Building day-ahead bidding functions for seasonal storage systems: A reinforcement learning approach

Jesus Lago, Ecem Sogancioglu, Gowri Suryanarayana, Fjo De Ridder, Bart De Schutter

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Due to the increasing integration of renewable sources in the electrical grid, electricity generation is expected to become more uncertain. In this context, seasonal thermal energy storage systems (STESSs) are key to shift the delivery of renewable energy sources and tackle their uncertainty problems. In this paper, we propose an optimal controller for STESSs that, using reinforcement learning, builds bidding functions for the day-ahead market. In detail, considering that there is an uncertain energy demand that the STESS has to satisfy, the controller buys energy in the day-ahead market so that the uncertain demand is satisfied while the profits are maximized. Since prices are low during periods of large renewable energy generation (and vice versa), maximizing the profit of a STESS indirectly shifts the delivery of renewable energy to periods of high energy demand while reducing their uncertainty problems. To evaluate the proposed algorithm, we consider a real STESS providing different yearly-demand levels; then, we compare the performance of the controller to the theoretical upper bound, i.e. the optimal cost of buying energy given perfect knowledge of the demand and prices. The results indicate that the proposed controller performs reasonably well: despite the large uncertainty in prices and demand, the proposed controller obtains 70%-50% of the maximum gains given by the theoretical bound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-493
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventIFAC Workshop on Control of Smart Grid and Renewable Energy Systems, CSGRES 2019 - Jeju, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 10 Jun 201912 Jun 2019


  • Bidding Functions
  • Energy Storage
  • Reinforcement Learning
  • Seasonal Storage


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