Principal Investigator: Dr. Yue Zhao
Photovoltaic (PV) generation has been extensively deployed in the modern distribution systems. However, high penetration of PV generation also brings about severe challenges to the grid operations. Among all the challenges, voltage violation is the most critical, since the current voltage regulation schemes are designed to manage on-way power flow and cannot easily accommodate the fast changing dynamics in the distribution grids. In addition, the existing grid infrastructures are ill-equipped to gain real-time visibility of distributed PV generations, since the data acquisition and monitoring systems typically do not extend beyond substations and/or distribution feeders and are not designed to handle real-time processing of large volumes of data. To address these issues, a coordinated optimal voltage regulation (COVoR) framework is proposed to enable high penetration of PV generations.
To accomplish this goal, three specific objectives are expected to be achieved. Firstly, we envision a self-sensing network enabled by the sensing and communication capabilities of smart inverters. Based on these measurements, a scalable and optimal scheme will be developed to partition the distribution grid into dynamic voltage regulation (VR) zones. Secondly, we will develop an advanced multi-agent system based cooperative control method for reactive power sharing among PV inverts within a local VR zone. Thirdly, we will fully exploit and upswing the advanced grid supportive capabilities of smart inverters by using model predictive control.