Skip to main content

Distributed Control in Electric Power Systems: Methods and Applications

Gabriela Hug


Traditionally, electric power is generated in bulk power plants and transmitted over a power grid with limited control capabilities to supply inflexible loads. With the trend moving towards more distributed generation and storage resources, flexible demand and increased power flow control capabilities, the number of control variables in the system increases significantly. For the coordination of the settings of these control variables, a more distributed control architecture may become more suitable than the traditional centralized approach. Hence, in this talk, two approaches to achieve distributed coordination will be discussed: an approach which is based on decomposition theory and an approach which uses a consensus algorithm. In both approaches, the goal is to converge towards the overall optimal solution with limited information exchange. Discussed applications include the distributed coordination of power flow control devices and a distributed economic dispatch.


Gabriela Hug is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and her PhD degree in Electric Power Systems from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich in 2004 and 2008, respectively. In addition, she received a diploma in higher education teaching from the same institution in 2007. From 2008 – 2009, she was with the Special Studies Group of Hydro One, Toronto, Canada. She joined Carnegie Mellon University in July 2009. She is the Co-Director of the Electric Energy Systems Group and a Thrust Leader of the SRC Smart Grid Research Center. Dr. Hug is the recipient of the ETH medal and the ETG Innovation Award for her M.Sc. thesis and the ABB research award for her PhD thesis. She also received the Wimmer Faculty Grant awarded by the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University for the development of a new undergraduate course. Most recently, she received the NSF CAREER award. Her research focuses on optimization and control in electric power systems, the integration of intermittent renewable generation, power flow control and the application of predictive control and decomposition theory in the electric power system.

Gabriela Hug Headshot
Gabriela Hug
Carnegie Mellon University
EEB 105
26 Feb 2013, 10:30am until 11:30am