Section: New Results

Stochastic control, electricity production and planning

MIDAS: A Mixed Integer Dynamic Approximation Scheme

Participant : J. Frédéric Bonnans.

With Andy Philpott and Faisal Wahid, U. Auckland. Mixed Integer Dynamic Approximation Scheme (MIDAS) [23] is a new sampling-based algorithm for solving finite-horizon stochastic dynamic programs with monotonic Bellman functions. MIDAS approximates these value functions using step functions, leading to stage problems that are mixed integer programs. We provide a general description of MIDAS, and prove its almost-sure convergence to an epsilon-optimal policy when the Bellman functions are known to be continuous, and the sampling process satisfies standard assumptions.

Long term aging : an adaptative weights dynamic programming algorithm

Participants : J. Frédéric Bonnans, Benjamin Heymann, Pierre Martinon.

We introduce [26] a class of optimal control problems with periodic data. A state variable that we call the age of the system represents the negative impact of the operations on the system qualities over time: other things being equal, older systems have higher operating costs. Many industrial problems relate to this class. If we envision to perform an optimization over a large number of periods, there is a tradeoff between minimizing repeatedly the one-period criterion in a short sighted way and taking into account the impact of the decision on the aging speed (which modifies the minimal one period criterion). In general, because the aging process is slow, short term optimization strategies-such as one period sliding horizon strategies-either neglect it or use rule-of-thumb penalization terms in the criterion, which leads to suboptimal solutions. On the other hand, for most applications it is unrealistic to envision a brute-force numerical resolution by dynamic programming of the long term problem because of the computation burden. We introduce a two-scale method to reduce this computation burden. The method relies on Lagrangian duality and some monotony properties. We expose the theoretical foundations of the method and discuss some practical aspects: approximation errors, asymptotic estimation, computation burden, possible extensions, etc. Since our initial motivation was the difficulty to take long term battery aging in Energy Management Systems into account, we implement the method on a toy long term microgrid energy management problem.

Continuous Optimal Control Approaches to Microgrid Energy Management

Participants : J. Frédéric Bonnans, Benjamin Heymann, Pierre Martinon.

With Francisco Silva XLIM, U. Limoges, Fernando Lanas and Guillermo Jimenez, U. Chile.

We propose in [18] a novel method for the microgrid energy management problem by introducing a continuous-time, rolling horizon formulation. The energy management problem is formulated as a deterministic optimal control problem (OCP). We solve (OCP) with two classical approaches: the direct method [1], and Bellman's Dynamic Programming Principle (DPP) [2]. In both cases we use the optimal control toolbox BOCOP [3] for the numerical simulations. For the DPP approach we implement a semi-Lagrangian scheme [4] adapted to handle the optimization of switching times for the on/off modes of the diesel generator. The DPP approach allows for an accurate modeling and is computationally cheap. It finds the global optimum in less than 3 seconds, a CPU time similar to the Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) approach used in [5]. We achieve this performance by introducing a trick based on the Pontryagin Maximum Principle (PMP). The trick increases the computation speed by several orders and also improves the precision of the solution. For validation purposes, simulation are performed using datasets from an actual isolated microgrid located in northern Chile. Results show that DPP method is very well suited for this type of problem when compared with the MILP approach.

A Stochastic Continuous Time Model for Microgrid Energy Management

Participants : J. Frédéric Bonnans, Benjamin Heymann.

With Francisco Silva XLIM U. Limoges, Guillermo Jimenez, U. Chile.

We propose in [20] a novel stochastic control formulation for the microgrid energy management problem and extend previous works on continuous time rolling horizon strategy to uncertain demand. We modelize the demand dynamics with a stochastic differential equation. We decompose this dynamics into three terms: an average drift, a time-dependent mean-reversion term and a Brownian noise. We use BOCOPHJB for the numerical simulations. This optimal control toolbox implements a semi-Lagrangian scheme and handle the optimization of switching times required for the discrete on/off modes of the diesel generator. The scheme allows for an accurate modelling and is computationally cheap as long as the state dimension is small. As described in previous works, we use a trick to reduce the search of the optimal control values to six points. This increases the computation speed by several orders. We compare this new formulation with the deterministic control approach using data from an isolated microgrid located in northern Chile.

Mechanism Design and Auctions for Electricity Network

Participant : Benjamin Heymann.

With Alejandro Jofré, CMM - Center for Mathematical Modeling, U. Chile, Santiago. We present in [25] some key aspects of wholesale electricity markets modeling and more specifically focus our attention on auctions and mechanism design. Some of the results arising from those models are the computation of an optimal allocation for the Independent System Operator, the study of the equilibria (existence and unicity in particular) and the design of mechanisms to increase the social surplus. From a more general perspective, this field of research provides clues to discuss how wholesale electricity market should be regulated. We start with a general introduction and then present some results the authors obtained recently. We also briefly expose some undergoing related work. As an illustrative example, a section is devoted to the computation of the Independent System Operator response function for a symmetric binodal setting with piece-wise linear production cost functions.

Mechanism design and allocation algorithms for network markets with piece-wise linear costs and externalities

Participant : Benjamin Heymann.

With Alejandro Jofré, CMM - Center for Mathematical Modeling, U. Chile, Santiago. In [24], motivated by market power in electricity market, we introduce a mechanism design for simplified markets of two agents with linear production cost functions. In standard procurement auctions, the market power resulting from the quadratic transmission losses allow the producers to bid above their true value (i.e. production cost). The mechanism proposed in the previous paper reduces the producers margin to the society benefit. We extend those results to a more general market made of a finite number of agents with piecewise linear cost functions, which make the problem more difficult, but at the same time more realistic. We show that the methodology works for a large class of externalities. We also provide two algorithms to solve the principal allocation problem.

Variational analysis for options with stochastic volatility and multiple factors

Participants : J. Frédéric Bonnans, Axel Kröner.

In this ongoing work we discuss the variational analysis for stochastic volatility models with correlation and their applications for the pricing equations for European options is discussed. The considered framework is based on weigthed Sobolev spaces. Furthermore, to verify continuity of the rate term in the pricing equation an approach based on commutator analysis is developed.