNNL, academia and industry, and allowed the initiative to highlight some of its capability developments of the past five years. CCSI, an internally-funded research effort stewarded by PNNL’s Energy and Environment Directorate, concluded on September 30.

“Control Day was a capstone event for CCSI. We had excellent attendance, outstanding speakers, and thought-provoking demonstrations and posters that conveyed some of the control-related research that PNNL, via CCSI and client-funded projects, has conducted, as well as noteworthy research at other institutions,” said CCSI Lead Michael Brambley. “There was excellent synergy between visitors who came to Control Day and our research staff, and we hope it leads to future interactions and collaborative activities.”

Speakers, demos and posters create an impactful learning experience

Guest speakers included professors Ian Hiskens (University of Michigan), Subhonmesh Bose (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Enoch Yeung (University of California, Santa Barbara), who formerly was a researcher at PNNL. Other featured speakers, all from PNNL, were researchers Jamie Lian, Tom McDermott and Henry Huang.

Getting More Out of Control All the Time

Jacob Hansen (right), who led a CCSI project focused on application of new control concepts to large infrastructures, presented an integrated demonstration that highlights CCSI-developed tools.

Many demonstrations of PNNL’s control research were presented. CCSI showcased an integrated demonstration that employed initiative-developed tools to address a transactive control challenge, and another demo highlighted CCSI’s test bed federation methodology. Additional demonstrations showcased PNNL control advances in a range of areas, including cybersecurity, reinforcement learning, transactive control in a campus environment, and distributed assets in support of grid services.

“We felt Control Day was a great way to communicate CCSI and PNNL capability developments to both the internal PNNL community and to attendees from academia and industry,” Brambley said. “Although the initiative is ending, its accomplishments and the capabilities that were developed will continue to inform control research more broadly at PNNL, as well as influence the new methods needed nationally to enhance future control systems.”


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