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Smart Fridge / Dumb Grid? Demand Dispatch for the Power Grid of 2020

Joel Mathias, Rim Kaddah, Ana Bušić, Sean Meyn

Proceeddings of the 49th Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (IEEE). Mar. 2016.
DOI: 10.1109/HICSS.2016.312

Abstract: In discussions at the 2015 HICSS meeting, it was argued that loads can provide most of the ancillary services required today and in the future. Through load-level and grid-level control design, high-quality ancillary service for the grid is obtained without impacting quality of service delivered to the consumer. This approach to grid regulation is called demand dispatch: loads are providing service continuously and automatically, without consumer interference. In this paper we ask, what intelligence is required at the grid-level? In particular, does the grid-operator require more than one-way communication to the loads? Our main conclusion: risk is not great in lower frequency ranges, e.g., PJM’s RegA or BPA’s balancing reserves. In particular, ancillary services from refrigerators and pool-pumps can be obtained successfully with only one-way communication. This requires intelligence at the loads, and much less intelligence at the grid level.