Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering


Modern distribution networks are undergoing major changes with the increased uptake of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) units in low voltage (LV) residential distribution networks. These renewable based distributed energy resources (DERs) impose adverse effects which can propagate from LV to medium voltage (MV) and high voltage (HV) levels. Some of the major areas of concern to network operators include reverse power flow, voltage unbalance, voltage rise, increased harmonics, increased potential of islanding, and component and line overloading. These issues create both an operational mitigation requirement and a need for Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) to adjust LV network design procedures.

In Australia DNSPs are bound by strict regulation to provide supply to customers complying with several power quality standards. Australian Standard AS 61000.3.100 requires the voltage at the consumer point of supply to be within +10%, -6% of the 230 V nominal for single phase LV customers. Since residential peak load is typically observed during evening time and power generated from PV during daytime, rooftop PV does little to reduce peak demand. Increased numbers of rooftop PV systems in future LV feeders, combined with increased demand, means DNSPs need to invest in infrastructure to alleviate issues related to overgeneration or overloading and voltage regulation.

Traditionally, voltage regulation devices such as on-load tap changers (OLTCs), regulators and capacitor banks have been sufficient to regulate voltage within mandated limits. Bidirectional power flow that arises as a result of DER in LV limits the ability of these devices, as LV voltage issues cannot be detected or do not propagate further up the network. Compared to HV/MV networks, residential LV networks experience more variable loads, have inherent unbalance due to the overhead 4-wire structure, and lack visibility with respect to operational states.

This thesis aims to contribute new knowledge and understanding to the field of power distribution network voltage regulation. This includes investigation and analysis of different approaches to voltage regulation in power distribution networks in the literature, and to propose new methods and improvements to existing methods. Specifically, this thesis aims to highlight the shortcomings of the current voltage regulation techniques available to DNSPs in LV feeder. The case studies to be provided in this thesis presents 24 h time series simulation to investigate the performance with varying load and PV generation.

FoR codes (2020)

400803 Electrical energy generation (incl. renewables, excl. photovoltaics), 400805 Electrical energy transmission, networks and systems


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.