The widespread use of distributed generation (DG), which is installed in medium-voltage distribution networks, impacts the future development of modern electrical systems that must evolve towards smart grids. A fundamental topic for smart grids is automatic distributed voltage control (ADVC). The voltage is now regulated at the MV busbar acting on the on-load tap changer of the HV/MV transformer. This method does not guarantee the correct voltage value in the network nodes when the distributed generators deliver their power. In contrast, the ADVC allows control of the voltage acting on a single generator; therefore, a better voltage profile can be obtained. In this paper, an approach based on sensitivity theory is shown to control the node voltages regulating the reactive power injected by the generators. After the theoretical analysis, a numerical example is presented to validate the theory. The proposed voltage regulation method has been developed in collaboration with Enel Distribuzione S.p.A. (the major Italian DSO), and it will be applied in the Smart Grids POI-P3 pilot project, which is financed by the Italian Economic Development Ministry. Before the real field application in the pilot project, a real-time digital simulation has been used to validate the algorithm presented. Moving in this direction, Enel Distribuzione S.p.A. built a new test center in Milan equipped with a real-time digital simulator (from RTDS Technologies).
M. Brenna et al., "Automatic Distributed Voltage Control Algorithm in Smart Grids Applications," in IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 877-885, June 2013.
KEYWORDS: Distributed generation, reactive power injection, renewable energy, sensitivity theory, smart grids, voltage regulation.