Welcome to the Dutch Digital Energy Seminar website!

Background & Organisation

Mailing List

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    Note that the mailing list will be used sparingly, only for posting seminar-related announcements, such as upcoming talks. You can adjust your preferences or unsubscribe any time.


    We aim to meet monthly for an hour, usually on a Wednesday afternoon. Exceptional, out of schedule meetings are possible, in part dependant on speaker availability or presence in Amsterdam, and will be announced in time through our mailing list. Note that in order to allow for questions and a free discussion between the speaker and participants, the seminars are not recorded (but the slides can be made available on request, if the speaker agrees).

    Upcoming Seminars

    Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 15:00-16:00 (CET)
    Na Li (Harvard University): Learning and control for residential demand response

    Residential loads have great potential to enhance the efficiency and reliability of electricity systems via demand response (DR) programs. One major challenge in residential DR is to handle the unknown and uncertain customer behaviors, which are further influenced by time-varying environmental factors. In this talk, we present a set of learning and control methods for regulating loads in residential demand response (DR) by modeling it as a multi-period stochastic optimization problem. Machine learning techniques including both offline and online learning tools are employed to learn the unknown thermal dynamics model and customer opt-out behavior model, respectively. Based on the Thompson sampling framework, we propose an online DR control algorithm to learn customer behaviors and make real-time load control schemes. This algorithm considers the influence of various environmental factors on customer behaviors and is implemented in a distributed fashion to preserve the privacy of customers. This work is based on our collaboration with an industry IoT company, ThinkEco Inc. If time allows, we will briefly present some of our other projects on real-time learning in power systems.
    Joint work with Xin Chen, Yingying Li, Yutong Nie, Ran Qin, and Jun Shimada (Founder/CTO of ThinkEco Inc.

    Speaker bio: Na Li is a Gordon McKay professor in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics at Harvard University. She received her Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Zhejiang University in 2007 and a Ph.D. degree in Control and Dynamical systems from California Institute of Technology in 2013. She was a postdoctoral associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2013-2014. Her research lies in the control, learning, and optimization of networked systems, including theory development, algorithm design, and applications to real-world cyber-physical societal systems. She received NSF career award (2016), AFSOR Young Investigator Award (2017), ONR Young Investigator Award(2019), Donald P. Eckman Award (2019), McDonald Mentoring Award (2020), along with some other awards.

    Future talk: Wednesday, 23rd February, 14:00-15:00 (CET)
    Alessandro Zocca (VU Amsterdam) - Title TBA.

    Previous Seminars

    Wolf Ketter (University of Cologne, Germany) and John Collins (University of Minnesota, US) - Wednesday, 10th November

    Exploring paths to a sustainable energy future: From simulation to the real world
    We can all imagine a future powered by sustainable energy, and many of us engaged in research related to sustainability. But too often our work fails to find traction in the real world. Energy infrastructure is essential to our society, and the reality on the ground is that markets, grid operations, policies and energy users will affect the rollout of renewables like solar and wind and the ‘beneficial electrification’ of transport and climate control in numerous ways that remain unclear. We would like to clear the fog just a bit. Power TAC simulates retail electricity markets in a sustainable energy future. Co-founders John Collins and Wolf Ketter have used it to explore the use of demand flexibility to maintain supply/demand balance in high-renewable scenarios. But storage and demand flexibility could also be used to manage congestion in distribution grids. Power TAC’s next evolution will be in co-simulation: exploring the relationship between market and grid in a coordinated, dual-platform simulation with other ‘open energy system models’ such as PandaPower or Power Matcher. John is also an elected Director of an electric cooperative in Wisconsin, USA. In this interactive seminar, John will explore insights derived from a decade of Power TAC competitions and what the team hopes to learn from co-simulation efforts. In dialogue with participants, he will compare the vision of the future with reality on the ground in an electric cooperative that is focused on safety, cost, and reliability for its members.

    Peter Palensky (TU Delft) - Wednesday, 15th December 2021

    Cyber-physical security of Power Grids
    The power system - man's largest machine - receives increasing attention from questionable parties. Activist hackers, terrorists, digital vandals, state player attacks: they all aim at the digital assets of modern power systems in order to impact the physical half of it. Industrial control systems for power systems are one element in this landscape that is targeted. This talk will introduce you to cyber-physical power systems and explain which threats we have to deal with now and in future. It will also explain some known attacks of recent years and demonstrate you how to hack digital power system protection and that this could lead to cascading outages - more prominently known as blackouts.