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Title: Upgrading plan for conventional distribution networks considering virtual microgrid systems
Author: Xu, Xiaotong
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 2443
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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It is widely agreed that the integration of distributed generators (DGs) to power systems is an inevitable trend, which can help to solve many issues in conventional power systems, such as environmental pollution and load demand increasing. According to the study of European Liaison on Electricity grid Committed Towards long-term Research Activities (ELECTRA), in the future, the control center of power systems might transfer from transmission networks to distribution networks since most of DGs will be integrated to distribution networks. However, the infrastructure of conventional distribution networks (CDNs) has not enough capabilities to face challenges from DG integration. Therefore, it is necessary to make a long-term planning to construct smart distribution networks (SDNs). Although many planning strategies are already proposed for constructing SDNs, most of them are passive methods which are based on traditional control and operating mechanisms. In this thesis, an active planning framework for upgrading CDNs to SDNs is introduced by considering both current infrastructure of CDNs and future requirements of SDNs. Since conventional centralised control methods have limited capabilities to deal with huge amount of information and manage flexible structure of SDNs, virtual microgrids (VMs) are designed as basic units to realise decentralised control in this framework. Based on the idea of cyber-physical-socioeconomic system (CPSS), the structure and interaction of cyber system layer, physical system layer as well as socioeconomic system layer are considered in this framework to improve the performance of electrical networks. Since physical system layer is the most fundamental and important part in the active planning framework, and it affects the function of the other two layers, a two-phase strategy to construct the physical system layer is proposed. In the two-phase strategy, phase 1 is to partition CDNs and determine VM boundaries, and phase 2 is to determine DG allocation based on the partitioning results obtained in phase 1. In phase 1, a partitioning method considering structural characteristics of electrical networks rather than operating states is proposed. Considering specific characteristics of electrical networks, electrical coupling strength (ECS) is defined to describe electrical connection among buses. Based on the modularity in complex network theories, electrical modularity is defined to judge the performance of partitioning results. The effectiveness of this method is tested in three popular distribution networks. The partitioning method can detect VM boundaries and partitioning results are in accord with structural characteristics of distribution networks. Based on the partitioning results obtained in phase 1, phase 2 is to optimise DG allocation in electrical networks. A bi-level optimisation method is proposed, including an outer optimisation and an inner optimisation. The outer optimisation focus on long-term planning goals to realise autonomy of VMs while the inner optimisation focus on improving the ability of active energy management. Both genetic algorithm and probabilistic optimal power flow are applied to determine the type, size, location and number of DGs. The feasibility of this method is verified by applying it to PG&E 69-bus distribution network. The operation of SDNs with VMs is a very important topic since the integration of DGs will lead to bidirectional power flow and fault current variation in networks. Considering the similarity between microgrids and VMs, a hybrid control and protection scheme for microgrids is introduced, and its effectiveness is tested through Power Systems Computer Aided Design (PSCAD) simulation. Although more research is needed because SDNs are more complicated than microgrids, the hybrid scheme has great potential to be applied to VMs.
Supervisor: Lu, Shaofeng ; Xue, Fei ; Jiang, Lin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral