MPEL Seminar

Communication-Cognizant Hybrid Voltage Control in Distribution Networks

Hao ZhuAssistant ProfessorUniversity of Illinois at Champaign Urbana

Voltage regulation in distribution networks is challenged by increasing penetration of distributed energy resources (DERs). Thanks to advanced power-electronics technologies, these DERs can be leveraged to control the network-level voltage by quickly changing their reactive power outputs. This paper develops a hybrid voltage control (HVC) strategy that can seamlessly integrate both local and distributed control designs to optimally determine the reactive power outputs by DERs. By constructing a special centralized objective for voltage regulation, we propose to adopt the partial primal-dual (PPD) algorithm to develop the proposed HVC design. The resultant control strategy improves existing distributed designs that use only neighborhood information exchanges by integrating it with local voltage feedback. Accordingly, the HVC scheme can dynamically adapt to varying system operating conditions while being fully cognizant to the instantaneous availability of communication links. Interestingly, it also boils down to a surrogate local control design under the worst-case scenario of a total link failure. Extensive numerical tests have been performed to corroborate our analytical results and demonstrate the algorithmic performance on realistic feeder cases.
Hao Zhu is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UIUC. She received a BE degree from Tsinghua University in 2006, and MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota in 2009 and 2012, all in Electrical Engineering. She worked as a postdoc research associate on power grid modeling and validation at the UIUC Information Trust Institute before joining the ECE faculty in 2014. Her current research interests include power grid monitoring, power system operations and control, and energy data analytics. She received the Seed Grant from the Siebel Energy Institute and the US AFRL Summer Faculty Fellowship in 2016, and the 2nd Best Paper Award at the 2016 North American Power Symposium (NAPS). She is currently a member of the steering committee of the IEEE Smart Grid representing the IEEE Signal Processing Society.

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Faculty Host

Johanna Mathieu