Configurable, Coordinated, Model-based Control in Electrical Distribution Systems

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Virginia Tech


Utilities have been planning, building, and operating electrical distribution systems in much the same way for decades with great success. The electrical distribution system in the United States has been consistently reliable; an impressive feat considering its amazing complexity. However, in recent years, the electrical distribution system landscape has started to undergo drastic changes. Emerging applications of technologies such as distributed generation, communications, and power electronics offer both opportunities and challenges to power system operators as well as customers and developers.

In this work, Graph Trace Analysis along with an integrated system model are used to develop algorithms and analysis methods necessary to facilitate the implementation of these new technologies on the electrical distribution system. A penetration limit analysis is developed to analyze the impact of distributed generation on radial distribution feeders. The analysis considers generation location, equipment rating, voltage violations, and flicker to determine the amount of generation that can be safely attached to a circuit.

A real-time, hierarchical, model-based control method is developed that coordinates the operation of all control devices on electrical distribution circuits. The controller automatically compensates for changes in circuit topology as well as the addition or removal of control devices from the active circuit. Additionally, the controller allows the integration of modern, "smart" equipment with legacy control devices to facilitate incremental modernization strategies.

Finally, a framework is developed to allow the testing of new analysis and control methodologies for electrical distribution systems. The framework can be used to test scenarios over multiple consecutive hourly or sub-hourly time points. The framework is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model-based controller versus existing operating methods for a distribution circuit test case.



power systems, Control, distribution, model-based