A Statistical Approach to Guide Phase Swapping for Data-Scarce Low Voltage Networks

Lurui Fang, Kang Ma, Xinsong Zhang

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Phase swapping, which rebalances the unbalanced three-phase low voltage (LV, 415 V) networks, improves network efficiency by reducing capacity waste and energy losses. A key challenge against phase swapping is that the majority of LV networks are data scarce, i.e., there is a general lack of data in LV networks. In light of this, this paper proposes a new statistical approach to develop phase swapping guidance for data-scarce LV networks with neither time-series network measurements nor customer metering data. First, given a set of data-rich LV networks (with time-series phase currents data collected at LV substations throughout a year), typical load profiles and their weights in each of the three phases are extracted by applying a nonnegative matrix factorization method. Then, phase swapping guidance are developed for data-rich LV networks along with their rebalancing potentials (rebalancing potentials refer to the reduction of phase imbalance degree). Second, a rapid screening model is developed to efficiently identify the data-scarce LV networks with high rebalancing potentials. Phase swapping guidance are then developed for these data-scarce networks with high rebalancing potentials. Case studies reveal that the statistical approach produces effective phase swapping guidance, which reduce the phase imbalance degrees for 99% of the LV networks and the maximum reduction is 35%. Validation results show that the average reduction of the phase imbalance degree for data-scarce networks is only 14.3% less than that for data-rich networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8781915
Pages (from-to)751-761
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020


  • Low voltage
  • phase balancing
  • phase imbalance
  • phase swapping
  • power distribution
  • statistical approach
  • three-phase power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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