Enhancing the dispatchability of distribution networks through utility-scale batteries and flexible demand

In this paper, the problem of dispatching the operation of a distribution feeder comprising a set of heterogeneous resources is investigated. The main objective is to track a power trajectory, called the dispatch plan, which is computed the day before the beginning of operation. In this paper, we propose a method to optimally compute the dispatch plan so as to optimize the operation of the feeder while making sure to allocate enough local reserves to absorb deviations of the realizations. Indeed, during real-time operation, due to the stochasticity of part of the resources in the feeder portfolio, tracking errors need to be absorbed in order to track the committed dispatch plan. This is achieved by modulating the power consumption of a utility-scale battery energy storage system and of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system of a commercial controllable building. To this end, a hierarchical controller is designed to coordinate these two controllable entities while requiring a minimal communication infrastructure. Due to the inherent different response times of these systems, the power injection of the electrical battery is controlled at a sub-minute time-scale so as to absorb high-frequency tracking errors and, therefore, deliver the dispatch service. At a slower time-scale, the controllable building is controlled to maintain the state of charge for the electrical battery at a scheduled level by means of a model predictive controller. The model predictive controller is designed in order to account for both comfort and operational constraints of the controllable building, as well as power limits for the electrical storage. The effectiveness of the proposed control framework is demonstrated by means of both an extensive simulation analysis, as well as a set of 12 full day experimental results on the 20 kV distribution feeder in the campus of the Swiss institute of technology in Lausanne, that is comprised of: 1) A set of uncontrollable resources represented by five office buildings (350 kWp) and a roof-top photovoltaic installation (90 kWp), 2) a set of controllable resources, namely, a grid-connected electrical storage (720 kVA–500 kWh), and a fully-occupied multi-zone office building (45 kWp).

Published in:
Energy and Buildings, 172, 125-138
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 Record created 2018-06-20, last modified 2020-10-27

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