Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Graduate Exam Abstract

Turki Alaqeel
Ph.D. Final
May 05, 2017, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Engineering- C101B ECE Conference Room
Abstract: The electricity infrastructure in
Saudi Arabia is facing several
challenges represented by
demand growth, high peak
demand, high level of
government subsidies, and
system losses. This dissertation
aims at addressing these
challenges and proposing a
multi-dimensional framework to
modernize the electricity
infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
The framework proposes four
different scenarios—identified
by two dimensions—for the
future electric grid. The first and
second dimensions are
characterized by electricity
market deregulation and Smart
Grid technologies (SGTs)
penetration, respectively. The
framework analysis estimates
global welfare (GW) and
economic feasibility for each
The first dimension quantifies
the impact of deregulating the
electricity market in Saudi
Arabia. A non-linear
programming (NLP) algorithm
optimizes consumers surplus,
producers surplus, and GW.
The model indicates that
deregulating the electricity
market in Saudi Arabia will
improve market efficiency.
The second dimension
proposes that allowing the
penetration of SGTs in the
Saudi electricity infrastructure is
expected to mitigate the
technical challenges faced by
the grid. The dissertation
examines the priorities of
technologies for penetration by
considering some key
performance indicators (KPIs)
identified by the Saudi National
Transformation Program, and
Saudi 2030 Vision. A multi-
criteria decision making
(MCDM) algorithm—using the
fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy
Process (AHP)—evaluates the
prioritization of SGTs to the
Saudi grid. The algorithm
demonstrates the use of
triangular fuzzy numbers to
model uncertainty in planning
decisions. The results show that
advanced metering
infrastructure (AMI)
technologies are the top priority
for modernizing the Saudi
electricity infrastructure; this is
followed by advanced assets
management (AAM)
technologies, advanced
transmission operations (ATO)
technologies, and advanced
distribution operations (ADO)
SGTs prioritization is followed
by a detailed cost benefit
analysis (CBA) conducted for
each technology. The
framework analysis aims at
computing the economic
feasibility of SGTs and
estimating their outcomes and
impacts in monetary values.
The framework maps Smart
Grid assets to their functions
and benefits to estimate the
feasibility of each Smart Grid
technology and infrastructure.
Discounted cash flow (DCF) and
net present value (NPV) models,
benefit/cost ratio, and minimum
total cost are included in the
analysis. The results show that
AAM technologies are the most
profitable technologies of Smart
Grid to the Saudi electricity
infrastructure, followed by ADO
technologies, ATO
technologies, and AMI
technologies. Considering the
weights resulting from the fuzzy
AHP and the economic analysis
models for each infrastructure,
the overall ranking places AAM
technologies as the top priority
of SGTs to the Saudi electricity
infrastructure, followed by AMI
technologies, ADO
technologies, and ATO
This dissertation has
contributed to the existing body
of knowledge in the following
• Proposing an econometric
framework for electricity
infrastructure modernization.
The framework takes into
account technical, economic,
environmental, societal, and
policy factors.
• Building an NLP algorithm
to optimize a counterfactual
deregulation of a regulated
electricity market. The algorithm
comprises short run price
elasticity of electricity demand
(), level of technical efficiency
improvement, and discount rate
• Proposing an MCDM
model using AHP and fuzzy set
theory to prioritize SGTs to
electricity infrastructures.
• Adapting a Smart Grid
asset-function-benefit linkage
model that maps SGTs to their
respected benefits.
• Conducting detailed CBA
to estimate the economic
feasibility of SGTs to the Saudi
electricity infrastructure,
This work opens avenues for
more analysis on electricity
infrastructure modernization.
Measuring risk impact and
likelihood is one area for future
research. In fact, risk
assessment is an important
factor in determining the
economic feasibility of the
modernization. Another area for
future research is the integration
of both dimensions into one
model in which GW resulted
from market deregulation and
SGTs insertion are summed.
Adviser: Prof. Siddharth Suryanarayanan
Co-Adviser: N/A
Non-ECE Member: Prof. Jennifer Coats, Department of Finance and Real Estate
Member 3: Prof. George J. Collins, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Addional Members: Prof. Anthony A. Maciejewski, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
[1] T. Alaqeel and S. Suryanarayanan, " A Comprehensive Cost-benefit Economic Analysis of the Penetration of Smart Grid Technologies in the Saudi Arabian Electricity Infrastructure," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, (Under Review)
[2] T. Alaqeel and S. Suryanarayanan, "A Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process Algorithm to Prioritize Smart Grid Technologies for the Saudi Electricity Infrastructure," Journal of Sustainable Energy, Grids and Networks, (Under Review)
[3] T. Alaqeel, S. Almohaimeed, and S. Suryanarayanan, " A review on the impact of air conditioning motor stalling on voltage recovery in the Saudi electric grid," in North American Power Symposium (NAPS), Morgantown, WV, 2017, (Under Review)
[4] T. Alaqeel and S. Suryanarayanan, "A decision analysis framework using analytic hierarchy process for the modernization of the Saudi electricity infrastructure," presented at the Energy Policy Research Conference (EPRC), Santa Fe, NM, 2016.

[5] T. Alaqeel and S. Suryanarayanan, "Ex ante cost-benefit analysis for optimal deregulation of electricity markets," in IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting, Boston, MA, 2016.

[6] T. Alaqeel and S. Suryanarayanan, "Examining some prospect scenarios for the electricity grid infrastructure modernization in Saudi Arabia," in North American Power Symposium (NAPS), Pullman, WA, 2014, pp. 1-6.
Program of Study:
ECE 501
ECE 508
ECE 509
ECE 461
ECE 565
ECE 566
ECE 623
PSY 792A