From Passive to Active Electric Distribution Networks
Abstract: Large penetration of distributed generation from variable renewable energy sources, increased consumption flexibility on the demand side and the electrification of transportation pose great challenges to existing and future electric distribution networks. This thesis studies the roles of several actors involved in electric distribution systems through electricity consumption data analysis and simulation models. Results show that real-time electricity pricing adoption in the residential sector offers economic benefits for end consumers. This occurs even without the adoption of demand-side management strategies, while real-time pricing also brings new opportunities for increasing consumption flexibility. This flexibility will play a critical role in the electrification of transportation, where scheduled charging will be required to allow large penetration of EVs without compromising the network's reliability and to minimize upgrades on the existing grid. All these issues add significant complexity to the existing infrastructure and conventional passive components are no longer sufficient to guarantee safe and reliable network operation. Active distribution networks are therefore required, and consequently robust and flexible modelling and simulation computational tools are needed for their optimal design and control. The modelling approach presented in this thesis offers a viable solution by using an equation-based object-oriented language that allows developing open source network component models that can be shared and used unambiguously across different simulation environments.
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