Two BiSSL Papers Presented at the Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER2023)

Abheek Chatterjee and Luis Rodriguez are presenting their first-authored papers at the annual CSER conference hosted by Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. The conference is centered around “Systems Engineering Toward a Smart and Sustainable World.”

Urban water distribution networks have provided potable water to communities and households worldwide over the last century. Within the last two decades, there has been a rise in complications with water distribution systems meeting demands. Urban water distributions fail to meet demands due to increases in natural and man-made disturbances, population growth, and aging water distribution network structures. These issues have caused urban water distribution system designers and decision-makers to shift their interests from focusing solely on efficiency to designs capable of meeting customer potable water demands under normal operations and during disturbances. Ecology, specifically biological ecosystems, provides system resilience inspiration, taken from their structure and functioning that has survived disturbances over millions of years. The work here investigates mimicking the decentralization of food webs to improve network resilience by incorporating decentralized water storage tanks, using the established Two Loop Network (TLN) as a case study. TLN is an introductory water network provided by the University of Exeter for system engineers and designers to test optimization and exploratory techniques. The case study was selected due to its simplistic design which allowed the authors to understand the effects of decentralizing the network toward improving its ability to handle disruptions. The findings suggest decentralization can improve the water network resilience a minimum of three times as much as the original network’s design. Furthermore, introducing decentralization was also found to increase the system’s ability to meet the demand for all nodes during disruptions, something the original case was unable to accomplish while simultaneously reducing the amount of freshwater consumed during disruptions.

(2023) Rodriguez, L.; A. Chatterjee; A. Layton. “Ecological Decentralization for Improving the Resilient Design of Urban Water Distribution Networks.” 21st Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER). Hoboken, New Jersey, USA.

A microgrid is a localized energy grid that can disengage from the traditional grid and operate independently. Microgrids can be conceptualized as System of Systems: networked integration of constituent systems that together achieve novel capabilities. Improving resilience (the ability to survive and recover from disruptions) and reducing the cost of energy are critical considerations in microgrid design. However, microgrid resilience evaluation techniques require explicit disruption models – information that is not readily available in the early design stages. Therefore, these models cannot inform early-stage design decisions when changes can be made affordably. Recent research has indicated that Ecological Network Analysis is a promising tool for the design of resilient and affordable System of Systems. However, this approach has not yet been tested as a tool for microgrid design. This work provides an adapted Ecological Network Analysis framework that accounts for two unique architectural features of microgrids: (a) energy storage, and (b) integration of different types of energy generation technology. The Ecological Network Analysis based assessment of microgrid architectures is compared against their resilience and cost of energy evaluations using a state-of-the-art tool. The results of the comparison provide support for the use of Ecological Network Analysis as a reliable early-stage decision-support tool for resilient microgrid design.

(2023) Chatterjee, A.; A. Bushagour; A. Layton. “Resilient Microgrid Design Using Ecological Network Analysis.” 21st Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER). Hoboken, New Jersey, USA.

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