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Ph. D. Thesis information

Scalability and replicability of the impact of smart grid solutions in distribution systems

Andrea Rodríguez Calvo

Supervised by Pablo Frías Marín, Rafael Cossent Arín

Smart grid solutions offer a great potential to achieve a more efficient integration of renewable energy in the distribution network. Numerous pilot projects have been launched to test smart grid solutions in real-life systems. However, the results observed are subject to the specific context of the demonstrators. Therefore, conclusions drawn may not be directly applicable to the implementation of the same solutions in different locations or at a larger scale. This PhD thesis proposes a novel framework to assess the scalability and replicability of smart grid solutions to understand the effect of the implementation context and infer the impacts that may be expected from the deployment of the smart grid. This thesis proposes a SRA methodology comprising a quantitative and detailed technical analysis based on simulation to compute the KPIs that measure the impact of the use case on the system; and a second stage of a more qualitative non-technical analysis. The proposed technical SRA relies on the use of representative networks and scenarios for simulation to account for the different technical boundary conditions that may be encountered in the considered regions. The experience gathered from real-life testing is incorporated in technical SRA comparing the KPIs measured in the demo and those obtained through simulation. The non-technical analysis addresses the relevant regulatory framework and the perspective of stakeholders involved to identify barriers and drivers for the implementation of smart grid solutions. This thesis proposes to group smart grid use cases into three main categories for SRA, based on the type of impacts caused and objective pursued: (i) network automation to improve continuity of supply, (ii) DER management and voltage control to increase network hosting capacity, and (iii) islanded operation and micro grids to improve continuity of supply. The detailed implementation of the proposed SRA methodology has been particularized for these three groups of smart grid use cases. Accordingly, this thesis has identified the characteristics required for representative networks for the SRA of each group of smart grid use cases, adequate modelling and simulation approaches, appropriate KPIs and the relevant regulatory topics and stakeholders. Finally, a comprehensive SRA is presented in this thesis to illustrate the application of the proposed SRA methodology to the case study of MV network automation to improve continuity of supply in Spain and Italy. This case study includes a cost-benefit analysis based on the SRA results.


Descriptors: smart grid, electricity distribution, scalability, replicability, distributed energy resources, regulation

Universidad Pontificia Comillas. Madrid (España)

19 June 2017

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