Robustness and Stability Analysis with a Heavily-Meshed Distribution Network
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Power distribution systems continue to evolve to accommodate the advancements in the field of microgrids and renewable energy resources. The future grids will be highly connected and will require increased reliability of the network. To this effect, low-voltage distribution systems with meshed or networked topology can be utilized. Currently, the use of low-voltage heavily-meshed distribution systems is restricted to urban areas with high load density that require increased reliability of power. A reason for this is the high cost of construction of such systems and complex topology which creates additional challenges. The direction of power flow in such systems is not unidirectional, which makes the power flow analysis difficult. Complicated network analysis techniques are required to determine the fault currents and protection settings in the network. Due to the aforementioned reasons, there is limited work analyzing the effectiveness of existing power flow algorithms to solve complex meshed systems. In this thesis, the robustness of two power flow algorithms is compared using an index called static stability breakdown margin parameter of circuit elements. For this study, a low-voltage heavily-meshed distribution test system is also proposed. Additionally, a study is conducted to show how reliable the meshed test system is against any fault in the system. The steady-state voltage stability of the test system is observed during the event of a fault. The stability margin parameter is then used to determine the vulnerable components in the system which need to be strengthened to increase the stability and voltage profile of the system.
General Audience Abstract
Distribution systems carry electricity from the transmission system and deliver it to the customers. Distribution systems mainly operate using two topologies for their feeders: Radial and Meshed. The majority of customers are served using radial distribution systems, as in the radial feeders power flows in one direction (i.e. from substation to the end-user). They are simple in design and operation and are constructed at a moderate cost. However, if there is a fault along the main feeder, there will be an interruption of power to the end-use customer. On the other hand, meshed distribution systems involve multiple paths of power flow between all the points in the network. If a fault occurs along the feeder, the power flow is rerouted to the other available paths. Thus, Heavily Due to their complex topology, meshed systems are expensive to construct and deploy. The power flow analysis of these systems poses many challenges. Because of these reasons, their use is mainly restricted to urban areas with high load density which require very high reliability. The future grid is becoming increasingly complex and evolving to a meshed distribution topology has its own advantages. However, as presently the use of meshed systems is sparse, the work done on evaluating the stability of these systems is minimal. As a result of which, this thesis focuses on determining the optimal power flow solvers for these complex systems, analyzing their stability under abnormal operating conditions, and suggesting methods to reinforce the vulnerabilities in the system.
- Masters Theses