Controllability and stability of primary frequency control from thermostatic loads with delays

Charalampos Ziras, Evangelos Vrettos, Shi You

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There is an increasing interest in exploiting the flexibility of loads to provide ancillary services to the grid. In this paper we study how response delays and lockout
constraints affect the controllability of an aggregation of refrigerators offering primary frequency control (PFC). First we examine the effect of delays in PFC provision
from an aggregation of refrigerators, using a two-area power system. We propose a framework to systematically address frequency measurement and response delays and we determine safe values for the total delays via simulations. We introduce a controllability index to evaluate PFC provision under lockout constraints of refrigerators compressors. We conduct extensive simulations to study the effects of measurement delay, ramping times, lockout durations and rotational inertia on the controllability of the aggregation and system stability. Finally, we discuss solutions for offering reliable PFC provision from thermostatically controlled loads under lockout constraints and
we propose a supervisory control to enhance the robustness of their controllers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy (Print)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)43–54
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access at The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access at


  • Primary frequency control
  • Stability
  • Controllability
  • Delay
  • Thermostatically controlled loads

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