Agent-Based Control of Distributed Electricity Generation with Micro Combined Heat and Power

Cross-Sectoral Learning for Process and Infrastructure Engineers

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Abstract

For the distributed control of an electricity infrastructure incorporating clusters of residential combined heat and power units (micro-CHP or ?CHP) a Multi-Agent System approach is considered. The network formed by households generating electricity with ?CHP units and the facilitating energy supplier can be regarded as an electricity production system, analogous to a (flexible) manufacturing system. Next, the system boundary is extended by allowing the trade of electricity between networks of households and their supplier. A methodology for designing an agent-based system for manufacturing control is applied to both cases, resulting in a conceptual design for a control system for the energy infrastructure. Because of the analogy between production systems and infrastructures Process Systems Engineering (PSE) approaches for optimisation and control can be applied to infrastructure system operations. At the same time we believe research on socio-technical infrastructure systems will be a valuable contribution to PSE management strategies.