Keeping the Lights On—Optimally!
Electricity is fundamental for nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Fortunately, our electricity supply has been working so well for so long that its importance is only fully appreciated when there is a power failure.
In fact, our power systems are highly complex and face fundamental challenges such as matching supply with demand for time scales that vary from extremely short (real-time operation) to extremely long (decades-ahead planning for power generation). For a week-long time scale, this is an optimization problem known as a "unit commitment problem" and it requires significant computational time to solve.
Dr. Miguel Anjos, Canada Research Chair in Discrete Nonlinear Optimization in Engineering, recently found a new way to solve the unit commitment problem more quickly.
Anjos is now developing algorithms to help solve the large number of optimization problems that engineers face. He is also exploring how to make the best use of renewable sources of energy. In addition, he is researching a variety of challenges surrounding smart grid technology—a technology that will soon allow us to deliver and use electricity as efficiently as possible.
Anjos’ work to optimize electricity supplies will contribute to ensuring reliable and sustainable power across Canada.