Graduation assignments Various topics

Improving the Robustness of Urban Electricity Networks

1. EVALUATING THE SOCIETAL IMPACT OF DISRUPTIONS OF ENERGY SUPPLY

(http://scs.ewi.utwente.nl/teaching/tp_master/205/)

Type :    Master Thesis
Duration :            June 2015 until unknown
Supervisors :      Dr. A. Vasenev (Alexandr), Dr. A.L. Montoya (Lorena)

In the smart city of tomorrow, energy generation and consumption will differ significantly from what we know today. Much energy demand (heating, cooling, and electricity) will be supplied by decentralized renewable energy and most of the new buildings will be able to produce and even store energy.

The decentralized energy system will depend on a large scale complex ICT system to control energy demand and supply. This system is known as smart grid. In the future, smart grids would be vulnerable to faults in the ICT and grid components, especially from malicious attacks. However, smart grids will also possess advanced flexibility to mitigate single-point-of-failure aspects.

This project will conduct analysis on dependencies between infrastructures (ICT, grid, water supply, etc.) with the aim to evaluate the societal impact of disruptions of energy supply. Cascading effects on the depending critical infrastructures will be analyzed.

The output of this analysis will advance our understanding how city stakeholders (particularly grid distribution system operators, energy suppliers/aggregators, ICT operators, city planners, critical infrastructure operators, building owners) can collaborate to ensure robustness of urban electricity networks.

2. IDENTIFICATION OF POSSIBLE THREATS TO THE FUNCTIONING OF SMART GRIDS

(http://scs.ewi.utwente.nl/teaching/tp_master/206/)

Type :    Master Thesis
Duration :            June 2015 until unknown
Supervisors :      Dr. A. Vasenev (Alexandr), Dr. A.L. Montoya (Lorena)

In the coming years cities will become smarter. Energy generation and consumption will differ significantly from what we know today. Energy distribution system operators both existing and new, will be enabled to balance demand and supply by using smart grid technology. At the same time, with introduction of new ICT solutions, smart grids can become more vulnerable to malicious attacks on grid components.

This project will concentrate on identification of possible threats (including cyber-attacks and natural disasters) that can negatively impact normal functioning of smart grids. The output of the project will form an attack threat databases that can be used to support risk assessment activities in smart grids. For this purpose, the project will include an in-depth review of literature on modus operandi in general and attacker motivation in particular. Also, the research will consider methods to combine expert knowledge when data is either not available or unfeasible to collect given time or financial constraints.

3. REVIEWING STATE-OF-THE ART IN GAMING SIMULATIONS AND STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOPS

(http://scs.ewi.utwente.nl/teaching/tp_master/207/)

Type :    Master Thesis
Duration :            June 2015 until unknown
Supervisors :      Dr. A. Vasenev (Alexandr), Dr. A.L. Montoya (Lorena)

Future energy generation and consumption landscape will significantly differ from its current state. Equipped with smart grid technologies, energy distribution system operators will be able to balance demand and supply more effectively. In particular, wider adoption of distributed energy generation will provide additional possibilities to mitigate negative outcomes of possible power outages.

In case of power outages, city administrators, distribution network operators, and large energy consumers need to ensure the uninterrupted operation of critical infrastructures. These actors should balance supply and demand in socially and economically compatible manner. Plausible strategies to mitigate power outrages can be evaluated (in terms of practicability, efficiency, and impact) during specialized workshops that involve serious games. Serious games  are particularly useful in this case because they aim at fostering awareness and decision competencies in complex decision situations involving incomplete information and multiple stakeholders.

This project will concentrate on reviewing state-of-the art in gaming simulations and stakeholder workshops, with particular emphasis on the evaluation of infrastructure supply decision-making. The output of this research project will provide insights how stakeholder workshops can be arranged to evaluate decision-making related to ensuring functionality of critical infrastructures in case of power outages.