Quantifying the effects of medium voltage–low voltage distribution network constraints and distributed energy resource reactive power capabilities on aggregators

Luis Gutierrez-Lagos, Kyriacos Petrou, Luis Fernando Ochoa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Distributed energy resources (DER), such as, photovoltaic systems and batteries, are becoming common among households. Although the main objective is reducing electricity imports (bills), they could also provide system-level services via an aggregator. However, the more DER provide services, the more important is ensuring that the corresponding operation does not result in network issues. To help DER aggregators understand the implications of network constraints, an AC optimal power flow-based methodology is proposed to quantify the effects that three-phase low voltage (LV) and medium voltage (MV) network constraints can have on the volume of services that can be provided for a given horizon, and the potential benefits from using DER reactive power capabilities. Using a convex multi-period formulation that avoids binary variables for batteries and incorporates voltage-dependent load models, the methodology maximizes DER exports (services) for service-related periods and household self-consumption for other periods (reducing bills). Different service periods are assessed to explore the extent of services throughout the day. Results using a realistic UK MV-LV network with 2400+ households, show that aggregator services can be highly overestimated when neglecting MV-LV network constraints, are influenced by voltage-demand load characteristics, and that exploiting DER reactive power capabilities can significantly unlock further services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2019-2032
Number of pages14
JournalIET Generation, Transmission and Distribution
Volume15
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

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