TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring smart grid and data center interactions for electric power load balancing

AU - Wang, Hao

AU - Huang, Jianwei

AU - Lin, Xiaojun

AU - Mohsenian-Rad, Hamed

PY - 2014/1

Y1 - 2014/1

N2 - The operation of a data center consumes a tremendous amount of electricity, and the energy cost accounts for a large portion of the data center's operation cost. This leads to a growing interest towards reducing the energy cost of data centers. One approach advocated in recent studies is to distribute the computation workload among multiple geographically dispersed data centers by exploiting the electricity price differences. However, the impact of load redistributions on the power grid is not well understood yet. This paper takes the first step towards tackling this important issue, by studying how the power grid can take advantage of the data center's load distribution proactively for the purpose of power load balancing. We model the interactions between power grid and data centers as a two-stage problem, where the power grid operator aims to balance the electric power load in the first stage, and the data centers seek to minimize their total energy cost in the second stage. We show that this two-stage problem is a bilevel program with an indefinite quadratic objective function, which cannot be solved efficiently using standard convex optimization algorithms. Therefore, we reformulate this bilevel optimization problem as a linear program with additional finite complementarity slackness conditions, and propose a branch and bound algorithm to attain the globally optimal solution. The simulation results demonstrate that our proposed scheme can improve the load balancing performance by around 12% in terms of the electric load index and reduce the energy cost of data centers by 46% on average.

AB - The operation of a data center consumes a tremendous amount of electricity, and the energy cost accounts for a large portion of the data center's operation cost. This leads to a growing interest towards reducing the energy cost of data centers. One approach advocated in recent studies is to distribute the computation workload among multiple geographically dispersed data centers by exploiting the electricity price differences. However, the impact of load redistributions on the power grid is not well understood yet. This paper takes the first step towards tackling this important issue, by studying how the power grid can take advantage of the data center's load distribution proactively for the purpose of power load balancing. We model the interactions between power grid and data centers as a two-stage problem, where the power grid operator aims to balance the electric power load in the first stage, and the data centers seek to minimize their total energy cost in the second stage. We show that this two-stage problem is a bilevel program with an indefinite quadratic objective function, which cannot be solved efficiently using standard convex optimization algorithms. Therefore, we reformulate this bilevel optimization problem as a linear program with additional finite complementarity slackness conditions, and propose a branch and bound algorithm to attain the globally optimal solution. The simulation results demonstrate that our proposed scheme can improve the load balancing performance by around 12% in terms of the electric load index and reduce the energy cost of data centers by 46% on average.

KW - Data center

KW - Dynamic pricing

KW - Load balancing

KW - Smart grid

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84900857244&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1145/2567529.2567556

DO - 10.1145/2567529.2567556

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84900857244

VL - 41

SP - 89

EP - 94

JO - Performance Evaluation Review

JF - Performance Evaluation Review

SN - 0163-5999

IS - 3

ER -