Assistant Professor Bolun Xu Wins NSF Career Award.

Feb 09 2023

Bolun Xu, assistant professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, has won an NSF Careeer award for his research program to develop new computation tools aiding grid integration of energy storage with the overarching goal to provide affordable and reliable electricity supply in sustainable power systems.

Xu's research focuses on sustainable energy and power systems, integration of energy storage and other emerging decarbonization technologies, and modeling the impact of climate change in energy systems.

This NSF-funded project will bring transformative change to enable power system operators and storage owners to more accurately bid and dispatch a variety of existing and emerging storage technologies. This will be achieved by developing a novel computation framework combining model-based optimization with machine learning, achieving both reliable performance and computation efficiency.

The project simultaneously addresses several technical challenges in energy storage grid integration including multi-stage uncertainties, nonlinear and nonconvex storage models, and computation scalability over a large number of networked storage resources. The project will i) develop a fully open-source analytical algorithm without proprietary commercial solvers tailored for energy storage to solve nonlinear stochastic dynamic programming with extreme computation speed; ii) develop new market models and pricing schemes inspired by the opportunity value function from dynamic programming to economically manage storage state-of-charge in grid dispatch; iii) combine machine learning with dynamic programming into a two-stage learning model to more efficiently analyze and manage a large number of storage resources participating in electricity markets.

The results of this project will benefit power system operators and storage owners to develop energy management system software for storage resources that more accurately reflect the storage operating characteristics and future uncertainties, and aid education and outreach activities related to energy storage deployments for energy sustainability and resiliency.