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4th International Conference on Power Engineering, Energy and Electrical Drives

Istanbul, Turkey, 13-17 May 2013

A Common Modeling Platform for the


Multiphase Analysis and Simulation of Modern
Distribution Systems in Offline and Distribution
Management System Applications
Ilhan Kocar, Member, IEEE
cole Polytechnique de Montreal
Montreal, Canada
i.kocar@polymtl.ca
Abstract--The interconnection of distributed resources to
unbalanced distribution systems, the increasing availability of
more precise network data, and the need for accurate modeling
of networks from subtransmission level to meshed secondary
levels in dense urban areas require comprehensive analysis and
simulation tools. This paper demonstrates a common solution
platform in a compact form for the analysis and simulation of
complex distribution networks by integrating the recent research
efforts in the field, and discusses new avenues for improvement.
The modeling approach is general, in multiphase frame and can
be applied to all power system network levels. It creates a
universal platform for all types of analysis commonly used in
offline tools such as short circuit, fault flow, load flow and
harmonic analysis. In addition, the modeling approach is also
applicable to multiphase state estimation which is an essential
part of Distribution Management Systems. The performance and
validity of the method is demonstrated with very large scale and
realistic distribution systems.
Keywords-- Power system analysis, distribution systems, load
flow, short circuit, state estimation, unbalanced networks, sparse
matrix methods

I. INTRODUCTION

HE true assessment of the existing capacity of power


facilities and improvement of energy efficiency
accordingly, and the assessment of the impact and benefits
of distributed resources require enhanced and comprehensive
simulation tools. The performance of the solvers is also
critical since it will allow simulation of the quasi-continuous
operation of distribution systems over the long time periods
required to analyze economic benefits of smart grid assets and
their respective operational strategies. Accordingly,
distribution engineering tools are continuously improved in
order to provide more accurate simulation platforms, handle
more devices and minimize the misleading assumptions on the
circuit configuration. It is of interest to introduce general
approaches and generic modeling capabilities based directly
on the actual circuit of the network.
This paper presents a unified and general modeling
approach based on the use of modified augmented nodal
analysis (MANA) matrices for the simulation of distribution
systems from sub-transmission level to meshed secondary grid
networks by incorporating the recent research work. Besides
from typical offline studies such as multiphase short circuit
summary, fault flow and power flow, the modeling approach
can be also used for multiphase state estimation of meshed

978-1-4673-6392-1/13/$31.00 2013 IEEE


POWERENG 2013

distribution networks for real time distribution system


management applications. The sparse matrix formulation and
the juxtaposition of components in the matrix bring the
potential to allow high performance and the application of
parallelization techniques in the solution of large scale
systems without manual separation and manipulation of
physical network.
A practical load flow solution algorithm is also proposed in
the paper. The load flow solution of a large scale and realistic
network is presented in order to demonstrate the use of the
presented modeling approach. In case of short circuit summary
computations and state estimation application, a summary
with relevant references is provided.
II. BACKGROUND
The basic system matrix is built by addressing modified
augmented nodal analysis (MANA) approach in [1] and
results in a sparse matrix that can be efficiently solved by
using sparse LU factorization algorithms.
It is helpful first to point out the differences with the
classical nodal analysis formulation and to review the
fundamental elements of the augmented matrix.
The classical nodal analysis formulation which can be
found in many textbooks is of the form
YV =I
(1)
where Y is the nodal admittance matrix (Y bus), V is the
vector of node voltages and I is a vector containing
independent current sources.
The assumption that an admittance model exists for every
component is a significant limitation for the nodal admittance
formulation. For example, the direct representation of ideal
switches, branch relations and devices with voltage and
current relations is not possible [2]-[4]. These limitations can
be eliminated using the concept of modified augmented matrix
formulation as originally introduced in [1] and extended in
different ways in [5]-[7].
A. Augmented Matrix Formulation
The main system of equations is given as follows by using
the MANA formulation [1], [7]:

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4th International Conference on Power Engineering, Energy and Electrical Drives

Yn

Vadj

Dbdepr
S
adj

t
Vadj

Dbdepc

t
Sadj
Vn In

0 I Vs Vs
=

0 I Vd 0


S z ISW 0

t
t
Vadj
( k , q ) = 1, Vadj
( m , q ) = 1

(2)

or

Ax = b
Yn is the linear network admittance,

Istanbul, Turkey, 13-17 May 2013

(3)

Vadj is the voltage source adjacency matrix, for all voltage


source types,
Dbdepr and Dbdepc (row and column contribution matrices)
are used for holding branch dependent relations (for
transformers),
S adj is the adjacency matrix of closed switch type devices,
S z is a diagonal and unitary matrix for open switch type
devices. It is also used to accommodate switch impedances in
fault flow computations and to model parallel switches [7].
Vn is the vector of unknown node voltages,

I Vs is the vector of unknown voltage source currents,

(6)

(7)
Vs ( q ) = vs
Equation (5) is used to account for the voltage source
relation(4). Equation (6) stands for the sum of currents exiting
nodes k and m.
2.Ideal Transformer Model
An ideal transformer can be represented with the circuit
given in Fig. 1. It consists of a dependent voltage source and a
dependent current source. Its equation is
(8)
vk 2 vm 2 gvk1 + gvm1 = 0
where g is the transformation ratio.
If an ideal transformer model is numbered as q in the list of
dependent branch functions, then its contribution is
Dbdepr (q, k2 ) = 1, Dbdepr (q, m2 ) = 1
(9)
Dbdepr (q, k1 ) = g , Dbdepr (q, m1 ) = g

and
Dbdepc (k2 , q) = 1, Dbdepc (m2 , q) = 1

(10)

Dbdepc (k1 , q) = g , Dbdepc (m1 , q ) = g .

Such a two-port representation automatically accounts for


the multiport case.

I Vd is the vector of unknown currents in dependent voltage


source branches (such as transformer winding currents),
I SW is the vector of unknown switch currents
I n is the vector of known nodal current injections,
Vs is the vector of known voltages.
The ground node is numbered as 0 and not used in the
system. Bold characters stand for matrices or vectors.
The voltage and current variables in (2) are all phasors
whereas admittance variables are complex quantities.
Equation (2) expands the classical admittance matrix
formulation Y by augmenting the admittance matrix equations
with additional and arbitrary device equations. As opposed to
the classical nodal analysis, MANA allows ideal branch
dependency relations for transformers, and voltage sources
and ideal switches are handled in a straightforward manner.
MANA has several advantages over classical nodal analysis
such as ease of diakoptics (network partitioning), juxtaposition
of arbitrary device objects in the matrix equation and
elimination of pre- post- processing for the computation of
branch currents for key elements such as voltage sources and
ideal switches. These features are very useful in professional
software applications. The primitive admittances are described
in full three-phase ohmic values in A. The construction of A
matrix is briefly explained here to maintain the integrity of the
paper.
1.Independent Voltage Sources
If a voltage source is connected between any nodes k and
m, then
(4)
vk vm = vs
where vs Vs . This places a 1 in column k and a 1 in
column m of the voltage source equation line in Vadj . If the
voltage source is numbered as q in the list of voltage sources,
then
Vadj (q, k ) = 1, Vadj (q, m) = 1
(5)

POWERENG 2013

ik2m2
k2

k1
-g ik2m2

g(vk1 - vm1)
m2

m1
Fig. 1 Representation of ideal transformer

3.Switches
If a switch is connected between two arbitrary nodes k and
m, and if the switch is closed vk vm = 0 , then it is needed to
use a 1 in column k and a 1 in column m of the switch
equation line in Sadj . For the switch numbered q in the list of
switches:

Sadj (q, k ) = 1, Sadj (q, m) = 1

(11)

t
S adj
(k , q)

(12)

= 1,

t
S adj
( m, q )

= 1

S z (q, q ) = 0

When the switch is open, its current is zero:


Sadj (q, k ) = 0, Sadj (q, m) = 0

(13)
(14)

t
t
Sadj
(k , q ) = 0, S adj
( m, q ) = 0

(15)

S z (q, q ) = 1

(16)

III. MULTIPHASE LOAD FLOW


The need for detailed analysis of secondary grid systems
found in dense urban areas and modeling of distribution
networks including the sub transmission level, put forward the
use of matrix based load flow techniques as opposed to ladder
iterative or so called backward forward sweep techniques [8].

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4th International Conference on Power Engineering, Energy and Electrical Drives

The MANA formulation can be directly used when load


flow analysis is performed with fixed point iterations. The
following procedure is proposed in this paper:
1. The passive network is decoupled from load conversion
devices such as loads, generators etc. Initially, the slack bus is
represented with an ideal source, and it is maintained in Vadj
and Vs . Other generators are removed from Vadj and Vs
since they will be represented with current injections.
2. Loads are converted to RL branches assuming nominal
voltages. These branches are placed in the submatrix Yn of the
main system of equations.
3. The linear solution of (2) is obtained. Naturally, there is
a mismatch between the specified power constraints of loads
and the power consumed by their RL equivalents unless the
load is constant impedance type. The power mismatches of
loads can be represented with current injections without
touching RL equivalents. This can be best illustrated with a
symbolic example. Let us assume that, at a given iteration, the
voltage at the terminals of a load is given by V . In this case,
the necessary current injection in order to match the specified
power of the load device is given by

where S specified

V
S specified

I inj =
(17)
V
is the specified power of the load and Z is the

initially determined constant RL equivalent.


4. The current injections due to all the other pertinent
power conversion devices such as PV devices are computed
and equation (2) is re-solved with the updated b vector. No
refactorization is necessary.
5. The solution of (2) provides updated voltages (vector x)
which are used in order to compute the updated current
injections. Iterations are extended till the desired convergence
criterion is met, which is measured using the difference in
voltages between two consecutive iterations.
This solution procedure is similar to the one used in [8], but
applied to MANA formulation. It can be considered as the
sequential solution of Ax=b, A being constant.
Instead of using current injections, it may be an option to
update the RL equivalents after each iteration step according
to the specified power flow constraints; however, this option
should be avoided for two reasons: the solver becomes more
likely to diverge and refactorization of A will be required at
each iteration step. The divergence problem can be
demonstrated with very simple IEEE 4 Node test cases with
unbalanced loading.
The presented methodology has high performance and
good convergence characteristics for distribution systems.
In case of divergence it is always possible to switch to
Newton solution [5] by removing the loads from Yn and
populating them at the bottom of the matrix A together with
other load flow constraints. This form lends itself well also to
state estimation using Hatchels matrix [17]. In state
estimation formulation, the MANA formulation allows the
direct and simple integration of all measurements including
power injection and voltage magnitude. It keeps the original

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Istanbul, Turkey, 13-17 May 2013

objective function intact while also being suitable for all


topologies. As opposed to previous approaches [18]-[23], the
state estimation of transformer and regulator tap positions is
also possible.
IV. FAULT FLOW STUDIES
The above formulation (2) allows solving the power system
in steady-state using the actual multi-phase circuit. There are
no sequence networks or assumptions on the network
topology. Line couplings and shunt magnetizing currents are
fully accounted. Steady state short circuit currents along with
currents through protective devices and transformer windings,
the contribution of all sources including distributed resources
can be directly evaluated by using (2) after converting the
circuit into its linear equivalent based on load flow results or
nominal quantities [7] and representing the fault with open or
closed switches. The procedure is as follows:
- Substations are replaced by ideal sources behind short
circuit impedance.
- Balanced or unbalanced loads are modeled using constant
impedance calculated at operating voltage.
- All control equipment (voltage regulators, LTC, switched
capacitors) is set to their pre-fault values.
- Protective devices are represented with switches.
The procedure for equivalent linear circuit derivation is
very similar to that of conventional short circuit methodology,
however the formulation is multiphase. The use of
conventional methodology is very common among North
American distribution utilities since it allows taking into
account the operating voltages and pre-fault load currents
which may become comparable to the fault currents at distant
laterals. IEC and AINSI/IEEE standards do not consider prefault load currents [9]-[11].
If the circuit is converted to its linear equivalent using load
flow results, the solution of (2) should still produce load-flow
results. The fault condition can then be represented by
additional switches with or without impedances depending on
the fault condition. Since the switches are entered at the
bottom of the augmented matrix A, this modification is simple
to manage. By solving the MANA formulation actual postfault voltages are computed in addition to switch currents and
source currents.

A. Representation of Fault Condition with Switches


Let us consider a three phase to ground fault (LLLG)
applied to arbitrary nodes numbered as {a,b,c} as shown in
Fig. 2. The fault is represented with three closed switches and
fault impedance is explicitly represented which becomes
important if the network is not balanced. If the switches are
numbered as p, q and r; the following three equations can be
added to the bottom of A.
Va Z p iswp Z f (iswp + iswq + iswr ) = 0

Vb Z q iswq Z f (iswp + iswq + iswr ) = 0

(18)

Vc Z r iswr Z f (iswp + iswq + iswr ) = 0


For the switch q, the corresponding sub-matrices take the
following form

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4th International Conference on Power Engineering, Energy and Electrical Drives

S adj (q, b) = 1

(19)

S z ( q, q ) = Z f Z q

(20)

S z ( q, p ) = Z f

(21)

S z ( q, r ) = Z f

(22)

It is straightforward to extend the idea to conventional


categories of faults, i.e., single-phase-to-ground, phase-tophase, double-phase-to-ground, bolted-three-phase, and opencircuit.
Open faults due to protective device failures are not
demanding either. It is sufficient to change the status of the
corresponding switch from closed to open. In fact, it is
possible to combine any number of any kinds of fault by
adding any number of switches.

Zr

RLC +

Zq

r
RLC +

Zp

q
RLC +

a
b
c

+
Zf

Fig. 2 Representation of LLLG fault

B. Electronically Coupled Generators


There are several distributed resource technologies
available; however the behavior of the DG is related to the
electrical converter it uses. Three types of electrical converters
can be considered when short circuit currents are evaluated:
synchronous generators, asynchronous generators (including
doubly-fed) and electrical inverters or electronically coupled
generators (ECG). Unlike the case for synchronous and
asynchronous machines, the modeling of ECG in fault studies
has not been fully identified. Short circuit standards do not
treat ECG [9]-[11].
If an inverter is designed as self-commuted, it can usually
supply fault current for an extended time. ECG units can limit
the fault current to about 100% to 200% of normal load
current. ECG unit can also instantaneously trip once it detects
a short circuit current above a certain predefined limit [12].
The power electronics and control topology involved have an
effect on fault contribution; consequently two PV arrays of
similar power ratings may have completely different grid
interface. But still, a few generalizations can be made. First, it
can be assumed that the DC link voltage stays constant before
and after the fault [13]. In addition, since the transient
response of ECG is very quick, for conventional short-circuit
analysis it can be assumed that the subtransient, transient and
steady state ECG fault contributions will stay the same.
The modeling of ECG in (2) as a constant voltage source
behind internal impedance or as a constant current source is
straightforward. However, if the ECG is considered to provide

POWERENG 2013

Istanbul, Turkey, 13-17 May 2013

constant P and Q during fault conditions due to its quick


transient response, then iterative solution of (2) may be
required for remote enough faults. In [14], two models are
suggested: a current source for the maximum permitted value
for near faults and a constant PQ source for remote faults.
V. SHORT CIRCUIT SUMMARY
In short circuit summary computations short circuit
currents need to be calculated at every node. The network
conditions are not sought after. In this case representing the
fault with switches as shown above will be time consuming
since it will be necessary to redo the LU factorization every
time the switches are relocated to another node.
It is also possible to compute the short circuit currents
through Thevenin impedance matrix observed at the faulted
bus Z th . Note that the inverse of A contains multiphase
Thevenin impedance matrices seen at every bus. Although this
procedure seems convenient for short circuit summary
computations since refactorization of A is avoided, it still
remains time consuming due to the full inversion procedure
which is computed vector by vector.
On the other hand, by using a selected inversion algorithm
developed for symmetric matrices [15], the full inversion of A
can be avoided given that matrix A is symmetric, and
remarkable gains in computational efficiency can be observed
[16].
The MATLAB script for the computation of selected
matrix elements of the inverse of a sparse symmetric matrix is
provided here [15] in order to demonstrate the idea of selected
inversion. Note that the algorithm below provides the required
Thevenin impedances for the computation of short circuit
currents.
TABLE I
SELECTED INVERSION
% Ainv is the selected inverse (sparse)
% L and D factors are known
Ainv(n, n)=1/D(n);
for j = n-1:-1:1
%find the row indices of the nonzero elements in
%the j-th column of L
inz = j + find(L(j+1:n,j)~=0);
Ainv(inz, j) = - Ainv(inz, inz)*L(inz, j);
Ainv(j, inz) = Ainv(inz, j);
Ainv(j, j) = 1/D(j) - Ainv(j, inz)*L(inz, j);
end;

VI. RESULTS AND PERFORMANCE

A. IEEE 8500 Node Feeder


The IEEE 8500-node shown in Fig. 3 is available through
web since 2010 [24]. It is a relatively large network that can
be used to evaluate the performance of load flow solvers [25].
The summary of network devices is given in Table I. The
sparsity pattern of the augmented matrix is presented in Fig. 4.
Table II present the solution time details for different
solvers when tap positions are forced using published results.
All algorithms have been programmed using m-files in
MATLAB and sparse matrices. In terms of solution time the
fixed point method is the fastest. This is due to the fact that the
factorization of the matrix A is done only once and sequential
solutions are performed by just updating the b vector.
The solution time with the BFS method is longer.

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4th International Conference on Power Engineering, Energy and Electrical Drives

M102690

Regulator
Capacitor
E192860

M1047303
L2955077

Fig. 3 The IEEE 8500 Node Test Feeder


0

2000

4000

6000

8000

Istanbul, Turkey, 13-17 May 2013

evaluate the accuracy and capability of power system software


to solve unbalanced distribution systems.
The results of the short-circuit analysis using the presented
algorithms is shown in Table III. In phase coordinates, the
phase of the fault is important; in Table III only the maximum
current observed is presented for a given fault type. As
expected, there is a very good match with the published results
with a tolerance of less than 0.1%. It is important to indicate
that, published results do not account for loads, assume
nominal Thevenin voltages, neglect capacitor banks and set
tap positions to nominal, and the substation impedances are
taken as follows:
Z1 = 0.7673 + j 4.7852
(23)
Z0 = 0.3474 + j8.518
The augmented matrix formulation presented in this paper
allows accounting for shunt elements, loads and load flow
voltages if desired.
Following the selected inversion procedure, the selected
inverse of the MANA matrix is obtained and its sparsity
pattern is provided in Fig. 5. This matrix contains all the
necessary elements in order to build Z th at every bus. Note
that, the inverse of MANA matrix is normally a full matrix,
but the selected inversion procedure computes only a subset of
entries of the inverse of MANA matrix. Since there is a
significant reduction in arithmetic operations, the performance
of the solution improves considerably. The difference is more
significant for larger systems as will be demonstrated.
TABLE III
IEEE 13 NODE TEST FEEDER SHORT CIRCUIT CURRENTS

10000

Maximum Short-Circuit Currents - IEEE 13 Node - Units [Amps]


12000

LG: line-to-ground fault, LLG: line-to-line-to-ground fault


14000
0

2000

4000

6000
8000
nz = 61875

10000 12000 14000

Fig. 4 Sparsity pattern of the augmented matrix of the IEEE 8500 Node Test
System
TABLE II
SOLUTION TIMES WITH FIXED REGULATOR TAPS (IN SECONDS)
Process
Fixed Point
BFS
Translation and Data
Not Included
Not Included
Preparation
Initialize
0.030
0.09
Number of iterations
17
Timing for first
0.0110
iteration
Timing for other
0.0110
iterations
Ax=b solution (first
0.0013
iteration)
Ax=b solution (other
0.0013
iterations)
Update of A matrix
0.0097
and/or b vector*
Total Solution Time
0.2170
* The A matrix remains constant in Fixed Point Method

LLL

LG

LLLG

LLG

LL

Sub

ABC

13700.1 10952.7 13700.1 12311.4 11864.7

RG60

ABC

8416.0

8478.7

8416.0

8445.9

7288.4

692

ABC

3176.2

2175.5

3176.2

2913.0

2750.7

684

AC

2002.7

2922.3

2661.4

2530.8

680

ABC

2747.0

1833.5

2747.0

2508.8

2378.9

17
0.21

675

ABC

2943.2

2061.3

2943.2

2679.9

2548.9

671

ABC

3176.2

2175.5

3176.2

2913.0

2750.7

0.21

652

650

ABC

8416.0

8445.9

7288.4

646

BC

2526.6

3117.2

2967.1

2820.2

3491.7

3298.8

NA
NA

1783.7
8416.0

8478.7

645

BC

NA

634

ABC

15036.4 12997.5 15036.4 14151.3 13021.9

3.66

633

ABC

3980.4

2927.3

3980.4

3669.3

3447.1

632

ABC

4617.5

3468.5

4617.5

4305.4

3998.9

611

B. IEEE 13-Node Test Feeder


The IEEE 13-Node Test Feeder is one of the several test
feeders provided by the IEEE PES Distribution System
Analysis Subcommittee [25]. The test feeders are intended to

POWERENG 2013

Nodes Phases

1852.8

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4th International Conference on Power Engineering, Energy and Electrical Drives

Istanbul, Turkey, 13-17 May 2013

[8]

0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
0

10

20

30
nz = 342

40

50

Fig. 5 The selected inversion of the augmented matrix for the IEEE 13 Node
Test Feeder

VII. CONCLUSIONS
This paper demonstrated a unified modeling approach for
the steady state analysis of distribution systems by using the
concept of augmented matrices. The use of MANA for load
flow studies using a fixed point algorithm has also been
demonstrated for the first time and compared to the commonly
used BFS technique for the 8500 node IEEE test feeder.
Currently the research efforts are canalized to multiphase
transient stability aspects and dynamic phasor solution using
the MANA formulation as basis.
[1]
[2]

[3]

[4]
[5]

[6]

[7]

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POWERENG 2013

OpenDSS Program, [Online] Available through SourceForge.net,


http://sourceforge.net/projects/electricdss.
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Ilhan Kocar (M2004) received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical and
electronics engineering from Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi, Ankara, Turkey
in 1998 and 2003, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering
from cole Polytechnique de Montreal (affiliated with Universit de
Montral), Montral, QC, Canada in 2009.
He worked as a Project Engineer for Aselsan Electronics Inc. in between
1998 and 2004. He worked as an R&D Engineer for the CYME International
T&D part of Cooper Power Systems in between 2009 and 2011. He joined the
faculty at cole Polytechnique de Montral in 2011. His research interests
cover all aspects of power system analysis, modeling and simulation. Ilhan
Kocar has had several contributions to professional grade power system
analysis and simulation tools.

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