Dynamic dispatch of direct load control

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Direct Load Control (DLC) -- the direct control of customer loads by an electric utility for the economic and reliable operation of the power system, is an important and active element of Load Management (LM). Currently attention has focussed on the integration of DLC into system operations. However, as yet, DLC is regarded as a discretionary resource to be used by the system operator based on informed judgment. The integration process has therefore, concentrated on improving the informational inputs to the operator.

This dissertation extends the integration from that of a discretionary resource to a dispatchable system resource. The concept of the dynamic dispatch of DLC is formulated and defined to be an online evaluation and utilization of DLC for optimum benefit to the utility, as system conditions change. The concept envisages the use of DLC in an automated mode and coordinated with other system resources for optimum benefit.

An important and integral part of the research effort is the development of a cost characterization of DLC. A closed form solution, using a dynamic programming framework, has been developed to estimate the costs of DLC dispatch. The derivation takes into account all operational constraints on the utilization of DLC -- payback characteristics, maximum on-times and minimum recovery times. The cost, defined as the difference in the fuel costs with and without DLC dispatch, were found to be dependent on the cost characteristics of the online generators and the load shape impacts of DLC dispatch.

The dynamic dispatch concept is concretized by a power system operations model which incorporates DLC dispatch for fuel cost minimization and peak load shaving. The two modes are toggled by the dispatch algorithm as system conditions change. Results from the model are presented for several combinations of system conditions and DLC system parameters.