DistFlow ODE: Modeling, analyzing and controlling long distribution feeder

Danhua Wang, Konstantin Turitsyn, Michael Chertkov

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We consider a linear feeder connecting multiple distributed loads and generators to the sub-station. Voltage is controlled directly at the sub-station, however, voltage down the line shifts up or down, in particular depending on if the feeder operates in the power export regime or power import regime. Starting from this finite element description of the feeder, assuming that the consumption/generation is distributed heterogeneously along the feeder, and following the asymptotic homogenization approach, we derive simple low-parametric ODE model of the feeder. We also explain how the homogeneous ODE modeling is generalized to account for other distributed effects, e.g. for inverter based and voltage dependent control of reactive power. The resulting system of the DistFlow-ODEs, relating homogenized voltage to flows of real and reactive power along the lines, admits computationally efficient analysis in terms of the minimal number of the feeder line 'media' parameters, such as the ratio of the inductance-to-resistance densities. Exploring the space of the media and control parameters allows us to test and juxtapose different measures of the system performance, in particular expressed in terms of the voltage drop along the feeder, power import/export from the feeder line as the whole, power losses within the feeder, and critical (with respect to possible voltage collapse) length of the feeder. Our most surprising funding relates to performance of a feeder rich on PhotoVoltaic (PV) systems during a sunny day. We observe that if the feeder is sufficiently long the DistFlow-ODEs may have multiple stable solutions. The multiplicity may mean troubles for successful recovery of the feeder after a very short, few periods long, fault at the head of the line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6426054
Pages (from-to)5613-5618
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event51st IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2012 - Maui, HI, United States
Duration: Dec 10 2012Dec 13 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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