Doctor of Philosophy
School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering
Modern distribution systems, especially with the presence of distributed generation (DG) and distribution automation are evolving as smart distribution systems. Distribution management systems (DMSs) with communication infrastructure and associated software and hardware developments are integral parts of the smart distribution systems. With such advancement in distribution systems, distribution system voltage and reactive power control are dominant by Volt/VAr (voltage and reactive power) optimisation and utilisation of DG for system Volt/VAr support. It is to be noted that the respective controls and optimisation formulations are typically adopted from primary, secondary and tertiary voltage and reactive power controls at upstream system level. However, the characteristics of modern distribution systems embedded with high penetration of DG are different from transmission systems and the former distribution systems with uni-directional power flow. Also, coordinated control of multiple Volt/VAr support DG units with other voltage control devices such as on-load tap changer (OLTC), line voltage regulators (VRs) and capacitor banks (CBs) is one of the challenging tasks. It is mainly because reverse power flow, caused predominantly by DG units, can influence the operation of conventional voltage control devices. Some of the adverse effects include control interactions, operational conflicts, voltage drop and rise cases at different buses in a network, and oscillatory transients. This research project aimed to carry out in-depth study on coordinated voltage control in modern MV distribution systems utilising DG for system Volt/VAr support.
In the initial phase of the research project, an in-depth literature review is conducted and the specific research gaps are identified. The design considerations of the proposed coordinated voltage control, which also uses the concept of virtual time delay, are identified through comprehensive investigations. It emphasises on examining and analysing both steady-state and dynamic phenomena associated with the control interactions among multiple Volt/VAr support DG units and voltage control devices. It would be essential for ensuring effective coordinated voltage control in modern distribution systems. In this thesis, the interactions among multiple DG units and voltage control devices are identified using their simultaneous and non-simultaneous responses for voltage control through time domain simulations. For this task, an analytical technique is proposed and small signal modelling studies have also been conducted. The proposed methodology could be beneficial to distribution network planners and operators to ensure seamless network operation from voltage control perspective with increasing penetration of DG units. Notably, it has been found that the significant interactions among multiple DG units and voltage control devices are possible under conventional standalone, rule-based, and analytics based control strategies as well as with real-time optimal control under certain system conditions.
In the second phase of the research project, the proposed coordinated voltage control strategy is elaborated. The control design considerations are fundamentally based on eliminating the adverse effects, which can distinctly be caused by the simultaneous and non-simultaneous responses of multiple Volt/VAr support DG units and voltage control devices. First, the concept of virtual time delay is applied for dynamically managing the control variables of Volt/VAr support DG units and voltage control devices through the proposed control parameter tuning algorithm. Because it has been found that the conventional time-graded operation cannot eliminate the adverse effects of DG-voltage control device interactions under certain system conditions. Secondly, the distinct control strategies are designed and tested for effectively and efficiently coordinating the operation of multiple Volt/VAr support DG units and voltage control devices in real-time. The test results have demonstrated that the proposed coordinated voltage control strategy for modern MV distribution systems can effectively be implemented in real-time using advanced substation centred DMS. The proposed coordinated voltage control strategy presented in this thesis may trigger paradigm shift in the context of voltage control in smart distribution systems.
In the final phase of the research project, short-term and/or long-term oscillations which can be possible for a MV distribution system operation embedded with Volt/VAr support DG are discussed. Typically, the short-term oscillations are occurred due to interactions among different DG units and their controllers (i.e., inter-unit electro-mechanical oscillations in synchronous machine based DG units) while the long-term oscillations occurred due to DG-voltage control device interactions. Also, sustained oscillations may occur due to tap changer limit cycle phenomenon. The concept of alert-state voltage control is introduced for mitigating the sustained oscillations subjected to OLTC limit cycles in the presence of high penetration of DG. The investigative studies in this thesis further emphasise the requirements of supplementary control and other mitigating strategies for damping the oscillations in modern active MV distribution systems. The proposed research will pave the way for managing increasing penetration of DG units, with different types, technologies and operational modes, from distribution system voltage control perspective.
Rallage, Dothinka Ranamuka, Coordinated Voltage Control in Modern Distribution Systems, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering, University of Wollongong, 2017. https://ro.uow.edu.au/theses1/142
Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.