Distribution Network Tools

The Distribution Network Tools functions can be used to analyse and improve the key aspects of a distribution network. The range of tools begins with the determination of the optimal tie open point according to the minimisation of losses or reliability indices, whilst observing network constraints. It continues with the optimisation of the voltage profile, with the objective to be prepared for a growing number of distributed energy resources or a growing number of loads within the LV network through estimation of the optimal tap position of the distribution transformers. For unbalanced network conditions, the phase balance optimisation helps to find an optimal balance for the load and generation units between the three phases.

The package also includes a tool for optimising capacitor placement and a hosting capacity tool for evaluating the maximum distributed energy resources and/or spare load capacity of the network.

Tie Open Point Optimisation

  • Optimisation of tie open point positions subject to loss minimisation, ­improvement of system reliability, or minimisation of switching actions
  • Support of balanced/unbalanced systems
  • Branch and boundary flow limits, absolute voltage, and voltage drop/rise constraints
  • Enhanced reporting features and graphical visualisation, including ­automatic identification of tie open points
  • Various methodologies, such as mesh exploration heuristic, ­genetic algorithms, and simulated annealing

Voltage Profile Optimisation

  • Verification and optimisation mode
  • Voltage profile optimisation for bi-directional power flows in systems with a high level of distributed generation
  • Determination of optimal distribution transformer tap positions for production and consumption cases (simultaneous or independent)
  • Combined consideration of MV and LV feeder voltage profiles with enhanced plotting features

Phase Balance Optimisation

  • Automatic reconnection of loads, generators, and/or branch elements in order to achieve minimal power unbalance
  • Minimisation of unbalance at feeding point or average unbalance in feeder
  • High flexibility to also allow for partial reconfiguration
  • Capturing of results via Variations for convenient toggling of original and optimised phase connections
  • Various methodologies, such as standard heuristics, genetic algorithms, and simulated annealing

Optimal Equipment Placement

  • Determination of optimal locations and sizes of new storage units and voltage regulators
  • Economic assessment to minimise the overall costs including costs for installation, operation and maintenance
  • Optimisation of existing storage units, voltage regulators and transformers
  • User-definable time periods and resolutions
  • Consideration of thermal and voltage limits, as well as equipment-specific constraints
  • Automated generation of optimal time characteristics for power dispatch of storage units and tap positions of voltage regulators
  • Numerous reporting facilities and result visualisations
  • For standard size optimisation problems: ships with built-in solver
  • For solving large-scale problems: integrated interface to external solvers such as CPLEX and GUROBI1

1CPLEX and GUROBI licences to be purchased separately

Optimal Capacitor Placement

  • Determination of optimal locations, types, phase technology and sizes of capacitors
  • Economic assessment considering costs of losses against installation costs under predefined voltage constraints
  • Support of load variation via characteristics

Hosting Capacity Analysis

  • Evaluation of the maximum distributed energy resources (DER) and/or spare load capacity of a network
  • Consideration of thermal, voltage, protection1 and power quality limits2
  • Graphical visualisation of maximum, minimum and average capacity of the system
  • Tabular reports of the maximum capacities and limiting components for feeders and terminals
  • Parallel computing using multiple processor cores

1Requires Protection Function licence
2Requires Power Quality and Harmonics Analysis licence

Outage Planning

The Outage Planning module is part of the Transmission and Distribution Network Tools.