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