OPF-Based CVR Operation in PV-Rich MV-LV Distribution Networks

Luis Gutierrez-Lagos, Luis F. Ochoa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Conservation voltage reduction (CVR) has been traditionally applied adopting moderate settings at primary substations and when distributed generation was uncommon. However, as new infrastructure is deployed across European-style medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) networks, driven by increasing photovoltaic (PV) penetration levels, the opportunity arises to develop more advanced CVR schemes. This paper proposes a centralized, three-phase AC optimal power flow (OPF)-based CVR scheme that, using monitoring, on-load tap changers and capacitors across MV and LV, actively manages voltages to minimize energy consumption, even with high PV penetration, while considering MV-LV constraints. To tackle scalability issues brought by discrete variables, a two-stage approach is proposed to solve the OPF as a non-linear programming problem (relaxing integer variables). A process that continuously checks customer voltages is adopted to trigger the optimization only when needed. Moreover, CVR benefits are not only quantified at a network level but also for customers, providing useful insights to policy makers. The proposed control is assessed using a realistic, unbalanced U.K. residential MV-LV network (2,400+ customers) with high PV penetration, and 1-min resolution time-varying profiles and load models. Results demonstrate that the proposed control effectively coordinates voltage regulation in MV and LV levels throughout the day, minimizing energy imports for all customers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8624465
Pages (from-to)2778-2789
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Conservation voltage reduction (CVR)
  • distribution networks
  • on-load tap changers (OLTC)
  • optimal power flow (OPF)
  • photovoltaic (PV) systems


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