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Reducing distributed generator curtailment through active power flow management

Dolan, Michael and Davidson, Euan and Kockar, Ivana and Ault, Graham and McArthur, Stephen (2013) Reducing distributed generator curtailment through active power flow management. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, 5 (1). pp. 149-157. ISSN 1949-3053

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This paper presents an evaluation of the main characteristics of two Power Flow Management (PFM) methodologies against a traditional inter-trip approach typically used by Distribution Network Operators. The two PFM algorithms were developed, by the authors, for real-time operation with an aim to implement them in distribution networks with growing penetrations of renewable DG. The first PFM approach is modelled as a Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP), while the second is based on an Optimal Power Flow (OPF) approach. These PFM algorithms are deployed on real substation hardware to simulate the monitoring and control of MV distribution network power flows through DG real power regulation. Multiple scenarios are presented to the closed-loop PFM test environment to demonstrate the algorithms ability of detecting and alleviating thermal overloads and recognising when the constraint has passed. The main objective of this paper is the quantification of the resultant curtailment levels, for the two approaches, which are compared to that of a traditional inter-trip scheme for the same circuit overload duration. The results demonstrate that taking an active approach to managing power flows can significantly increase the output of DG units in a thermally constrained network.