Energy Systems Center for Research, Education, and Innovation (ES CREI) is one of nine Skoltech centers with was initiated in 2013 and since that time ES CREI has significantly grown in number of people, projects successfully finished, courses taught and is continuing its development. The main principle of research followed in Skoltech Center for Energy Systems is an interdisciplinary approach. We are employing or collaborating with researchers representing wide variety of disciplines (engineers, mathematicians, physicist, economists, etc.) in order to utilize advances in new technologies (ICT, communication networks and sensing) and algorithms (distributed control, networks science, complex systems) and to create a cyber-physical energy system able to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century. We believe that in this respect Skoltech Center for Energy Systems is a unique in the world and able to deliver a significant step, rather than incremental change.
Further details can be found under Research.
Advanced mathematical methods for energy systems
Our main focus of research is advanced mathematical methods for energy systems, involving Janusz Bialek, Misha Chertkov, Yury Maximov and Anatoly Dymarski, and taking advantage of the abundance of excellent Russian mathematicians, statisticians and physicists at Skoltech and abroad. In this research w collaborate closely with our international partners: MIT (Kostya Turitsyn) and Caltech (Steven Low). We have organized an international conference in Moscow in June 2015 that attracted top scientists from MIT, Caltech, Michigan University, Cambridge University, University College London, Manchester University, Hong Kong University, ETH Zurich, Southampton University, Trapeznikov Institute of Control Sciences of RAS, Steklov Mathematical Institute of RAS, and Energy Systems Institute SB of RAS. We intend to organize an international conference in 2017 on data-driven analytics for energy systems.
Currently our research in this theme concentrates on the following areas:
Coupled Energy Infrastructures
The second main area of our research is coupled energy infrastructures, led by Aldo Bischi and Misha Chertkov, that explores interaction between the main energy vectors: power/gas/heat/cooling. It is important for Russia due to widespread use of district heating. We have organized, together with International Institute for Energy Systems Integration, an international conference in Moscow in May 2016. Our main research directions in this theme are:
Power Markets and Regulation
This theme involves Bialek and we intend to restart research on power markets when a new faculty, who has just been appointed, starts in March 2017.
Power Electronics and Devices
Currently we are looking for suitable candidates to lead research in this area.
Power systems around the world are undergoing a period of unprecedented change. A typical 20th Century power system was characterized by unidirectional flow of power from a limited number of large controllable power stations to a highly predictable demand. There was no no energy storage (apart from very expensive pumped-storage hydro plants) so that at any time generation had to be equal to demand and the infrastructure utilization rates were low (about 55% for generation, 30% for transmission and even lower for distribution). Generally planning and controlling such a system was relatively straightforward as it was based around principles of deterministic hierarchical control, usually based on (N-1) reliability criterion.
On the other hand the emerging 21st Century power system is characterized by bi-directional flows between a very large number of uncontrollable and stochastic generators (usually, but not always, renewable ones such as wind or solar) and stochastic and often poorly-predictable demand. Demand ceases to be predictable as it consists of consumers equipped with smart meters and wind/solar generators hence possibly becoming net generators – so-called prosumers. Increased penetration of energy storage, both stationary and mobile due to a take-up of electric vehicles, offers buffering possibilities in dispatch (generation does not have to be equal to demand at any time). Controlling such a power system is the main research challenge in power systems and it is made possible by latest advances in ICT (Information and Control Technology), communication networks, Internet, GPS, sensors, etc. However it requires new tools and methodologies, developing of which is the main goal of Skoltech Center for Energy Systems.
Our research is not limited to power systems but rather it is aimed on energy systems due to close interactions between power, gas and heat networks (especially in Russia because of wide utilization of district heating).
Developing these new control tools and methodologies requires an interdisciplinary effort of scientists from many disciplines: