Project Glossary

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Power TAC project glossary

This is our vocabulary page. It defines terms that have specific meanings within the Power TAC domain.

  • If you see a term you do not understand, and it's not listed here, please add it. If you are unsure of how to define it, just leave the definition blank and request a definition (how do folks request definitions?).
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  • When writing a definition, please capitalize glossary terms.
  • Please keep entries in alphabetical order.
Balancing
Making total production + Imports equal to total consumption + Exports for a Broker's Portfolio within a Timeslot.
Balancing Market
The economic mechanism by which Brokers buy and sell the final increments of power needed to achieve balance in the current timeslot.
Broker
A competing agent that trades in the Wholesale Market and offers Tariffs to Customers.
Customer
A Consumer and possibly a producer of energy who might agree to subscribe to a Tariff from a Broker. Customers are further subdivided into Customer Populations, which represent potentially large numbers of Customers (households, for example) who are similar in interesting ways, and Individual Customers, large energy producers and/or consumers (large office buildings, shopping malls, colleges, industrial facilities, government entities) who have special characteristics and who might engage in a Negotiation process with Brokers in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable Tariff contract (or possibly a bundled set of such contracts).
Distribution
The delivery of electricity to the retail customer's home or business through low voltage distribution lines (typically in the 120 volt to 69,000 volt range) - from the Energy Buyer's Glossary.
Distribution Utility
The regulated electric utility entity that constructs and maintains the distribution wires connecting the transmission grid to the final customer - from the Energy Buyer's Glossary. Within the Power TAC simulation, the Distribution Utility is primarily responsible for the final balancing of the power Distribution system under its control. The process of doing so results in Broker accounts being credited or debited according to their net imbalance in the current Timeslot.
Export
Outgoing transport of power from an individual Broker into the Power TAC distribution zone, which may match another Broker's import, or may flow into the transmission infrastructure. This can happen due to Broker power sales, or through Balancing actions taken by the Distribution Utility.
Import
Incoming transport of power for a Broker from other Brokers or from the transmission infrastructure into the Power TAC distribution zone. This can happen due to Broker power purchases, or through Balancing actions taken by the Distribution Utility.
Market position
The set of current and future Import and Export commitments that have been cleared in the Wholesale Market for a Broker.
Orderbook
The set of unmatched Shouts (bids and asks) remaining after the wholesale market has cleared in a specific timeslot. This list will be broadcast to Brokers, and carried over to the next timeslot to be considered in the next market clearing.
Portfolio
The set of Subscriptions to an individual Broker's Tariff offerings.
Shout
An offer by a Broker to buy (bid) or sell (ask) a specific amount of energy in a specific timeslot on the wholesale market. A Shout may also specify a limit price, which is the minimum selling price or maximum purchase price.
Subscription
A Customer agreement to accept a Tariff from some Broker.
Tariff
A contract to buy and/or sell energy between a Broker and a Customer.
Timeslot
The minimum unit of time accounted for within the Power TAC simulation. In the normal configuration, it represents one hour.
Transmission
An interconnected group of lines and associated equipment for the movement or transfer of electric energy between points of supply and points at which it is transformed for delivery to customers or is delivered to other electric systems - from the Energy Buyer's Glossary.