Assessment of highly distributed power systems using an integrated simulation approach

G.M. Burt, I.M. Elders, S.J. Galloway, N.J. Kelly, R.M. Tumilty

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Abstract

In a highly distributed power system (HDPS), micro renewable and low carbon technologies would make a significant contribution to the electricity supply. Further, controllable devices such as micro combined heat and power (CHP) could be used to assist in maintaining stability in addition to simply providing heat and power to dwellings. To analyse the behaviour of such a system requires the modelling of both the electrical distribution system and the coupled microgeneration devices in a realistic context. In this paper a pragmatic approach to HDPS modelling is presented: microgeneration devices are simulated using a building simulation tool to generate time-varying power output profiles, which are then replicated and processed statistically so that they can be used as boundary conditions for a load flow simulation; this is used to explore security issues such as under and over voltage, branch thermal overloading, and reverse power flow. Simulations of a section of real network are presented, featuring different penetrations of micro-renewables and micro-CHP within the ranges that are believed to be realistically possible by 2050. This analysis indicates that well-designed suburban networks are likely to be able to accommodate such levels of domestic-scale generation without problems emerging such as overloads or degradation to the quality of supply.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-668
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy
Volume222
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008

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Keywords

  • highly distributed power systems
  • simulation
  • load flow
  • thermal systems modelling

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