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Model behavior: Using distribution models to deliver smart grid volt/var control

Power distribution organizations are under pressure to become more efficient and manage increasing peak demand. As the cost of adding incremental capacity to networks has risen, organizations have had to evaluate new operational strategies to reach these goals. Distribution volt/var control, while not a new topic, is experiencing a resurgence in the industry, due to technology advances that have increased its effectiveness. Volt/var control includes conservation voltage reduction, where the system demand is reduced by controlled voltage reduction at customer load points. This can typically reduce demand by 2 to 4 percent. System loss reduction can also be minimized by the optimal operation of reactive compensation equipment. Operational strategies can be optimized by using a dynamic operating model in the distribution management system (DMS) that reflects the current state of the network. In this way, model-based volt/var optimization always takes into account, for instance, outages and system reconfigurations. With the commercialization of model-based volt/var optimization, distribution organizations are now able to achieve significant performance benefits such as reductions in demand, real power losses and operating costs.

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