Ensuring Distribution Network Integrity Using Dynamic Operating Limits for Prosumers

Kyriacos Petrou, Andreas T. Procopiou, Luis Gutierrez-Lagos, Michael Z. Liu, Luis F. Ochoa, Tom Langstaff, John M. Theunissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The number of residential consumers with solar PV and batteries, aka prosumers, has been increasing in recent years. Incentives now exist for prosumers to operate their batteries in more profitable ways than self-consumption mode. However, this can increase prosumer exports or imports, resulting in power flows that can lead to voltage and thermal limit violations in distribution networks. This work proposes a framework for Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to ensure the integrity of MV-LV networks by using dynamic operating limits for prosumers. Periodically, individual prosumers send their intended operation (net exports/imports) as determined by their local control to the DNO who then assesses network integrity using smart meter data and a power flow engine. If a potential violation is detected, their maximum operating limits are determined based on a three-phase optimal power flow that incorporates network constraints and fairness aspects. A real Australian MV feeder with realistically modelled LV networks and 4,500+ households is studied, where prosumers' local controls operate based on energy prices. Time-series results demonstrate that the proposed framework can help DNOs ensure network integrity and fairness across prosumers. Furthermore, it unlocks larger profitability for prosumers compared with the use the 5kW fixed export limit adopted in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9432974
Pages (from-to)3877-3888
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Battery energy storage systems
  • PV systems
  • distribution networks
  • optimal power flow


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