Electric transmission networks are commonly operated by using advanced automation systems, and this increases their reliability. The automation systems have become more frequently used and cheaper, and electricity operators have started deploying them in distribution networks. These technologies are usually referred to as “active network management” (ANM) systems. Among them, it is common to find transformers with on-load tap changers, distributed generators (either renewable or conventional) and soft open points. Apart from their independent operation, these technologies can be optimally coordinated to maximise their impact (e.g., minimise the energy not-supplied to customers). One of the main drawbacks of ANM is linked with the uncertainty about their actual impact and economic benefits produced, since this calculation depends on detailed operational procedures, renewable generation profiles and probability of electrical faults.
Electrical Systems Unit of IMDEA Energy has developed an algorithm* that allows a precise evaluation of the impact of ANM technologies on electrical distribution systems. To do so, several details are used, such as the network topology, generation and demand profiles, as well as the manner how these elements are coordinated. Thanks to the application of this algorithm, the actual impact of different combinations of technologies can be evaluated. Therefore, this new tool allows the selection of most adequate technologies for any specific grid configuration.
(*) Alberto Escalera, Milan Prodanović, Edgardo D. Castronuovo, Javier Roldan-Perez, “Contribution of active management technologies to the reliability of power distribution networks”, Applied Energy, Volume 267, pp. 114919, 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.114919
More information: Milan Prodanovic, Senior Researcher & Head of Electrical Systems Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Left) Example of an electrical distribution system, with different active network management technologies. (Right) Diagram of the algorithm developed to calculate the impact of the different technologies.
Main results obtained by using the proposed algorithm. (Left) Energy non served, in MWh/year, for different configurations of ANM technologies. (Right) Energy non served as a function of the penetration level of distributed generators.