The Electrical Energy Systems Group (EESG) at MIT is a relatively newly formed research group led by Dr. Marija Ilic within the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS). Prior to returning to MIT, Dr. Ilic started and spearheaded for 15 years the EESG at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) . At CMU she founded and co-organized a series of multi-disciplinary national electricity conferences; see more about the topics of these annual conferences and all archived presentations. The EESG researches topics related to modeling and cyber (control, communications) design of the rapidly changing electric energy systems. Theoretical areas underlying this work are the unified modeling of social-ecological energy systems (SEES) as cyber-physical systems (CPS); and the related cyber framework called “Dynamic Monitoring and Decision Systems” (DyMonDS).
The school of thinking pursued by EESG recognizes that digitalization and data-enabled distributed interactive decision-making could and should serve as the main enablers of societal goals such as decarbonization and resilient electric energy services. The key idea rests on the recognition of the multi-layered nature of these energy systems; the modules are highly heterogeneous and technology-specific, and their physical models are derived by domain experts. The interconnected system model is based fundamentally on general conservation laws, which, in turn, allows the existence of aggregate interaction variables and their use for representing higher-level system dynamics in transparent ways. Ultimately, principles for modeling, simulations and control of these large physical systems are established using theoretically sound multi-layered zoom-in/zoom-out modeling and control for implementing computer platforms with functionalities such as flexible scheduling, and, ultimately autonomous self-adaptation without excessive complexity. This approach makes it possible to the educate young minds regarding major opportunities for applying computing and control in complex physical systems such as electric energy systems.
This modeling can make use of many techniques developed in LIDS at MIT as well as at the College of Computing to solve difficult domain application problems, which, jointly, would provide reliable, resilient, sustainable and cost-effective electric energy service at value. It enables the convergence of physical, cyber, economic and policy models and their inter-dependencies, and as such sets the basis for multi-disciplinary collaborations, notably with MITei.
We are in the process of setting up an international scalable electric power systems simulator (SEPSS) that will be used for both education and research in these domain applications. Such a facility is expected to greatly help with emulation of complex SEES and, in particular, with the demonstrating and assessing of the effects of cyber designs on their performance. Applications of modeling and cyber design include large-scale terrestrial electric power systems; local terrestrial power grids (utility distribution; civil, military and naval microgrids), and, most recently, turboelectric distributed propulsion for future aircraft systems.