Thanks to the rapid deployment of smart grid infrastructure, orchestrating distributed energy
resources (DER) to support the distribution networks is becoming an increasingly plausible concept.
For instance, the set-points of large-scale DER (e.g., wind and solar farms) can be optimised in realtime
(e.g., every few minutes) to mitigate technical violations during constrained periods. Nonetheless,
before such concepts become a reality, their technical feasibility must be fully demonstrated.
This work aims to demonstrate the ability to mitigate voltage and congestion issues in medium
voltage distribution networks through the real-time control of distribution-connected wind farms and onload tap changers. Particularly, an AC Optimal Power Flow (OPF)-based scheme is used to determine
the appropriate control set-points that will prevent technical violations while maximising renewable
energy harvesting. Furthermore, a real-time demonstration platform is created at the Smart Grid Lab of
The University of Melbourne, featuring the RTDS Simulator and a control room-like environment. In this
setup, the OPF-based control scheme is implemented on a PC and interacts with the simulated network
in the RTDS through the DNP3 protocol. A commercial SCADA platform is also used to create a realistic
visualisation experience that resembles a real control network.
The case study considers an UK-style rural distribution network with a high penetration of wind
generation (i.e., wind farms). Simulation results demonstrate that, the orchestration of wind farms in
real-time can effectively mitigate technical violations while ensuring minimum level of active power
curtailment. Such demonstration also highlights that controlling DER using an OPF-based scheme in
real-time is indeed becoming a close reality.
Michael Liu, University of Melbourne