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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
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Journal Name:
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Page Range / eLocation ID:
2034 to 2046
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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