Ancillary Services from Smart Thermostatic Loads in Power Grids – MSCA Individual Fellowship


The aim of this fellowship is to address the problem of designing control schemes for thermostatic loads to provide effective, secure and efficient ancillary support to existing frequency mechanisms in the power network.

The penetration of renewable sources of energy in power networks is expected to grow over the next years, motivated by environmental concerns. However, renewable generation is in general intermittent and a large penetration may cause frequent generation-demand imbalances that may compromise power quality and even result in blackouts. Demand side participation can offer a solution to this problem, due to loads ability to provide a fast response when required. However, a large portion of the total demand corresponds to Thermostatic Loads (TLs), such as air-conditioning units or refrigerators, which are characterized by a cyclic thermostatic behavior. Such effects need to be taken into account in the design of control schemes for TLs, if those are to provide support to the power grid.

The primary technical research objective of this project is the design of control schemes for TLs in order to provide effective, efficient and reliable ancillary support to the power network. In particular, the major research objectives of the project are to:
(i) Enable TLs to provide ancillary support to existing frequency control mechanisms, ensuring that those switch when there is an urgency.
(ii) Obtain an optimal power allocation between TLs with minimum user disruption.
(iii) Provide analytic stability guarantees for power networks when the proposed TL control designs are implemented.
(iv) Enable further research on TLs, by providing analytic models that characterize their aggregate behavior.
(v) Validate the proposed control designs with realistic numerical and hardware in the loop simulations.

The project is highly interdisciplinary, and combines skills from Power Systems analysis, control theory and optimization. It will bring together the expertise of the KIOS Center of Excellence, the Fellow and the Secondment institutions in the above areas to extend the state of the art in the control and optimization of TLs. In addition, the Fellow will be using the Power Group facilities at the KIOS CoE to test the developed control algorithms.

The “SmarTher Grid” Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) project was awarded to Dr. Andreas Kasis, a Post-Doctoral researcher at the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence. MSCA Individual Fellowships are prestigious and aim to support the career development, training and skill acquisition of researchers in all scientific disciplines through international and intersectoral mobility. Individual Fellowships provide opportunities to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research and innovation.

As part of the project, the Dr. Kasis will work with Professors Marios Polycarpou and Stelios Timotheou within the KIOS CoE and the University of Cyprus, Professor Claudio de Persis with the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and the Distribution System Operator of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus.

Project webpage:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No 891101 (“SmarTher Grid”).