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Impacts of a medium voltage direct current link on the performance of electrical distribution networks

Qi Qi, Chao Long, Jianzhong Wu and James Yu

Applied Energy, 2018, vol. 230, issue C, 175-188

Abstract: With an increasing number of distributed generators (DGs) integrated into distribution networks, operational problems such as excessive power losses, voltage violations and thermal overloads have occurred. Medium Voltage Direct Current (MVDC) technology represents a candidate solution to address these problems as well as to unlock the capacity of existing electrical network assets. In this paper, the capability of using an MVDC link to improve the performance of a distribution network, i.e. reducing power losses and increasing the hosting capacity for DG connections was investigated. A grid transformer (GT)-based control method was developed, in which the real-time data of the active power flow at GTs was used to specify the set-points of an MVDC link. The control strategies considered multiple objectives, i.e. power loss reduction, feeder load balancing, voltage profile improvement, and trade-off options among them. The response curves of these control strategies were developed through offline studies, where a multi-objective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) method was used. Case studies on a real distribution network were conducted to analyze the impacts of the MVDC link. The performances of the network were evaluated and compared between the proposed control strategies, using real demand and generation profiles. Results revealed that, for an MV distribution network, it might be beneficial to switch between different control strategies with the variations in demand and generation conditions. Results also showed that, regardless of the control strategy used, the MVDC link can significantly increase the network hosting capacity (up to 15%) for DGs, and reduce about 50% of power losses compared to a conventional alternative current (AC) line for the test network.

Keywords: Electrical distribution network; Medium Voltage Direct Current (MVDC) link; Distributed generation; Control strategy; Multi-objective optimization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.08.077

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