IIT Guwahati researchers develop optimization-based voltage control approach for active power distribution.
An optimization-based voltage control method for active power distribution networks has been created by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati. This method can enable the coordinated operation of photovolitaic (PV) power generation and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The goal of the study is to increase the usage of solar energy for charging electric vehicles while reducing voltage fluctuation by adopting a coordinated power distribution system.
“Electric vehicles are being increasingly considered the solution to carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The sustainability of EV can be enhanced if the power used to charge these vehicles is also based on renewable energy sources such as solar energy. However, solar energy is intermittent, which leads to voltage fluctuation problems in the power distribution networks. Furthermore, EV charging is uncoordinated at present, which leads to under-voltage of the distribution networks, and associated efficiency loss,” IIT Guwahati researchers said.
“A coordinated control approach for power distribution system is required in order to derive maximum benefits from renewable power generation and electric vehicle power sourcing. PV and EV inverters need to work in coordination with other Voltage Regulating Devices (VRD) to regulate the system voltages,” they added.
Arunima Dutta, a research assistant for Dr. Sanjib Ganguly at the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (EEE), as well as Dr. Chandan Kumar, a colleague, published their findings in the journal Sustainable Energy, Grids and Networks. Highlighting his research, Dr. Ganguly said, “We have developed an optimization-based coordinated voltage control approach of power distribution networks to mitigate the overvoltage and under-voltage problems due to high PV generation and high EV charging, respectively”.
For scheduling EV and other device charging, the research team has created a three-stage model predictive control (MPC) approach. The three processes include (a) coordinating the volt-var devices over two different time scales, (b) receiving the reactive power setpoints from the local controller, and (c) scheduling the charging of EVs in line with a balance between operational costs and customer satisfaction.
“Our three-stage model helps in maintaining bus voltage magnitudes and state-of-charge (SOC) of EV battery within safe limits with minimal usage of control resources and cost of electricity consumption,” said the lead researcher. The strategy created by the IIT Guwahati team also offers a framework for the switch from passive to active power distribution.