Visible to the public CPS: Medium: Collaborative Research: Information and Computation Hierarchy for Smart Grids

Project Details
Lead PI:Lang Tong
Co-PI(s):Kenneth Birman
Robert Thomas
Timothy Mount
Performance Period:09/15/11 - 08/31/16
Institution(s):Cornell University
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Award Number:1135844
2630 Reads. Placed 18 out of 803 NSF CPS Projects based on total reads on all related artifacts.
Abstract: The electric grid in the United States has evolved over the past century from a series of small independent community-based systems to one of the largest and most complex cyber-physical systems today. However, the established conditions that made the electric grid an engineering marvel are being challenged by major changes, the most important being a worldwide effort to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions. This research investigates key aspects of a computation and information foundation for future cyber-physical energy systems?the smart grids. The overall project objective is to support high penetrations of renewable energy sources, community based micro-grids, and the widespread use of electric cars and smart appliances. The research has three interconnected components that, collectively, address issues of computation architecture, information hierarchy, and experimental modeling and validation. On computation architecture, the framework based on cloud computing is investigated for the scalable, consistent, and secure operations of smart grids. The research aims to quantify fundamental design tradeoffs among scalability, data consistency, security, and trustworthiness for emerging applications of smart grids. On information hierarchy, temporal and spatial characteristics of information hierarchy are investigated with the goal of gaining a foundational understanding on how information should be partitioned, collected, distributed, compressed, and aggregated. The research also develops an open and scalable experimental platform (SmartGridLab) for empirical investigations and testing of algorithms and concepts developed in this project. SmartGridLab integrates the hardware testbed with a software simulator so that software virtual nodes can interact with physical nodes in the testbed. This research also includes a significant education component aimed at integrating frontier research with undergraduate and graduate curricula.