Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Distributed Synchronization in Engineering Networks

Enrique Mallada
E-Quad, B205
Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 4:30pm

This talk presents a systematic study of synchronization on distributed (networked) systems that spans from theoretical modeling and stability analysis to distributed controller design, implementation and verification. We first focus on developing a theoretical foundation for synchronization of networked oscillators. We study how the interaction type (coupling) and network configuration (topology) affect the behavior of a population of heterogeneous coupled oscillators. Unlike existing literature that restricts to specific scenarios, we show that phase consensus (common phase value) can be achieved for arbitrary network topologies under very general conditions on the oscillators' model.
We then focus on more practical aspects of synchronization on smart grids. We propose a load-side frequency control scheme that can rebalance power and resynchronize frequencies after a disturbance (primary control), while restoring the frequency to its nominal value (secondary control). Unlike the generation-side secondary frequency control that is centralized, our load-side control only requires each bus to communicate with its neighbors. Furthermore, our scheme also provides a fair distribution of the load corrections by minimizing the total disutility of the controllable loads, and is able to preserve inter-area flows and thermal limits. We prove this distributed load-side control is globally asymptotically stable and further illustrate its properties with numerical simulations.
Enrique Mallada is a CMI Post-Doctoral Fellow at California Institute of Technology. He received his Ingeniero en Telecomunicaciones degree from Universidad ORT, Uruguay, in 2005 and his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University, Ithaca, in Jan 2014. From 2004 to 2007 he was an IT-Specialist at IBM, and in 2008 he worked as an Engineer at the Traffic Engineering Department of ANTEL. He was also a summer intern in IBM T. J. Watson Research Center during the summer of 2011. Dr. Mallada was awarded the ECE Director's PhD Thesis Research Award for his dissertation in 2014, the Cornell University Jacobs Fellowship in 2011 and the Organization of American States scholarship in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years. His research interests include control and dynamical systems, optimization, and networks.