Using Mathematica to Model Restructured Electric Power Markets

Explore the effects of deregulation on complex electric power markets.
Use Mathematica to visualize and analyze system data to determine how best to restructure a major electric power market.
Enable strategic decision-making among many market players
Develop scalable, reusable, and consistent models, such as power flow models and economic market models
Quick exploration and interactive analysis of large-scale databases
The Mathematica Edge
Ease of formally defining new data types and their interactions
Notebook format doubles as professional presentation environment
Fully programmable, interactive graphics can be served on the web using Live3D

Amid ever-increasing demand, many people are remembering the electricity crisis in California and taking notice of seasonal electricity shortages in major cities around the world. The restructuring of the electric power industry continues to be an important topic for consumers, investors, policy makers, and the public at large.

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are investigating solutions to this problem to help guide eventual system implementations, and they are relying on Mathematica to do so. In one major power market, Argonne has used Mathematica to model the constraints and effects of proposed electrical deregulation by developing an agent-based simulation model of important parameters of the power grid and the likely effects of deregulation.

Mathematica has allowed them to consider issues including how the power system will fare under electricity deregulation; whether power transmission capacity will be adequate, or if congestion is likely and at what times throughout the year; how to avoid transmission constraints on the power grid that could create regional imbalances between electricity supply and demand; and whether such imbalances could create pockets of market power and potentially drive up locational marginal prices for electricity.


Charles Macal, senior systems engineer and a group leader in Argonne's Decision and Information Sciences Division, says "Mathematica's integrated development environment is instrumental in allowing the complexities of this real-world system-to-be to be fully investigated for the purposes of providing useful information for analysis and decision making."

Argonne turns the results into high-quality interactive graphics that can be easily shared with others over the web using LiveGraphics3D, a Mathematica-based web application.

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