Skip to Main Content

Can Buildings Swarm?

Peer-to-Peer Communication for Improved Demand Response


Friday, January 18
Noon – 1:00 PM
RUCH 103

Demand Response, the process of modifying customer behavior to improve grid performance, is becoming an increasingly popular and powerful tool for grid operators to avoid high peak demand and to improve the integration of renewable resources. However, with increased use of demand response comes increased risk from unintended synchronization of customer loads and increased vulnerability to cyber attack.  In this talk, we explore decentralized control and aggregation of residential air conditioners using lessons learned from the study of biological swarms and multi-robot systems.  We will show how these tools can lead to a new framework which can enhance the behavior of a large number of coordinated loads and can lead to an inherently more robust approach to demand-side management.

Dr. John Gardner

Dr. John Gardner is a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Boise State and directs the energy efficiency activities at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies.  John just returned from a 6-month stint at the Universities of Melbourne and Auckland where he continued his research in modeling and control of energy systems for the smart grid.  He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed research publications, 2 textbooks and is co-inventor on 3 US Patents.  John is a registered professional engineer in the state of Idaho and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Watch the Video