GECN: Primary Voltage Control for Active Distribution Networks via Real-Time Demand-Response

Demand Response (DR) has traditionally targeted peak shaving for the optimal allocation of the electricity consumption on a time scale that ranges from minutes to hours. However, with the availability of advanced monitoring and communication infrastructure, the potential of real-time DR for providing ancillary services to the grid has not yet been adequately explored. In this work, we propose a low-overhead decentralized DR control mechanism, henceforth called Grid Explicit Congestion Notification (GECN), intended for deployment by Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to provide ancillary services to the grid by a seamless control of a large population of elastic appliances. Contrary to classic DR approaches, the proposed scheme aims to continuously support the grid needs in terms of voltage control by broadcasting low-bit rate control signals on a fast time scale (i.e., every few seconds). Overall, the proposed DR mechanism is designed to (i) indirectly reveal storage capabilities of end-customers and (ii) have a negligible impact on the end-customer. In order to estimate the benefits of the proposed mechanism, the evaluation of the algorithm is carried out by using the IEEE 13 nodes test feeder in combination with realistic load profiles mixed with non-controllable demand and non-dispatchable generation from photovoltaic distributed generation.

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