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The application of volt/var optimisation on South African distribution power networks.

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Electric power utilities can achieve cost savings by maximizing energy delivery efficiency and optimizing peak demand. Technical losses are influenced by both network impedances and currents. Power flow through distribution components are composed of active and reactive components. The reactive power does no real work, but contributes to the overall technical losses. By the appropriate placement and operation of reactive power compensation devices, reactive power flows could either be eliminated or significantly minimized, thus, inherently reducing technical losses. This research investigation presents a method for reactive power compensation of medium voltage radial networks as a cost-effective approach to achieve loss minimization and voltage regulation improvement. The study addresses the optimal placement of distributed shunt capacitors along distribution feeders. A mathematical formulation is developed to show that there is a specific location for a given size of capacitor bank that produces the maximum power loss reduction for a given load distribution on a network. In the Eskom distribution system, for those networks that are voltage constrained, the application of capacitors will also consider raising voltages to statutory requirements, however at the expense of the power loss reduction capability. The method developed maximizes both voltage and power loss reduction. Switching and control strategies are developed to meet these objectives throughout a day cycle. The methodology was tested on an Eskom distribution medium voltage network by power system simulation. Results obtained of improvements in voltage regulation and feeder losses are presented and discussed. The application of shunt compensation and the associated feeder voltage regulation improvement is an enabler for Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) that can be applied for demand reduction during peak times. Control strategies for CVR are presented, to cater for an integrated Volt/VAr solution for distribution networks. Furthermore, an assessment of CVR potential within Eskom Distribution networks is presented. This research forms the inception for a series of studies aimed at incorporating Volt/VAr optimization within Eskom Distribution networks.


Master of Science in Engineering. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2016.


Theses - Electrical Engineering.