This paper develops a nonlinear control system for grid frequency stabilization using the setpoint temperature control of a large number of air conditioning loads. The paper’s ultimate goal is to develop a feedback control law for the demand-side energy management of air conditioning loads, relying on grid frequency measurement only. To achieve this goal, we first integrate the dynamics of aggregated thermostatically-controlled air conditioning loads and grid frequency, and then use the Lyapunov theory to derive a robust sliding mode controller for the system. Both theoretical derivations and numerical simulations show that the developed controller is able to stabilize the grid frequency against disturbances such as sudden loss of load or supply, as well as wind power generation. We envision that the proposed control scheme can be used to build a new class of frequency-responsive air conditioning systems with inherent robustness in their collective performance.

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