Johannes Börner

M.Sc. Johannes Börner

Distributed, resilient power control

+49 (0) 6151 16-21713
fax +49 (0) 6151 16-21712

S3|10 305
Landgraf-Georg-Str. 4
64283 Darmstadt

Research Interest

General interests:

  • Resiliency of distributed systems
  • Distributed nonlinear control schemes
  • Resiliency metrics
  • Electrical grid vulnerabilities

With the increasing deployment of renewable energy sources (RES) in modern electrical grids new challenges for a reliable and stable operation arise. Modern electrical grids as cyber physical systems can face threats like hardware and communication failures alike. While hardware failures probably cause cascading failures further damaging infrastructure and thus may prevent a long range transport of energy, communication failures may destabilize electrical grids preventing a technical necessary or economic beneficial distribution. Especially malicious attacks may even try to exploit a concerted failure in the physical as well as the communications system.

We aim to develop control schemes which are able to increase both the robustness and the ability for recovery of distributed systems while operating as economic optimal as possible. By employing controller networks we hope to ensure a safe and reliable grid operation with reduced vulnerabilities.

Open theses

Supervisor: Johannes Börner
Earliest start: immediately
Type: Master Theses

Internship and Master thesis with Siemens Technology in Munich

The internship position is in a research group on Autonomous Systems and Control with Siemens Technology in Munich. We are an interdisciplinary group of, among others, electrical engineers, physicists and mathematicians working on control topics with various fields of applications.

The goal of the internship is to work with fast and systematic decision strategies that stabilize a power system after a critical contincency. Today’s power systems are typically configured for N-1 security, which ensures that the failure of one component does not impact the security of supply of the entire system. In such manageable cases, contingency strategies exist to bring the system back into normal operation. However, when improbable events with large impact occur, e.g., due to a natural catastrophe or a malicious attack, contingency strategies do not exist, and the system is threatened by a blackout. You will focus on methods that support transmission system operators by suggesting systematic and fast actions to stabilize a power system after a critical contingency and thus avoid a complete blackout.

You will elaborate on modeling power systems as hybrid systems with discrete variables describing, for instance, the settings of phase-shifting transformers, opening breakers, fast load-shedding etc. First, it will suffice to model the power system through (linear) power flow equations and focus on selected decision strategies like load shedding. Later, you will incorporate more modeling details and consider a broader range of possible decision strategies.

After the internship, the work could be continued in greater depth within the scope of a master thesis.  The following three aspects could be examined in more detail therein.

  1. Consider more detailed, practically relevant, modeling approaches of the power flow, generation and other power system elements.
  2. Extend existing methods to a broader range of possible countermeasures, for example, adapting setpoints of conventional and phase-shifting transformers, or the setpoints for inverter-based generation.
  3. Analyze and adapt the developed methods for large power systems including several hundreds or thousands of busses.

Your qualifications:

  • You are an excellent student in Electrical Engineering, Physics or a related field.
  • You have good knowledge of optimization or static modeling of power systems.
  • You are experienced in Python, MATLAB or other programming languages.
  • You are fluent in English or German.

More facts about the internship:

  • The duration is according to your university’s guidelines regarding mandatory internships.
  • The application should include a current CV and a transcript of records.
  • The internship and thesis can be done remotely

Short Bio

  • Since 2017: PHD student at EINS TU Darmstadt

  • Since 2017: Teacher for control engineering at DHBW Mannheim

  • 2015-2017: Assistant Researcher at “Institut für Automatisierungs- und Regleungstechnik” at the University of the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich

  • 2012-2015: Service as a signal corps officer in the German army.

    • Military Assistant Researcher at the University of the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich

    • Second in command of 5th/ Signal Battalion of Division for Special Operations

  • 2008-2012: B.Sc. and M.Sc. Electrical and Informations Engineering at University of the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich

  • 2005-2012: Training and service as signal corps officer in the German army


On the Resilience of Secondary Frequency Control

Johannes Börner ; Florian Steinke :
On the Resilience of Secondary Frequency Control.
In: ETG-Kongress 2019 - Das Gesamtsystem im Fokus der Energiewende, Esslingen am Neckar, Germany, 08.-09.Mai 2019,
[Conference Contribution] [TUDBiblio][BibTeX], (2019)

Nonlinear consensus for improved resilience of distributed secondary frequency control

Johannes Börner ; Simon Scheurich ; Florian Steinke :
Nonlinear consensus for improved resilience of distributed secondary frequency control.
In: 2019 IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe (ISGT-Europe), Bucharest, Romania, 29 Sept.-02 Oct. 2019,
DOI: 10.1109/ISGTEurope.2019.8905501,
[Conference Contribution] [TUDBiblio][BibTeX], (2019)

Distributed Secondary Frequency Control via Price Consensus

Johannes Börner ; Florian Steinke :
Distributed Secondary Frequency Control via Price Consensus.
In: 8th IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 21.-25.Oct. 2018,
DOI: 10.1109/ISGTEurope.2018.8571893,
[Conference Contribution] [TUDBiblio][BibTeX], (2018)