This project, funded jointly by UK EPSRC and China NSFC, investigates the integrated operation and planning of smart distribution networks, addressing two research challenges of immediate interest to network owners and operators as well as to policy makers:

(1) Conventional network operational and planning approaches do not address the emerging opportunities offered by increased measurement and control and do not deal with the inevitable uncertainties of smart distribution networks.

(2) A general understanding of how national or regional electricity distribution infrastructure should be developed and operated using Smart Grid interventions cannot be gained from running conventional power system analysis tools and then manually assessing the results.

In order to address these challenges, work is structured around the following objectives:

(1) Investigate alternative distribution network operation strategies to mitigate network constraints actively, taking into account uncertainties (of load, distributed generation, network topology and Smart Grid interventions). Novel distribution state estimation methods and probabilistic predictive control approaches will be a key component of this work. The application of power electronic equipment (Soft Open Points and electronic-embedded hybrid on-load tap changers) and dynamic pricing schemes to facilitate smart distribution network operation will be emphasized.

(2) Investigate alternative distribution network assessment and planning methodologies that would consider uncertainties in load, distributed generation, network configuration as well as type, extent and pathway of various Smart Grid interventions. A very fast network assessment tool for extensive networks and a fundamentally new distribution network rolling planning tool will be developed which will actively integrate network Operation with Planning.

(3) Investigate multi-time-scale, multi-granularity and multi-system modelling techniques and alternative large-scale distribution system simulation techniques, which will act as a fundamental basis for the investigation of smart distribution network operation and planning.

(4) Investigate novel dynamic pricing models for real time control of flexible demand and generation in smart distribution networks. These techniques will address the conflicts and synergies between energy market and network objectives.


List of CAP people involved

  • Goran Strbac
  • Timothy Green
  • Dimitrios Papadaskalopoulos
  • Mark Collins

List of external people involved

  • Nick Jenkins (Cardiff University)
  • Jianzhong Wu (Cardiff University)
  • Furong Li (University of Bath)
  • Chengshan Wang (Tianjin University)
  • Bin Li (Tianjin University)
  • Peng Li (Tianjin University)
  • Hong Liu (Tianjin University)
  • Tao Xu (Tianjin University)
  • Haozhong Cheng (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • Zechun Hu (Tsinghua University)