Ciaran Roberts completed his undergraduate degree in Energy Systems Engineering from University College Dublin in 2013 and a Masters in Energy Systems Engineering in 2015. His primary focus of work within this period was the utilization of stochastic calculus and highly granular data to develop a load modeling practice which better captures the volatility in loading profiles at low voltage levels. Ciaran joined the Grid Integration Group, within the Energy Storage and Distributed Division at LBNL, in August 2015 as a Scientific Engineering Associate. His primary area of research centers on the utilization of high frequency measurements device, at both the medium and low voltage level, to better understand the impact of distributed energy resources on the grid and potential mitigation actions to alleviate these impacts.
2017 R&D 100 Award: Estimation of Renewable Energy Generation on the Grid - November 20th 2017
The Distributed Solar Estimation (DiSE) algorithm enables system operators to accurately estimate the electrical generation of customer-owned photovoltaic (PV) resources so they may use that information to operate the grid reliably while reducing ratepayers' costs. These costs are reduced through system operators becoming more informed regarding the behavior of customer-owned PV and consequently allowing them to economically procure resources to mitigate any adverse effects from these stochastic sources of generation. Traditionally, the distribution grid was solely comprised of predictable end users creating relatively predictable demand curves. Power flowed in one direction from a centralized generation plant to the customer in a manner that was well understood. Today, however, the distribution grid's role is evolving as the introduction of customer-owned generation makes it more dynamic. To accommodate that transition and ensure optimal resource management, monitoring and analytics also must evolve. The numerous benefits offered by DiSE help system operators operate the grid reliably without requiring every inverter to communicate its power generation in real time—increasing security and lowering costs. Other proposed solutions require inverters to communicate in real time, and every communication is a point of entry for cyber-attack and an increased burden on the communications backbone.