skip to main content

Title: Hierarchical, Grid-Aware, and Economically Optimal Coordination of Distributed Energy Resources in Realistic Distribution Systems
Renewable portfolio standards are targeting high levels of variable solar photovoltaics (PV) in electric distribution systems, which makes reliability more challenging to maintain for distribution system operators (DSOs). Distributed energy resources (DERs), including smart, connected appliances and PV inverters, represent responsive grid resources that can provide flexibility to support the DSO in actively managing their networks to facilitate reliability under extreme levels of solar PV. This flexibility can also be used to optimize system operations with respect to economic signals from wholesale energy and ancillary service markets. Here, we present a novel hierarchical scheme that actively controls behind-the-meter DERs to reliably manage each unbalanced distribution feeder and exploits the available flexibility to ensure reliable operation and economically optimizes the entire distribution network. Each layer of the scheme employs advanced optimization methods at different timescales to ensure that the system operates within both grid and device limits. The hierarchy is validated in a large-scale realistic simulation based on data from the industry. Simulation results show that coordination of flexibility improves both system reliability and economics, and enables greater penetration of solar PV. Discussion is also provided on the practical viability of the required communications and controls to implement the presented scheme within a large DSO.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Power grids are evolving at an unprecedented pace due to the rapid growth of distributed energy resources (DER) in communities. These resources are very different from traditional power sources as they are located closer to loads and thus can significantly reduce transmission losses and carbon emissions. However, their intermittent and variable nature often results in spikes in the overall demand on distribution system operators (DSO). To manage these challenges, there has been a surge of interest in building decentralized control schemes, where a pool of DERs combined with energy storage devices can exchange energy locally to smooth fluctuations in net demand. Building a decentralized market for transactive microgrids is challenging because even though a decentralized system provides resilience, it also must satisfy requirements like privacy, efficiency, safety, and security, which are often in conflict with each other. As such, existing implementations of decentralized markets often focus on resilience and safety but compromise on privacy. In this paper, we describe our platform, called TRANSAX, which enables participants to trade in an energy futures market, which improves efficiency by finding feasible matches for energy trades, enabling DSOs to plan their energy needs better. TRANSAX provides privacy to participants by anonymizing their trading activity using a distributed mixing service, while also enforcing constraints that limit trading activity based on safety requirements, such as keeping planned energy flow below line capacity. We show that TRANSAX can satisfy the seemingly conflicting requirements of efficiency, safety, and privacy. We also provide an analysis of how much trading efficiency is lost. Trading efficiency is improved through the problem formulation which accounts for temporal flexibility, and system efficiency is improved using a hybrid-solver architecture. Finally, we describe a testbed to run experiments and demonstrate its performance using simulation results. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    The interconnection of distributed energy resources (DERs) in microgrids (MGs) operating in both islanded and grid-connected modes require coordinated control strategies. DERs are interfaced with voltage source inverters (VSIs) enabling interconnection. This paper proposes a load demand sharing scheme for the parallel operation of VSIs in an islanded voltage source inverter-based microgrid (VSI-MG). The ride-through capability of a heavily loaded VSI-MG, where some of the VSIs are fully loaded due to the occurrence of an event is investigated. In developing analytical equations to model the VSI, the concept of virtual synchronous machines (VSM) is applied to enable the VSI mimic the inertia effect of synchronous machines. A power frame transformation (PFT) that takes the line ratios of the MG network into account is also incorporated to yield satisfactory transient responses of both network frequency and bus voltages in the MG network. A Jacobian-based method is then developed to take into account the operational capacity of each VSI in the VSI-MG. The resulting amendable droop control constrains the VSIs within their power capabilities when an event occurs. Simulation results presented within demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed procedure which has great potential to facilitate efforts in maintaining system reliability and resiliency. 
    more » « less
  3. With the advent of remarkable development of solar power panel and inverter technology and focus on reducing greenhouse emissions, there is increased migration from fossil fuels to carbon-free energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, and geothermal). A new paradigm called Transactive Energy (TE) [3] has emerged that utilizes economic and control techniques to effectively manage Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). Another goal of TE is to improve grid reliability and efficiency. However, to evaluate various TE approaches, a comprehensive simulation tool is needed that is easy to use and capable of simulating the power-grid along with various grid operational scenarios that occur in the transactive energy paradigm. In this research, we present a web-based design and simulation platform (called a design studio) targeted toward evaluation of power-grid distribution system and transactive energy approaches [1]. The design studio allows to edit and visualize existing power-grid models graphically, create new power-grid network models, simulate those networks, and inject various scenario-specific perturbations to evaluate specific configurations of transactive energy simulations. The design studio provides (i) a novel Domain-Specific Modeling Language (DSML) using the Web-based Generic Modeling Environment (WebGME [4]) for the graphical modeling of power-grid, cyber-physical attacks, and TE scenarios, and (ii) a reusable cloud-hosted simulation backend using the Gridlab-D power-grid distribution system simulation tool [2]. 
    more » « less
  4. The growing integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) in distribution grids raises various reliability issues due to DER's uncertain and complex behaviors. With large-scale DER penetration in distribution grids, traditional outage detection methods, which rely on customers report and smart meters' “last gasp” signals, will have poor performance, because renewable generators and storage and the mesh structure in urban distribution grids can continue supplying power after line outages. To address these challenges, we propose a data-driven outage monitoring approach based on the stochastic time series analysis with a theoretical guarantee. Specifically, we prove via power flow analysis that dependency of time-series voltage measurements exhibits significant statistical changes after line outages. This makes the theory on optimal change-point detection suitable to identify line outages. However, existing change point detection methods require post-outage voltage distribution, which are unknown in distribution systems. Therefore, we design a maximum likelihood estimator to directly learn distribution pa-rameters from voltage data. We prove the estimated parameters-based detection also achieves optimal performance, making it extremely useful for fast distribution grid outage identifications. Furthermore, since smart meters have been widely installed in distribution grids and advanced infrastructure (e.g., PMU) has not widely been available, our approach only requires voltage magnitude for quick outage identification. Simulation results show highly accurate outage identification in eight distribution grids with 17 configurations with and without DERs using smart meter data. 
    more » « less
  5. Cyberattacks targeted to the energy cyber-physical system (ECPS), also known as the smart grid, could interrupt the electricity supply with major ramifications. Attackers identify and exploit any vulnerable portion of the energy power grid, including the inverters with solar-powered photovoltaic (PV) panels. PV presents unique challenges as electricity consumers have also become providers of solar energy for utilities. As mandates require increased PV penetration across the world for positive environmental impacts, increased cyberattacks targeted at PV systems impact reliability and efficiency within the ECPS. The new technologies continuously being introduced to manage the ECPS and ensure bi-directional communications and energy flow between components also lead to more attack surfaces, system vulnerabilities, and heightened malicious attacks. Data integrity attacks are increasing within PV systems. In this paper, we present a survey of different methods that are proposed and explored for identifying and preventing cyberattacks targeted at PV systems. The attack detection methods include voltage control, data diodes, and voltage measurement algorithms. Furthermore, we present blockchain, cyber switching, and other attack mitigation techniques for PV systems. 
    more » « less