A probabilistic cost to benefit assessment of a next generation electric power distribution system

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This thesis provides a cost to benefit assessment of the proposed next generation distribution system, the Future Renewable Electric Energy Distribution Management (FREEDM) system. In this thesis, a probabilistic study

This thesis provides a cost to benefit assessment of the proposed next generation distribution system, the Future Renewable Electric Energy Distribution Management (FREEDM) system. In this thesis, a probabilistic study is conducted to determine the payback period for an investment made in the FREEDM distribution system. The stochastic study will help in performing a detailed analysis in estimating the probability density function and statistics associated with the payback period.

This thesis also identifies several parameters associated with the FREEDM system, which are used in the cost benefit study to evaluate the investment and several direct and indirect benefits. Different topologies are selected to represent the FREEDM test bed. Considering the cost of high speed fault isolation devices, the topology design is selected based on the minimum number of fault isolation devices constrained by enhanced reliability. A case study is also performed to assess the economic impact of energy storage devices in the solid state transformers so that the fault isolation devices may be replaced by conventional circuit breakers.

A reliability study is conducted on the FREEDM distribution system to examine the customer centric reliability index, System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI). It is observed that the SAIFI was close to 0.125 for the FREEDM distribution system. In addition, a comparison study is performed based on the SAIFI for a representative U.S. distribution system and the FREEDM distribution system.

The payback period is also determined by adopting a theoretical approach and the results are compared with the Monte Carlo simulation outcomes to understand the variation in the payback period. It is observed that the payback period is close to 60 years but if an annual rebate is considered, the payback period reduces to 20 years. This shows that the FREEDM system has a significant potential which cannot be overlooked. Several direct and indirect benefits arising from the FREEDM system have also been discussed in this thesis.