Advanced distribution network modelling with distributed energy resources

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Title: Advanced distribution network modelling with distributed energy resources
Authors: O'Connell, Alison
Advisor: Keane, Andrew
Flynn, Damian
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Date: 2015
Abstract: The addition of new distributed energy resources, such as electric vehicles, photovoltaics, and storage, to low voltage distribution networks means that these networks will undergo major changes in the future. Traditionally, distribution systems would have been a passive part of the wider power system, delivering electricity to the customer and not needing much control or management. However, the introduction of these new technologies may cause unforeseen issues for distribution networks, due to the fact that they were not considered when the networks were originally designed.This thesis examines different types of technologies that may begin to emerge on distribution systems, as well as the resulting challenges that they may impose. Three-phase models of distribution networks are developed and subsequently utilised as test cases. Various management strategies are devised for the purposes of controlling distributed resources from a distribution network perspective. The aim of the management strategies is to mitigate those issues that distributed resources may cause, while also keeping customers' preferences in mind.A rolling optimisation formulation is proposed as an operational tool which can manage distributed resources, while also accounting for the uncertainties that these resources may present. Network sensitivities for a particular feeder are extracted from a three-phase load flow methodology and incorporated into an optimisation. Electric vehicles are the focus of the work, although the method could be applied to other types of resources. The aim is to minimise the cost of electric vehicle charging over a 24-hour time horizon by controlling the charge rates and timings of the vehicles. The results demonstrate the advantage that controlled EV charging can have over an uncontrolled case, as well as the benefits provided by the rolling formulation and updated inputs in terms of cost and energy delivered to customers.Building upon the rolling optimisation, a three-phase optimal power flow method is developed. The formulation has the capability to provide optimal solutions for distribution system control variables, for a chosen objective function, subject to required constraints. It can, therefore, be utilised for numerous technologies and applications. The three-phase optimal power flow is employed to manage various distributed resources, such as photovoltaics and storage, as well as distribution equipment, including tap changers and switches. The flexibility of the methodology allows it to be applied in both an operational and a planning capacity.The three-phase optimal power flow is employed in an operational planning capacity to determine volt-var curves for distributed photovoltaic inverters. The formulation finds optimal reactive power settings for a number of load and solar scenarios and uses these reactive power points to create volt-var curves. Volt-var curves are determined for 10 PV systems on a test feeder. A universal curve is also determined which is applicable to all inverters. The curves are validated by testing them in a power flow setting over a 24-hour test period. The curves are shown to provide advantages to the feeder in terms of reduction of voltage deviations and unbalance, with the individual curves proving to be more effective. It is also shown that adding a new PV system to the feeder only requires analysis for that system.In order to represent the uncertainties that inherently occur on distribution systems, an information gap decision theory method is also proposed and integrated into the three-phase optimal power flow formulation. This allows for robust network decisions to be made using only an initial prediction for what the uncertain parameter will be. The work determines tap and switch settings for a test network with demand being treated as uncertain. The aim is to keep losses below a predefined acceptable value. The results provide the decision maker with the maximum possible variation in demand for a given acceptable variation in the losses. A validation is performed with the resulting tap and switch settings being implemented, and shows that the control decisions provided by the formulation keep losses below the acceptable value while adhering to the limits imposed by the network.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering  
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Copyright (published version): 2015 the author
Keywords: Distributed energy resourceDistributionModellingOptimisationPower systemUnbalanced
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering Theses

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