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A Technique to Utilize Smart Meter Load Information for Adapting Overcurrent Protection for Radial Distribution Systems with Distributed Generations

By Fred Agyekum Ituzaro


Smart radial distribution grids will include advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and significant distributed generators (DGs) connected close to loads. DGs in these radial distribution systems (RDS) introduce bidirectional power flows (BPFs) and contribute to fault current. These BPFs may cause unwanted tripping of existing overcurrent (OC) protection devices and result in permanent outages for a large number of customers. This thesis presents a protection approach that modified an existing overcurrent protection scheme to reduce the number of customers affected by faults in RDS with DGs. Further, a technique is presented that utilizes customers loading information from smart meters in AMI to improve the sensitivity of substation OC relays by adaptively changing the pickup settings. The modified protection approach involves predefining zones in RDS with DGs and installing directional OC relays and circuit breakers at the zonal boundaries. Zonal boundary relays determine faulted zones by sharing information on the direction of detected faults current using binary state signals over a communication medium. The technique to adapt the substation relay pickup settings uses the demand measurements from smart meters for two 12-hour intervals from the previous day to determine the maximum diversified demand at the relay?s location. The pickup settings of the substation relay for the two 12-hour intervals during the following day for the zone supplied by the substation are adaptively set based on the current that corresponds to the maximum diversified demand from the previous day. The techniques were validated through simulations in EMTP/PSCAD using an expanded IEEE 34 node radial test feeder that included DGs and a secondary distribution level. By decentralizing the control of the zonal boundary breakers, the single point of failure was eliminated in the modified protection approach. The cases studied showed that the modified protection approach allows for selective identification and isolation of the faulted zones. Also, the sensitivity of the substation OC relay was improved by at least 24% by using the pickup settings for the two 12-hour intervals from the smart meter demand measurements compared to the pickup settings computed using the conventional methodology based on the maximum loading of the zone

Topics: Smart distribution systems, Smart meters, Maximum diversified demand, Radial distribution systems, Distributed generation, Adaptive overcurrent protection, directional overcurrent relays, EMTP(TM)/PSCAD(R)
Year: 2012
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