The past few years have witnessed a significant growth of distributed energy resources (DERs) in power systems at the customer level. Such growth challenges the traditional centralized model of conventional synchronous generation, making a transition to a decentralized network with a significant increase of DERs. This decentralized network requires a paradigm change in modeling distribution systems in more detail to maintain the reliability and efficiency while accommodating a high level of DERs. Accurate models of distribution feeders, including the secondary network, loads, and DER components must be developed and validated for system planning and operation and to examine the distribution system performance. In this work, a detailed model of an actual feeder with high penetration of DERs from an electrical utility in Arizona is developed. For the primary circuit, distribution transformers, and cables are modeled. For the secondary circuit, actual conductors to each house, as well as loads and photovoltaic (PV) units at each premise are represented. An automated tool for secondary network topology construction for load feeder topology assignation is developed. The automated tool provides a more accurate feeder topology for power flow calculation purposes. The input data for this tool consists of parcel geographic information system (GIS) delimitation data, and utility secondary feeder topology database. Additionally, a highly automated, novel method to enhance the accuracy of utility distribution feeder models to capture their performance by matching simulation results with corresponding field measurements is presented. The method proposed uses advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) voltage and derived active power measurements at the customer level, data acquisition systems (DAS) measurements at the feeder-head, in conjunction with an AC optimal power flow (ACOPF) to estimate customer active and reactive power consumption over a time horizon, while accounting for unmetered loads. The method proposed estimates both voltage magnitude and angle for each phase at the unbalanced distribution substation. The accuracy of the method developed by comparing the time-series power flow results obtained from the enhancement algorithm with OpenDSS results and with the field measurements available. The proposed approach seamlessly manages the data available from the optimization procedure through the final model verification.
- Detailed Primary and Secondary Distribution System Modeling and Validation of Feeders, Loads and Distributed Energy Resources Using Field Measurements