Identification of Virtual Battery Models for Flexible Loads

Justin T. Hughes, Alejandro D. Domínguez-García, Kameshwar Poolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing prevalence of technologies such as advanced metering and controls and continuously variable power electronic devices are enabling a radical shift in the way frequency regulation is performed in the bulk power system. This is a welcome development in light of the increase of unpredictable and variable generation. The idea of active participation of loads in frequency markets is not new, but the rapidly changing landscape of the power grid requires new techniques for successful integration of new types of resources; this paper works towards that end. Previously, it has been shown that residential HVAC systems can be aggregated and used to provide frequency regulation by utilizing their thermal energy capacity and flexibility of energy consumption. The virtual battery model - a first-order linear dynamical model - was analytically shown to be an accurate and simple model to capture the flexibility of residential HVAC systems. This paper presents a technique for creating the same battery-type models for many other types of systems, which can be much more complex. Our technique is based on stress testing detailed software models of physical systems. A realistic case study involving the terminal building of a small airport is presented as evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7377129
Pages (from-to)4660-4669
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • Energy management
  • batteries
  • cooling
  • energy storage
  • heating
  • load management
  • temperature control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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