AAAI Publications, Twenty-Third International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling

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Combining a Temporal Planner with an External Solver for the Power Balancing Problem in an Electricity Network
Chiara Piacentini, Varvara Alimisis, Maria Fox, Derek Long

Last modified: 2013-06-02


The electricity network balancing problem consists of ensuring that the electricity demands of the consumers are met by the committed supply. Constraints are imposed on the different elements of the network, so that damage to the equipment is prevented when transformers are stepped up or down, or generation is increased. We consider this problem within zones, which are sub-networks constructed using carefully chosen decomposition principles. The automation of decision making in electricity networks is a step forward in their management which is necessary for coping with the increase in power system complexity that we expect in the near term. In this paper we explore the deployment of planning techniques to solve the zone-balancing problem. Embedding electricity networks in a domain description presents new challenges for planning. The key point is that the propagation of information requires complex updates to the state when an action is applied. We have developed a method in which the computation of the critical numeric quantities is performed calling an external power flow equation solver, demonstrating a clean interface between the planner and this domain-specific computation. This solver allows us to move the power flow computations outside of the planning process and update the values efficiently. We also examine a second important feature of this problem, which is the interaction between exogenous events and constraints over the entire plan trajectory within a zone.

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