Fields Institute: Optimization for Smart Grid and Power Tranmission Networks

The Fields Institute Industrial Seminar presents:

Miguel Anjos, Ecole Polytechnique Montréal
Current challenges and recent progress in optimization for the smart grid


Innocent Kamwa, Hydro-Québec

Applications of optimization to improve performance of power transmission networks

Date: Monday, March 16th, 5:00pm

Location: Fields Institute, 222 College Street, Room 230


Miguel Anjos, Ecole Polytechnique Montréal
Current Challenges and Recent Progress in Optimization for the Smart Grid

A smart grid is the combination of a traditional power distribution system with two-way communication between suppliers and consumers. This combination is expected to deliver energy savings, cost reductions, and increased reliability and security, but smart grids introduce numerous challenges for the management of the resulting system. These include integrating renewable energy sources such as wind and solar electricity generation, managing bidirectional flows of power, and incorporating demand-response. We will present an overview of the challenges in this area, and examples of how optimization is helping to meet these challenges.

Innocent Kamwa, Hydro-Québec
Applications of Optimization to Improve Performance of Power Transmission Networks

Hydro-Québec’s electrical transmission system is an extensive, international grid with extensions into the northeastern United States of America. For such large power systems, one of the major issues is to ensure reliability while improving the steady-state and dynamic performances of the network. We will present different ways in which optimization algorithms can be applied in this context, such as the optimal location and rating of flexible AC transmission system devices, the design and coordination of damping controllers, and the optimal allocation and scheduling of multiple battery energy storage systems to improve energy efficiency.

ISE Associate Director named Canada Research Chair in Thermofluidics for Clean Energy, awarded Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship

Aimy-Bazylak-Picture ISE Associate Director, Professor Aimy Bazylak, has been named Canada Research Chair in Thermofluidics for Clean Energy.

Through generous funding from the Government of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs program is designed to allow Canadian universities to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.  Chairholders improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers’ work.

Prof. Bazylak’s research in  fuel cells and electrolyzers has enormous potential for providing a foundation for a green energy future.  Due to the intermittency associated with renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, clean electricity must be used immediately or stored for later use. The polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzer can be used to generate hydrogen for later use in PEM fuel cells. When paired with renewable energy sources, PEM fuel cells provide electricity with zero emissions. Heat and mass transport issues must be resolved to achieve improved efficiencies, higher performance, and reduced costs. PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers have enormous potential for providing green energy, with practical applications in automotives, backup power, and off-grid communities.

The research looks to realize greater utilization of PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers by improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of these devices through advanced design of porous materials for enhanced thermofluidic transport.


Prof. Bazylak has also been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers.  The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation provides funding to international scholars to carry out long-term research collaborations in Germany.

Prof. Bazylak begins a year-long sabbatical in January, 2015, where she will be collaborating with researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Helmholtz-Institut Ulm (HIU) in Ulm, Germany to further her research in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers.

Institute for Sustainable Energy & CREATE program in Distributed Generation for Remote Communities symposium

Thank you to everyone that attended our Institute for Sustainable Energy & NSERC CREATE Program in Distributed Generation for Remote Communities research symposium on Friday, November 21st.

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50 posters were presented, displaying the impressive breadth of energy research at the University of Toronto.   We would also like to thank Prof. Amy Bilton and all of the students in the CREATE Program in Distributed Generation for Remote Communities that gave oral presentations.

Members of the ISE Advisory Board and Steering Committee were on hand to view the posters, and we are pleased to announce three $1000 awards to the top-reviewed posters.


Congratulations to,

Jocelyn Zuliani (sup. Prof. Charles Q. Jia) for Helping to Green the Canadian Oil Sands: from Oil Sands By-Product to Green Energy Storage

Jin Chang (sup. Prof. Francis Dawson & Prof. Keryn Lian) for Ab initio Characterization of a Graphene/Copper Capacitor Device

Eman Hammad (sup. Prof. Deepa Kundur) for Off-Grid Cooperative Microgrid Networks with High Renewable Penetration