Optimal Planning of Renewable Energy Sources Integration in Smart Distribution Networks

  • Sultan S. Alkaabi

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis endeavors to tackle the challenges of integrating renewable energy sources (RESs) in power networks from a planning perspective by introducing smart control strategies and developing new planning techniques. First, several smart photovoltaic inverter control (PVIC) schemes are proposed to provide different reactive power support limits for planning smart distribution networks. The proposed PVIC schemes are applied to maximize the penetration levels of nearby wind distributed generation (DG) units. The results show significant increase in wind-DG penetration limits by utilizing PVIC schemes. Second, an adaptive planning approach is proposed for planning active network management (ANM) schemes and DG limits in power networks by incorporating the random participation of customer-owned DG installations. The proposed planning approach features flexibility of changing the ANM schemes of DG units adaptively according to the actual connected customer DG installations in the power network. A two-phase planning problem is formulated to find the optimal ANM schemes and DG limits to maximize the utility DG penetration in the power network, considering customer DG installations. It is found that the optimal ANM scheme will vary with the number, locations, and sizes of customer DGs and thus it is recommended, in order to achieve maximum DG penetration, that DG controllers should be capable of switching between various ANM schemes. Third, a utility reactive power planning model is proposed to determine the optimal investment decisions for utilizing the reactive power support (RPS) options from customer-owned PV inverters, as an alternative to the conventional solutions of RPS. The planning approach considers inverter oversizing and active power limitation as possible investment options that can be flexibly adapted to determine the RPS limits from existing and newly planned PV inverters. The planning problem is formulated to minimize the cost of energy losses by investing in the RPS options from PV inverters. The results show effective utilization of PV inverters and significant cost reductions. All the presented planning problems are tested on a realistic 33-kV 16-bus distribution system and formulated as either nonlinear programming (NLP) or mixed-integer NLP (MINLP) problems in an optimal power flow (OPF) framework.
Date of AwardMay 2017
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorHatem Zein El din (Supervisor)


  • Renewable energies
  • Smart Distribution networks
  • Power networks
  • Power planning models
  • PVIC schemes.

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