Utility-Scale Estimation of Additional Reinforcement Cost from 3-Phase Imbalance Considering Thermal Constraints

Kang Ma, Ran Li, Furong Li

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17 Citations (SciVal)
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Widespread three-phase imbalance causes inefficient uses of low voltage (LV) network assets, leading to additional reinforcement costs (ARCs). Previous work that assumed balanced three phases underestimated the reinforcement cost throughout the whole utility by more than 50%. Previous work that quantified the ARCs was limited to individual network components, relying on full sensory data. This paper proposes a novel methodology that will scale the ARC estimation at a utility level, when the data concerning the imbalance of circuits or transformers are scarce. A novel statistical method is developed to estimate the volume of assets that need to be invested by identifying the relationship between the triangular distribution of circuit imbalance and that of circuit utilization. When there are more data available in future, accurate probability distributions can be constructed to reflect the network condition across the whole system. In light of this, two novel generalized ARC estimation formulas are developed that account for generic probability distributions. The developed methodology is applied to a real utility system in the UK, showing that: 1) three-phase imbalance leads to ARCs that are even greater than the reinforcement costs in the balanced case; 2) a 1% increase in the demand growth rate, the maximum degree of imbalance (DIB) and the maximum nominal utilization rate leads to over 10%, approximately 1% and 2% increases in the ARCs, respectively; and 3) the ARC is not sensitive to the minimum DIB values and the minimum nominal utilization rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3912 - 3923
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number5
Early online date13 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


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