Distributed control of reactive power flow in a radial distribution circuit with high photovoltaic penetration

Konstantin Turitsyn, Petr Šulc, Scott Backhaus, Michael Chertkov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

177 Scopus citations


We show how distributed control of reactive power can serve to regulate voltage and minimize resistive losses in a distribution circuit that includes a significant level of photovoltaic (PV) generation. To demonstrate the technique, we consider a radial distribution circuit with a single branch consisting of sequentially-arranged residential-scale loads that consume both real and reactive power. In parallel, some loads also have PV generation capability. We postulate that the inverters associated with each PV system are also capable of limited reactive power generation or consumption, and we seek to find the optimal dispatch of each inverter's reactive power to both maintain the voltage within an acceptable range and minimize the resistive losses over the entire circuit. We assume the complex impedance of the distribution circuit links and the instantaneous load and PV generation at each load are known. We compare the results of the optimal dispatch with a suboptimal local scheme that does not require any communication. On our model distribution circuit, we illustrate the feasibility of high levels of PV penetration and a significant (20% or higher) reduction in losses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE PES General Meeting, PES 2010
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE PES General Meeting, PES 2010 - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Jul 25 2010Jul 29 2010

Publication series

NameIEEE PES General Meeting, PES 2010


ConferenceIEEE PES General Meeting, PES 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN


  • Distributed generation
  • Feeder line
  • Power flow
  • Voltage control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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