2023 IEEE Belgrade PowerTech

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SS07 Recent Advances and Trends in Active Distribution Networks

Tuesday, 27 June 2023
15:30 - 17:00

D - Adriatic Mediterranean


In the context of the long-lasting effects introduced by the smart grid paradigm, several new trends are emerging, changing the way distribution system operators (DSOs) conceive and operate their distribution networks. In the past, distribution system infrastructure aimed to connect the upper level (high-voltage) system to customers, while self-generation was limited to large generation units at the high-voltage system. Recently, innovations in the generation and demand-side have changed dramatically the idea of distribution systems operation, giving them a more active role in the whole operation of the electricity system. An active distribution network is composed of a large number of energy-related innovations and players that actively cooperate to ensure a cost-effective and reliable operation. Active distribution networks enable the co-existence of a large number of distributed energy resources (DERs) and flexible consumers within the same electricity network. To ensure a reliable operation, all involved players (DSOs, large and small consumers, prosumers) must coordinate their operation by properly managing the uncertainties typical of sources based on solar and wind power, as well as other energy-intensive resources such as electrical vehicles; shifting towards a more flexible operation. These new operational conditions require the introduction of new planning models and control approaches that enable the connection of new DERs without compromising the reliable operation of the network. To achieve this, information is fundamental, not only from sources already available in the past (e.g., network measurements units) but also new sources coming from the prosumers, for instance, through the installation of smart meters and use of IoT. In a later stage, all the available data can be used to understand prosumers’ behavior aiming to exploit their energy flexibility potential to support the distribution network operation. In this panel, we will discuss with experienced researchers, with different background and expertise, recent trends in active distribution networks, ranging from digitalization, to planning, control and operation.




Charalambos Konstantinou, KAUST

Pedro Vergara Barrios, TU Delft




Nikos Hatziargyriou, National Technical University of Athens

Peter Palensky, Delft University of Technology

Jelena Ponocko, Lead Engineer, Scottish Power Energy Networks

Florin Capitanescu, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

Marija Ilic, MIT



Charalambos Konstantinou is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and an Affiliate Professor of Computer Science (CS) with the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering Division (CEMSE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Secure Next Generation Resilient Systems Laboratory (SENTRY), a co-PI of the Advanced Grid Laboratory for Cyber-Physical Energy System Applications (ANGLE) Group, and a member of the Resilient Computing and Cybersecurity Center (RC3), KAUST. He received the M.Eng. degree in ECE from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, in 2012, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from New York University (NYU), NY, USA, in 2018. Before joining KAUST, he was an Assistant Professor with the Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS), Florida State University (FSU). His research interests include critical infrastructures security and resilience with special focus on smart grid technologies, renewable energy integration, and real-time simulation. He is the Chair of the IEEE Task Force on Resilient and Secure Large-Scale Energy Internet Systems (RSEI) and the Co-Chair of the IEEE Task Force on Cyber-Physical Interdependence for Power System Operation and Control (CPS). He serves an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics (TII). Konstantinou is a Senior Member of IEEE, a member of ACM, and an ACM Distinguished Speaker (2021-2024).
Dr. Pedro P. Vergara was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, in 1990. He received the B.Sc. degree (with honors) in electronic engineering from the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia, in 2012, and the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Campinas, UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil, in 2015. In 2019, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Campinas, UNICAMP, Brazil, and the University of Southern Denmark, SDU, Denmark. In 2019, he joined the Eindhoven University of Technology, TU/e, in The Netherlands as a Postdoctoral Researcher. In 2020, he was appointed as Assistant Professor at the Intelligent Electrical Power Grids (IEPG) group at Delft University of Technology, also in The Netherlands. His main research interests include the development of methodologies for the control, planning, and operation of electrical distribution systems with high penetration of low-carbon energy resources (e.g, electric vehicles, PV systems, electric heat pumps) using optimization and machine learning approaches. Dr. Vergara received the Best Presentation Award in the Summer Optimization School in 2018 organized by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and the Best Paper Award at the 3rd IEEE International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and Technologies, Turkey, in 2020.
Nikos D. Hatziargyriou (Life Fellow, IEEE) is a Full Professor of power systems with the Electrical and Computer Engineering School, National Technical University of Athens. He has authored the book “Microgrids: Architectures and Control” and more than 250 journal publications and 500 conference proceedings papers. He is included in the 2016, 2017, and 2019, Thomson Reuters lists of the top 1% most cited researchers. From 2015 to 2019, he was the Chair and the CEO of the Hellenic Distribution Network Operator. From 2007 to 2012, he was an Executive Vice-Chair and the Deputy CEO of the Public Power Corporation, responsible for the Transmission and Distribution Divisions. He was the Chair of the Power System Dynamic Performance Committee of IEEE and currently he is Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems. He is honorary member of CIGRE and was the Chair of CIGRE SC C6 “Distribution Systems and Distributed Generation.” He was the Chair and he is currently Vice-Chair of the EU Technology and Innovation Platform on Smart Networks for Energy Transition (ETIP SNET). He has participated in more than 60 R&D projects funded by the EU Commission, electric utilities and manufacturers.
Peter Palensky (Senior Member, IEEE) received the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering and the Ph.D. and Habilitation degrees from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, in 1997, 2001, and 2015, respectively. He co-founded Envidatec, a German startup on energy management and analytics. In 2008, he joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA, as a Researcher, and the University of Pretoria, South Africa. In 2009, he became appointed as the Head of the Business Unit, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) in sustainable building technologies, where he was the first Principal Scientist of Complex Energy Systems. In 2014, he was appointed as a Full Professor in intelligent electric power grids with TU Delft, The Netherlands. He is active in international committees, such as ISO or CEN. His research interests include energy automation networks, smart grids, and modeling intelligent energy systems. He also serves as an IEEE IES AdCom Member-at-Large in various functions for IEEE. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine and an associate editor of several other IEEE publications and regularly organizes IEEE conferences.
Dr Jelena Ponoćko is a Lead Engineer at Scottish Power Energy Networks, UK, and is also affiliated with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Manchester, UK, where she worked as a Lecturer. Jelena has authored or coauthored over 40 research papers and technical reports. Her research has focused on data analytics-based assessment of demand-side flexibility and the effects of demand-side management on power network performance. She has been an active IEEE PES member since 2015 and currently acts as the IEEE Power and Energy Society Women in Power Representative for Region 8 (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
Florin Capitanescu (Member, IEEE) received the Electrical Power Engineering degree from the Politehnica University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania, in 1997, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Liège, Liège, Belgium, in 2003. Since 2015, he has been a Senior R&T Associate with Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. His main research interests include the application of optimization methods to operation of transmission and active distribution systems, particularly security-constrained optimal power flow approaches, voltage instability, and smart sustainable buildings.
Marija Ilić is a Professor Emerita at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She currently holds a joint appointment of an Adjunct Professor in EECS Department and of a Senior Research Scientist at the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is an IEEE Life Fellow and an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering, and the Academia Europaea. She was the first recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award for Power Systems in the US. She has co-authored several books on the subject of large-scale electric power systems, and has co-organized an annual multidisciplinary Electricity Industry conference series at Carnegie Mellon (http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~electriconf) with participants from academia, government, and industry. She was the founder and co-director of the Electric Energy Systems Group (EESG) at Carnegie Mellon University (http://www.eesg.ece.cmu.edu). Currently she is building EESG@MIT https://eesg.mit.edu/ , in the same spirit as EESG@CMU. Most recently she has offered an open EdX course at MIT entitled “Principles of Modeling, Simulations and Control in Electric Energy Systems”. She is founder and chief scientist at New Electricity Transmission Solutions (NETSS), Inc, currently SmartGridz, Inc https://smartgridz.com/



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