skip to main content


Title: Integration of Centralized and Distributed Methods to Mitigate Voltage Unbalance Using Solar Inverters
Growing penetrations of single-phase distributed generation such as rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can increase voltage unbalance in distribution grids. However, PV systems are also capable of providing reactive power compensation to reduce unbalance. In this paper, we compare two methods to mitigate voltage unbalance with solar PV inverters: a centralized optimization-based method utilizing a three-phase optimal power flow formulation and a distributed approach based on Steinmetz design. While the Steinmetz-based method is computationally simple and does not require extensive communication or full network data, it generally leads to less unbalance improvement and more voltage constraint violations than the optimization-based method. In order to improve the performance of the Steinmetz-based method without adding the full complexity of the optimization-based method, we propose an integrated method that incorporates design parameters computed from the set-points generated by the optimization-based method into the Steinmetz-based method. We test and compare all methods on a large three-phase distribution feeder with time-varying load and PV data. The simulation results indicate trade-offs between the methods in terms of computation time, voltage unbalance reduction, and constraint violations. We find that the integrated method can provide a good balance between performance and information/communication requirements.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1845093
NSF-PAR ID:
10486292
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
IEEE
Date Published:
Journal Name:
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Volume:
14
Issue:
3
ISSN:
1949-3053
Page Range / eLocation ID:
2034 to 2046
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. With the proliferation of distributed energy resources (DERs) in the distribution grid, it is a challenge to effectively control a large number of DERs resilient to the communication and security disruptions, as well as to provide the online grid services, such as voltage regulation and virtual power plant (VPP) dispatch. To this end, a hybrid feedback-based optimization algorithm along with deep learning forecasting technique is proposed to specifically address the cyber-related issues. The online decentralized feedback-based DER optimization control requires timely, accurate voltage measurement from the grid. However, in practice such information may not be received by the control center or even be corrupted. Therefore, the long short-term memory (LSTM) deep learning algorithm is employed to forecast delayed/missed/attacked messages with high accuracy. The IEEE 37-node feeder with high penetration of PV systems is used to validate the efficiency of the proposed hybrid algorithm. The results show that 1) the LSTM-forecasted lost voltage can effectively improve the performance of the DER control algorithm in the practical cyber-physical architecture; and 2) the LSTM forecasting strategy outperforms other strategies of using previous message and skipping dual parameter update. 
    more » « less
  2. The widespread use of distributed energy sources (DERs) raises significant challenges for power system design, planning, and operation, leading to wide adaptation of tools on hosting capacity analysis (HCA). Traditional HCA methods conduct extensive power flow analysis. Due to the computation burden, these time-consuming methods fail to provide online hosting capacity (HC) in large distribution systems. To solve the problem, we first propose a deep learning-based problem formulation for HCA, which conducts offline training and determines HC in real time. The used learning model, long short-term memory (LSTM), implements historical time-series data to capture periodical patterns in distribution systems. However, directly applying LSTMs suffers from low accuracy due to the lack of consideration on spatial information, where location information like feeder topology is critical in nodal HCA. Therefore, we modify the forget gate function to dual forget gates, to capture the spatial correlation within the grid. Such a design turns the LSTM into the Spatial-Temporal LSTM (ST-LSTM). Moreover, as voltage violations are the most vital constraints in HCA, we design a voltage sensitivity gate to increase accuracy further. The results of LSTMs and ST-LSTMs on feeders, such as IEEE 34-, 123-bus feeders, and utility feeders, validate our designs. 
    more » « less
  3. Learning a dynamical system requires stabilizing the unknown dynamics to avoid state blow-ups. However, the standard reinforcement learning (RL) methods lack formal stabilization guarantees, which limits their applicability for the control of real-world dynamical systems. We propose a novel policy optimization method that adopts Krasovskii's family of Lyapunov functions as a stability constraint. We show that solving this stability-constrained optimization problem using a primal-dual approach recovers a stabilizing policy for the underlying system even under modeling error. Combining this method with model learning, we propose a model-based RL framework with formal stability guarantees, Krasovskii-Constrained Reinforcement Learning (KCRL). We theoretically study KCRL with kernel-based feature representation in model learning and provide a sample complexity guarantee to learn a stabilizing controller for the underlying system. Further, we empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of KCRL in learning stabilizing policies in online voltage control of a distributed power system. We show that KCRL stabilizes the system under various real-world solar and electricity demand profiles, whereas standard RL methods often fail to stabilize. 
    more » « less
  4. Voltage control in modern electric power distribution systems has become challenging due to the increasing penetration of distributed energy resources (DER). The current state-of-the-art voltage control is based on static/pre-determined DER volt-var curves. Static volt-var curves do not provide sufficient flexibility to address the temporal and spatial aspects of the voltage control problem in a power system with a large number of DER. This paper presents a simple, scalable, and robust distributed optimization framework (DOF) for optimizing voltage control. The proposed framework allows for data-driven distributed voltage optimization in a power distribution system. This method enhances voltage control by optimizing volt-var curve parameters of inverters in a distributed manner based on a cellular computational network (CCN) representation of the power distribution system. The cellular optimization approach enables the system-wide optimization. The cells to be optimized may be prioritized and two methods namely, graph and impact-based methods, are studied. The impact-based method requires extra initial computational efforts but thereafter provides better computational throughput than the graph-based method. The DOF is illustrated on a modified standard distribution test case with several DERs. The results from the test case demonstrate that the DOF based volt-var optimization results in consistently better performance than the state-of-the-art volt-var control. 
    more » « less
  5. Recent advances in machine learning enable wider applications of prediction models in cyber-physical systems. Smart grids are increasingly using distributed sensor settings for distributed sensor fusion and information processing. Load forecasting systems use these sensors to predict future loads to incorporate into dynamic pricing of power and grid maintenance. However, these inference predictors are highly complex and thus vulnerable to adversarial attacks. Moreover, the adversarial attacks are synthetic norm-bounded modifications to a limited number of sensors that can greatly affect the accuracy of the overall predictor. It can be much cheaper and effective to incorporate elements of security and resilience at the earliest stages of design. In this paper, we demonstrate how to analyze the security and resilience of learning-based prediction models in power distribution networks by utilizing a domain-specific deep-learning and testing framework. This framework is developed using DeepForge and enables rapid design and analysis of attack scenarios against distributed smart meters in a power distribution network. It runs the attack simulations in the cloud backend. In addition to the predictor model, we have integrated an anomaly detector to detect adversarial attacks targeting the predictor. We formulate the stealthy adversarial attacks as an optimization problem to maximize prediction loss while minimizing the required perturbations. Under the worst-case setting, where the attacker has full knowledge of both the predictor and the detector, an iterative attack method has been developed to solve for the adversarial perturbation. We demonstrate the framework capabilities using a GridLAB-D based power distribution network model and show how stealthy adversarial attacks can affect smart grid prediction systems even with a partial control of network. 
    more » « less