Integrating an Ensemble Reward System into an Off-Policy Reinforcement Learning Algorithm for the Economic Dispatch of Small Modular Reactor-Based Energy Systems




Arvanitidis, Athanasios Ioannis
Alamaniotis, Miltiadis

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Nuclear Integrated Energy Systems (NIES) have emerged as a comprehensive solution for navigating the changing energy landscape. They combine nuclear power plants with renewable energy sources, storage systems, and smart grid technologies to optimize energy production, distribution, and consumption across sectors, improving efficiency, reliability, and sustainability while addressing challenges associated with variability. The integration of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in NIES offers significant benefits over traditional nuclear facilities, although transferring involves overcoming legal and operational barriers, particularly in economic dispatch. This study proposes a novel off-policy Reinforcement Learning (RL) approach with an ensemble reward system to optimize economic dispatch for nuclear-powered generation companies equipped with an SMR, demonstrating superior accuracy and efficiency when compared to conventional methods and emphasizing RL’s potential to improve NIES profitability and sustainability. Finally, the research attempts to demonstrate the viability of implementing the proposed integrated RL approach in spot energy markets to maximize profits for nuclear-driven generation companies, establishing NIES’ profitability over competitors that rely on fossil fuel-based generation units to meet baseload requirements.




Energies 17 (9): 2056 (2024)


Electrical and Computer Engineering