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End user voltage regulation to ease urban low-voltage distribution congestion

Connor, Gordon and Jones, Catherine E. and Finney, Stephen J. (2014) End user voltage regulation to ease urban low-voltage distribution congestion. IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution, 8 (8). 1453 - 1465. ISSN 1751-8687

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Abstract

Owing to the increasing demand in the urban areas for new technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicles (EVs), greater power capacity in low voltage (LV) distribution networks is becoming increasingly important. This study will investigate how to improve the power capacity through the implementation of point of use voltage regulation (PUVR). PUVR relies on a power electronics converter at each end-user. Most LV network cabling has a voltage limit of 1 kV, PUVR exploits this voltage rating to increase the network capacity. This study will describe and discuss the results from a viability study using data from a utility company, which shows that the capacity in the LV network could be increased by an additional 500 kVA. However, it was also found that PUVR using present off-the-shelf converters is not as cost-effective as replacing the LV network cables. Two power electronics topologies have been investigated in the simulation studies to date: the AC chopper circuit and the back-to-back inverter circuit. These two topologies were compared and the AC chopper was found to be a cheaper, more efficient topology. Therefore the AC chopper is more suitable for this application and may increase the viability of the PUVR.