Contractor wanted for Attraqt’em project

We are looking for companies to support our Attraqt’em project in the development of quantum algorithms for optimisation problems in energy system modelling. Participation in the tender process is possible via TED 231618-2024. The submission deadline is 24 May 2024 at 2 pm. We have published the tender documents and specifications on subreport ELViS.

A large number of challenges in the context of the energy transition can be addressed through energy system modelling (ESM). Electricity, gas and heat supplies are simulated and optimised in high temporal and spatial resolution for operational and investment decisions. Solving large-scale optimisation problems (OP) with classic hardware and solver software is increasingly reaching its limits in ESM. For example, a full-resolution optimisation problem for Germany’s high-voltage grid (including sector coupling) can no longer be solved using conventional means with a reasonable amount of computing time. For this reason, the development of quantum algorithms for OP in ESM represents a great opportunity.

Quantum algorithms for general OP are already being actively researched. In the field of ESM, many models are simplified and formulated as linear problems. However, certain research questions can only be addressed with the much more computationally intensive mixed-integer linear OP (MILP). In Attraqt’em we deal with three types of ORs of the ESM for which MILP are of high importance: 1) the Unit Commitment Problem (UCP), where the optimal operation of power plants to meet the energy demand is determined considering technical constraints; 2) the Investment Planning Problem, where the optimal number of power generators or storage units is determined for different scenarios; and 3) the assessment of the resilience of power systems by testing for component failures (“Resilience Analysis”).

Collaboration in the Attraqt’em project

The main objective of the industrial partner in this project is to transform the UCP into a form that can be solved by quantum algorithms. In addition to the known simple translation of the problem into a QUBO problem (Quadratic Unconstrained Bilinear Optimisation), the mapping is to use a hybrid approach (classical/quantical) that makes maximum use of the advantages of both worlds. In addition, the algorithm should be tested by providing a scalable set of test cases and a benchmark with other existing algorithms. In practice, this is a software interface whose main components are hybrid algorithms and the corresponding test cases. This should also contain all the code required to run the algorithm on quantum computers and perform the benchmarking.

The industrial partner is working on hybrid classical-quantum algorithms to solve the Unit Commitment Problem (UCP). This includes a software interface with the hybrid algorithm that can be used to solve the UCP either with a classical computer only or with a combination of classical and quantum computers. In particular, it must be fully documented, contain a CD/CI pipeline and the corresponding coupling to the QC interfaces should be integrated. In addition, the following supplementary material should be provided to evaluate the functionality of the algorithm: Literature review, scalable test cases, evaluation of performance with the test cases, benchmark of performance against classical algorithms and against quantum simulators.

Specifically, this involves, among other things

  • the presentation of a family of scalable test cases for the UCP,
  • the development and documentation of a software interface for the solution of the UCP with hybrid algorithms,
  • the evaluation of the algorithms and the reasoned selection of the algorithm to be analysed and further developed, and
  • the creation of a complete technology transfer plan at the end of the project.

All information can be found in the tender documents including the service description on subreport ELViS.