The subject of my thesis is the development of a power plant investment simulation game called SimPowerSystem. The game was developed by students of electrical engineering and information technology. The main idea is that players compete one another while building various power plants, and then trade with the power they produce. The game comprises a set number of rounds, each with a set period of time. Players make investments and submit their offers within this timeframe. The player who produces the greatest profit is the winner. I am going to make references to the thesis of Ádám Gyalay-Korpos, a student of electrical engineering, who described the process of the game in more thorough details.
The objective of my thesis was to examine the possible prospects for developing the game; areas and improvements which could be integrated. I was not aiming at writing a code, but my goal was to test it, to explore the theoretical background of the ideas, and to test them. It is important to mention that last semester I was working on the development of this game as part of my project laboratory course. At that time I was working together with Gábor Drahos, my classmate. I included parts of our findings in my present thesis – longer parts from the chapters that I wrote, and two shorter summaries based on the chapters written by my colleague.
In the course of my work I focused on the following topics and tried to prepare a plan to realize them in the game: high voltage direct current electric power transmission, smart grid systems, prospects of energy storage, and the building of a new type of power plant, biomass. Another important part of my work was to incorporate the consumers, examine the process of making and accepting offers. In connection with these, I was dealing with profiles of production and consumption, minimalizing their differences, along with the balancing energy needed for the elimination of the differences. My aim was to choose topics of current significance, which could be decisive in the fields of electric power market and industry. These developments are becoming widespread in leading industrial countries nowadays, and are likely to have a lasting impact on the world’s energy market. Obviously, it was not possible for me to do a thorough research in all of these areas, as this would have been beyond the framework of such a thesis. My goal was to give a brief overview of each topic, and to introduce their most decisive characteristics. At the end of each chapter I presented a few ideas on how these innovations could be utilized in the game. Wherever it was possible, I provided specific figures or data, however, such opportunities were scarce, as the game itself is not necessarily best played with real-life conditions. In order to find the optimum, longer testing period would have been required, so I tried to come up with guidelines – figures are yet to be established, as the game is continuously being tested.