Prof. Amro M. Farid joins the University of Massachusetts Transportation Center as an affiliated Researcher

We are happy to announce that Prof. Amro M. Farid has joined the University of Massachusetts Transportation Center (UMTC) as an affiliated researcher.  The announcement can be found as a blog post here.  By entering the UMTC affiliated researcher network, the LIINES and UMTC will be able to more closely collaborate on interesting transportation research.  Naturally, some of these areas include transportation electrification, intelligent transportation systems, and connected & automated vehicles.
The University of Massachusetts Transportation Center (UMTC) is located at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, 214 Marston Hall. The UMTC conducts research on all aspects of Transportation including Travel Behavior, Transportation Modeling, Sustainability, Freight, Transit, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Optimization, Transportation Finance and Policy, Emission Estimation and Modeling, Commercial Motor Vehicle research, Safety, Human Factors, GIS, Climate Change and Economic Development.
The UMTC is funded in part by the MassDOT, New England Transportation Consortium and National UTC Consortiums.
In depth materials on LIINES electrified transportation systems research can be found on the LIINES website.
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Prof. Amro M. Farid presents at Transactive Energy Systems Conference

On Tuesday May 17, 2016, Prof. Amro M. Farid presented at the Third International Conference and Workshop on Transactive Energy Systems in Portland, Oregon.   The presentation entitled:  “Microgrids as a Key Enabling Transactive Energy Technology for Resilient Self-Healing Power Grid Operation” featured some of the LIINES’ recent research on resilience in power systems.

Building upon the recent IEEE Vision for Smart Grid Controls, the presentation advocated the concept of resilience self-healing operation in future power grids.  This continues to be an important area of LIINES research and has been the subject of several recent blogposts.  (See here, here and here).  The concept of resilient power systems effectively means that healthy regions of the grid can continue to operate while disrupted and perturbed regions bring themselves back to normal operation.   A key technology enabling this resilience is microgrids because they are often able to island themselves from the rest of the grid and continue to operate successfully.   In this presentation, the microgrids were controlled with a transactive energy control architecture that couples several control layers to achieve both technical reliability as well as cost effectiveness.  Furthermore, the presentation showed the ability for several microgrids to self-coordinate so as to demonstrate “strength-in-numbers” when adverse power grid conditions like net load ramps and variability arise.   The presentation concluded with the need for significant new research where transactive energy control concepts are intertwined with recent work on power grid enterprise control.

 

In depth materials on LIINES smart power grid research can be found on the LIINES website.

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Prof. Amro M. Farid gives invited lecture at ITE 2016 Northeastern Annual Meeting

On May 11, 2016, Prof. Amro M. Farid gave an invited lecture at the Institute for Transportation Engineers 2016 Northeastern Annual Meeting held in Portsmouth, NH.  The presentation entitled:  “Intelligent Transportation-Energy Systems for Massively Electrified Transportation Infrastructure” featured many of the LIINES’ research on electrified transportation systems.

The presentation advocated the concept of “Intelligent Transportation Energy Systems” which has been the subject of several recent blogposts.  (See here, here, and here).  Electrified modes of transportation: vehicles, buses and trains fundamentally couple the transportation and power grids.   This coupling presents new challenges in the operation of each system which would not have existed if each was operated independently.  At its core, the ITES requires a new transportation electrification assessment methodology that draws upon microscopic traffic simulation, power grid dynamics, and Big Data-Driven use case modeling.  Such an ITES would come to include coupled operations management decisions including:  vehicle dispatching, charging queue management, coordinated charging, and vehicle-to-grid ancillary services.   The presentation concludes with simulation results from the first full scale electric vehicle integration study which was recently conducted for a taxi-fleet use case in Abu Dhabi.

In depth materials on LIINES electrified transportation system research can be found on the LIINES website.

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Prof. Amro M. Farid gives invited lecture at UVIG

On April 27th, 2016, Prof. Amro M. Farid gave an invited lecture at the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) Spring Technical Workshop held in Sacramento, CA.  The presentation entitled:  “Enterprise Control as a Holistic Assessment Method for Variable Generation & Demand Response Integration” featured many of the LIINES’ research on renewable energy integration assessment methodologies.

The presentation advocated the concept of “Power Grid Enterprise Control” which has been the subject of several recent blogposts.  (See here and here).  Traditionally, power system operation & control methods are conducted individually.  In contrast, “Power Grid Enterprise Control” integrates these methods into a single simulation of how a power system enterprise behaves as a physical power grid tied to multiple layers of control, optimization and market behavior.  Such an integrated approach provides techno-economic performance results of the power grid.  Furthermore, it highlights trade-off decisions between technical reliability and cost performance.  The presentation showed how enterprise control simulation can be used to study renewable energy, energy storage, and demand-side energy resources.

In depth materials on LIINES smart grid research can be found on the LIINES website.

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Journal Paper accepted at IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics – An Axiomatic Design of a Multi-Agent Reconfigurable Mechatronic System Architecture

The LIINES is pleased to announce the acceptance of the paper “An Axiomatic Design of a Multi-Agent Reconfigurable Mechatronic System Architecture” to the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. The paper is authored by Prof. Amro M. Farid and Prof. Luis Ribeiro.

Recent trends in manufacturing require production facilities to produce a wide variety of products with an increasingly shorter product lifecycle. These trends force production facilities to adjust and redesign production lines on a more regular basis.

Reconfigurable manufacturing systems are designed for rapid change in structure; in both hardware and software components to address the required changes in production capacity and functionality.

Qualitative methods have recently been successful in achieving reconfigurability through multi-agent systems (MAS). However, their implementation remains limited, as an unambiguous quantitative reference architecture for reconfigurability has not yet been developed.

A design methodology based on quantitative reconfigurability measurement would facilitate a logical, and seamless transition between the five stages of the MAS design methodology, as shown below.

DesMethodology

Previous work on the reconfigurability of automated manufacturing systems has shown that reconfigurability depends primarily on architectural decisions made in stages 1, 2, 3, and 5. Operational performance of the manufacturing system after the reconfiguration is also important, but is often overlooked by the existing literature. As a result, it’s not clear:

  1. The degree to which existing designs have achieved their intended level of reconfigurability.
  2. Which systems are quantitatively more reconfigurable.
  3. How these designs may overcome their inherent design limitations to achieve greater reconfigurability in subsequent design iterations.

In order to address the previously mentioned issues with existing design methodologies, this paper develops a multi-agent system reference architecture for reconfigurable manufacturing systems driven by a quantitative and formal design approach, directly in line with the above Figure.

The paper uses Axiomatic Design for Large Flexible Engineering Systems to support a well-conceptualized architecture, which is necessary for excellent production system performance. Additionally, Axiomatic Design highlights potential design flaws at an early conceptual stage. This results in the first formal and quantitative reference architecture based on rigorous mathematics.

About the Author

Wester C.H. Schoonenberg completed his B.Sc. in Systems Engineering and Policy Analysis Management at Delft University of Technology in 2014. After his bachelors’ degree, Wester started his graduate work for the LIINES at Masdar Institute, which he continues as a doctoral student at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in 2015. Currently, Wester is working on the integrated operation of electrical grids and production systems with a special interest in Zero Carbon Emission Manufacturing Systems.

A full reference list of LIINES publications can be found here:
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Congratulations to Deema F. Allan for a Successful M.Sc. Thesis Defense!

The LIINES wants to congratulate Deema F. Allan with a successful defense of her master thesis entitled: Enhance Electric Vehicle Adoption Scenarios for Abu Dhabi Road Transportation. Deema joined the LIINES in 2014 to work on transportation electrification.   The past two and a half years Deema has progressed the research in the lab incredibly as a result of her admirable dedication and perseverance. We wish Deema all the best in her future work and we are confident that her passion will lead to great achievements.

A full reference list of LIINES publications can be found here:
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Journal Paper Accepted at Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews – Job Creation Potentials and Skill Requirements in PV, CSP, Wind, Water-to-Energy and Energy Efficiency Value Chains

The LIINES is pleased to announce the publication of the journal paper entitled: “Job Creation Potentials and Skill Requirements in PV, CSP, Wind, Water-to-Energy and Energy Efficiency Value Chains” to the journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. This paper was authored by T. M. Sooriyaarachchi, I-Tsung Tsai, Sameh El Khatib, Amro M. Farid and Toufic Mezher.

Job creation is a significant outcome of the development and deployment of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) technologies. With the complicated dynamics related to job creation in RE and EE technologies, this paper considers direct, indirect as well as induced employment opportunities resulting from various sustainable energy sectors.

This paper explores the factors affecting job creation, existing techniques for establishing the job creation potentials, and the required skill sets in the sustainable energy sectors namely; solar PV power, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), wind power, waste-to-energy, and energy efficiency measures. In addition, it provides case studies showcasing the variation of job creation in Germany, Spain, the United States, and the Middle Eastern region.

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Figure 1: This figure represents available jobs within various renewable energy sectors. The figure was prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for the Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2015 IRENA Policy Day 9 June, 2015. Note that Solar Photovoltaic is the leading employer in the renewable energy sector.

For the RE sector, the study shows that available jobs and required skill sets heavily rely on the technology value chains of the specific industry. A further breakdown of the value chains allows for categorization of these jobs on account of their stability and permanency. On the other hand, jobs within the EE sector fall within educational awareness programs, energy efficient policies and regulations, and energy efficiency retrofitting which includes conducting energy audits and re-designing buildings to apply the necessary energy efficient measures.

The Input-Output matrix and Employment factor methods are considered in assessing the gross and net employment impacts of renewable energy deployment. The paper shows that employment factors vary widely based on the region studied, the size of the RE project, and the decomposition of the value chain. In this paper, employment potential is measured based on capacity installed, money invested or number of temporary and permanent jobs created per year.

The paper also provides a breakdown of skill types and levels required within the various sustainable energy sectors. Additionally, it outlines reasons for skill gaps within these RE sectors and provides recommendations on how to bridge such gaps. It observes that skill shortages or surpluses occur mainly due to poor coordination between RE development initiatives and skill providers such as educational institutions. Planning ahead within the RE and EE sectors to ensure better coordination is therefore, highly recommended.

As for the case studies, it is clear that the PV solar industry is at the forefront of job creation in the RE sector. This article shows the high growth potential of the solar PV industry and thus it’s greater opportunity for job creation. In the United States, energy efficiency strategies are predicted to create more than 4-billion job-years by 2030. Given the renewable energy targets and plans set forth by several countries in the Middle Eastern region, a lot of direct and indirect job opportunities are expected to be created in the coming years.

In analyzing the potential of job creation within the RE sectors, the article recognizes that indirect job losses resulting from phasing out fossil fuels, and the increasing electricity prices play a significant role in determining the actual net employment potential of the RE sector. On the other hand, this paper predicts the continued growth in job creation within the EE sector especially given the necessity for energy efficient measures to aid in curbing climate change.

About the Author:
Steffi Muhanji is completing her bachelor of engineering degree at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Her research interests are in renewable energy systems and electric microgrids. Steffi will be pursuing her PhD at the Thayer School of Engineering starting this fall with Prof. Amro M. Farid as her research adviser.
A full reference list of LIINES publications can be found here:
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Journal Paper Accepted at Journal of Enterprise Transformation – Axiomatic Design Based Human Resources Management for the Enterprise Transformation of the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Labor Pool

The LIINES is happy to announce the publication of the paper entitled: “Axiomatic Design Based Human Resources Management for the Enterprise Transformation of the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Labor Pool” to the Journal of Enterprise Transformation.  The paper is authored by Prof. Inas Khayal and Prof. Amro M. Farid.  To our knowledge, it’s the first regional-scale multi-decade Big Data Healthcare Human Resources Management Study ever conducted and shows the spatial-distribution of retention and attrition rates of the Abu Dhabi Healthcare System in recent decades.
The quality and reliability of a nation’s healthcare system is often driven by the number and diversity of its healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, many developing nations have constrained segments of highly skilled labor and must “import” this human capital. Volatility in key healthcare professions can threaten reliable and sustainable healthcare delivery.
This article considers the development of a healthcare human resources sector in a quickly developing nation as an enterprise transformation problem. In this article, the axiomatic design large flexible system modeling framework is used to assess healthcare delivery capability in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The Abu Dhabi case study shows significant volatility in the healthcare labor market.
Specifically the evolution of healthcare professional attrition has been on the rise for the last 20 years.
Fig1
This has caused the net evolution of healthcare professionals to be quite variable.
 Fig2
The below figure shows the variation of profession types across the different areas with most of the fulfillment only in the cities (Abu Dhabi and Al Ain).
Fig3
The work demonstrates that the axiomatic design theory as applied to large flexible systems can be applied to data-centric methods in human resources management in the context of skills shortages and high attrition rates.
About the Author:
Inas Khayal is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Clinical Practice at The Dartmouth Institute within the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.  Her research interests focuses on on developing systems solutions that curb the growth of chronic disease by apply systems engineering tools and techniques to medicine.
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The LIINES Commitment to Open-Information

 Good science is reproducible.   This means that it must be publicly available, its contributions transparently communicated, and its data accessible.  These are principles that drive the everyday work of every individual’s research at the LIINES.  We now wish to go further and make a commitment to Open-Information.
Beginning today, the LIINES will seek to leverage its website to make all of its research 100% reproducible by the public at large.   This includes:
  • Sharing all input datasets used to conduct the research for which no prior proprietary or security commitments have been made.
  • Producing scientific publications in such a way that scientific peers can accurately verify & validate the work.
  • Making the content of all conference, journal and book-chapter publications freely available in author preprint form.  (Note: Most publishers allow self-archiving and open-distribution of author preprints).
We believe that the LIINES’ research has broad applicability to academia, industry, government and the public at large.   However, traditional publication venues are often only subscribed by academic universities and a handful of well-funded industrial companies.   All-too-often the people that can benefit from this work, never get a chance to see it.   This slows down the work’s potential impact and is counter to the LIINES mission.   It is for these reasons, that the LIINES makes its Open-Information commitment.
While it is natural that making all of this information available will take some time, we will be sure to keep blogging to keep you up to date of new additions to the LIINES website.  For now, feel free to visit the LIINES Datasets Repository which includes both data from our publications as well as a collation of several relevant and openly available datasets.
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Journal Paper Accepted at Applied Energy Journal – Demand Side Management in a Day-Ahead Wholesale Market: A Comparison of Industrial & Social Welfare Approaches

The LIINES is pleased to announce the acceptance of the paper entitled: “Demand Side Management in a Day-Ahead Wholesale Market: A Comparison of Industrial & Social Welfare Approaches” to Applied Energy Journal for publication. The paper is authored by Bo Jiang, Prof. Amro M. Farid, and Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi.

The intermittent and unpredictable nature of renewable energy brings operational challenges to electrical grid reliability. The fast fluctuations in renewable energy generation require high ramping capability which must be met by dispatchable energy resources. In contrast, Demand Side management (DSM) with its ability to allow customers to adjust electricity consumption in response to market signals has been recognized as an efficient way to shape load profiles and mitigate the variable effects of renewable energy as well as to reduce system costs. However, the academic and industrial literature have taken divergent approaches to DSM implementation. While the popular approach among academia adopts a social welfare maximization formulation, defined as the net benefit from electricity consumption measured from zero, the industrial practice introduces an estimated baseline.   This baseline represents the counterfactual electricity consumption that would have occurred without DSM, and customers are compensated according to their load reduction from this predefined electricity consumption baseline.

DR

In response to the academic and industrial literature gap, our paper rigorously compares these two different approaches in a day-ahead wholesale market context. We developed models for the two methods using the same mathematical formalism and compared them analytically as well as in a test case using RTS-1996 reliability testing system. The comparison of the two models showed that a proper reconciliation of the two models might make them dispatch in fundamentally the same way, but only under very specific conditions that are rarely met in practice. While the social welfare model uses a stochastic net load composed of two terms, the industrial DSM model uses a stochastic net load composed of three terms including the additional baseline term. While very much discouraged, customers have an implicit incentive to surreptitiously inflate the administrative baseline in order to receive greater financial compensation. An artificially inflated baseline is shown to result in a higher resource dispatch and higher system costs.

The high resource scheduling due to inflated baseline likely require more control activity in subsequent layers of enterprise control including security constrained economic dispatch and regulation service layer. Future work will continue to explore the technical and economic effects of erroneous industrial baseline.

About the Author:

Bo Jiang conducted this research in collaboration with her Master’s thesis advisor Prof. Amro M. Farid and Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include renewable energy integration, power system operations and optimization. Bo is now pursuing her PhD at MIT Mechanical Engineering Department.

A full reference list of Smart Power Grids and Intelligent Energy Systems research at LIINES can be found on the LIINES publication page: http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/liines

 

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