A Genetic Algorithm based Approach to LV Radial Distribution Feeder Load Reconfiguration

Geeth Jayendra Ceylon Electricity Board, SL ee2agsarep@ceb.lk Sisil Kumarawadu University of Moratuwa, SL sisil@ieee.com Lasantha Meegahapola University of Wollongong, Australia lasantha@uow.edu.au

Abstract— This paper presents a genetic algorithm (GA) based reconfiguration method for consumer loads connected to a low voltage (LV) radial distribution feeder to reduce phase imbalance. The problem was formulated as a multi-objective optimization problem considering kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy consumption of consumers connected to a distribution feeder. In addition, optimization objectives have been derived to ensure minimum phase imbalance at each consumer access points of the feeder. The optimal configuration for a test distribution feeder was analyzed with uniform load profiles and non-uniform load profiles for consumers connected to the feeder. It has shown that when consumer load profiles are uniform, the proposed reconfiguration method can maintain a balance three-phase distribution feeder throughout the day. However, with the nonuniform consumer load profiles it renders a significant phase imbalance during certain time periods. Therefore, when different consumer types are connected to the feeder it is essential to develop an additional criterion to obtain the best configuration to maintain phase balance in the distribution feeder. Keywords:— Energy consumption, genetic algorithm, load profile, load reconfiguration, phase imbalance.

I. INTRODUCTION Power distribution feeders typically supply power to consumers with different load characteristics in terms of their active/reactive power consumption and load profile. Therefore, different consumer loads result phase imbalance in three-phase system, and ultimately cause high network losses, poor voltage profile, abnormal stress on distribution transformer, and low power factor in the network [1]. The reconfiguration of a distribution network for loss optimization is an eminent field in the literature [2-9], which mainly considers optimal power flow for loss optimization in distribution network by switching on and off different feeder sections. A number of researchers have developed various reconfiguration models using different types of algorithms and objectives (e.g. network loss minimization, minimize phase imbalance etc.) to reconfigure the distribution network. As an example, in references [3-5] authors have used genetic algorithms (GA) to reconfigure the distribution feeder open/close status for minimizing the real power loss in the distribution network. In addition, artificial neural networks [6], simulated annealing techniques [7], heuristic search strategies [8] and distance measurement techniques [9] have also been used in the literature for distribution system reconfiguration. Therefore, most of the reconfiguring approaches have attempted to optimize the power flow in

primary distribution feeders by reconfiguring the feeder open/close status. Several studies can be identified on consumer load reconfiguration in a low voltage (LV) radial distribution feeder [10-14]. A single-phase consumer load reconfiguration problem was initially solved using theory of superposition with the probabilistic voltage drop calculation [10]. In reference [11] the authors have defined a load balancing index and considered power flows to derive the optimal configuration for consumer loads in the network. Furthermore, in [12-13] authors have used GA for load transfer between each phase to obtain an improved voltage profile and minimize the losses. In references [10-13], a single load value was considered for a consumer during the optimization. However, in reality, consumer loads vary throughout the day, and for utilities the main available information is the kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy consumption of the consumers connected to the distribution feeder. In reference [14] an equivalent load has been derived for the consumers considering their load profile and energy consumption, however phase balance at each network access point was not explicitly considered in the objective function. This paper proposes a load balancing strategy based on the consumer kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy consumption using GA to reduce phase imbalance at both distribution transformer and network access points of the feeder. This paper is organized as follows: Section II formulates the objective function for optimization considering consumer energy consumption and network accessibility. The application of GA to load reconfiguration problem and the steps involved in GA are presented in section III. Section IV is dedicated for results and discussion of the proposed method. The conclusions and future work are presented in section V. II. PROBLEM FORMULATION This study has been carried out considering a three-phase, four-wire radial secondary distribution feeder, which is consisted of domestic consumers. The single-phase consumer loads are connected based on their proximity to distribution feeder network access points, and selection of phase is an arbitrary process. Therefore, one consumer load has three choices based on three phases in the distribution feeder, which can be either phase A, B, or C. When loads are connected to the distribution feeder, they should not lead to phase imbalance at the distribution transformer. In a typical distribution feeder, there can be tens to hundreds of consumer loads with different load characteristics. When such complex situation exists, it is

and PCj denote total consumer load at the jth node for each phase while m denotes the total number of network access points in the feeder. Typically domestic and small business consumers are supplied by a three-phase four wire distribution feeder. Ik is the average current consumption at time period Tk of the kth consumer. Therefore. Configuration of a typical distribution feeder. (1) should maintain its minimum value during the time period Tk. during the time period Tk all three phases should supply same active power. Eqn. the final objective function can be formulated as follows: 2 ⎡⎛ ⎞ ⎛ n n n ⎟ ⎜ ⎢⎜ n pi − ∑ pi ⎟ + ⎜ ∑ pi − ∑ pi ⎢⎜ ∑ i i=1 i i=1 ⎟ ⎜ ∀S=1 A obj = Min ⎢⎜ ∀S=1 A ∀Sk =B ⎠ ∀Sk =C ⎝ k= ⎝ k= ⎢ ⎢ m j j 2 j j 2 C ⎢ ∑ (PA − PB ) + (PA − P ) ⎣ j=1 2 ⎞ ⎤ ⎟ ⎥ ⎟ +⎥ ⎟ ⎥ ⎠ ⎥ ⎥ ⎥ ⎦ ⎡⎛ ⎢⎜ n ⎢ ⎜ ∑ V k I k cos θ k − ⎢ ⎜ ∀ S k== A k 1 ⎢⎝ ⎢⎛ ⎢⎜ n ⎢ ⎜ ∑ V k I k cos θ k − ⎢ ⎜ ∀ S k== A ⎣⎝ k 1 ⎞ ⎤ ⎟ ⎥ V ∑= B k I k cos θ k ⎟ + ⎥ ∀S k ⎟ ⎥ k =1 ⎠ ⎥ =0 2 ⎞ ⎥ n ⎟ ⎥ ∑= CV k I k cos θ k ⎟ ⎥ ∀S k ⎟ ⎥ k =1 ⎠ ⎦ 2 n (6) (1) [ ] The energy based objective function was mainly formulated based on the assumption that each consumer follows the same load profile characteristics. The unbalance loading may cause uneven distribution of air-gap flux in distribution transformer. Tk. whether the load is connected to either phase A. It is assumed that reactive power consumption is negligible compared to active power consumption for a domestic consumer. PBj . Therefore. since consumer power consumption is difficult to determine during the connection process. By combing (4) and (5). For a given time period. following generalized objective function can be formulated to ensure minimum phase imbalance in the distribution feeder. for a balanced three-phase system the following relation can be written: ⎡⎛ n ⎢⎜ ⎢⎜ ∀∑A Vk I k cos θ k − = ⎢⎜ S k=1 ⎝ k f = Min ⎢ ⎢⎛ n ⎢⎜ ∑ Vk I k cos θ k − ⎢⎜ ∀S k = A ⎜ ⎢⎝ k =1 ⎣ ⎞ ⎤ ⎟ ∑BVk I k cos θ k ⎟ + ⎥ ⎥ ∀S k = ⎟ ⎥ k =1 ⎠ ⎥ ⎞ ⎥ n ⎟ ∑CVk I k cos θ k ⎟ ⎥ ∀S k = ⎟ ⎥ k =1 ⎠ ⎥ ⎦ n (2) At consumer level. the typical standard for voltage variation in a distribution feeder is ±6%. Fig. Objective Function Formulation The primary objective of the phase balancing problem is to reduce the abnormal stress at the distribution transformer and maintain a uniform voltage distribution in each phase at each network access point. As shown in Fig. In Sri Lanka. It is assumed that following load . 1. The kWh consumption for a month of 30 days for the ith consumer (Pi) is calculated as follows: 86400 Pi = ∑ Load ( kW ) × Time ( s ) t =1 3600 × 30 (3) Therefore.difficult to maintain a balance three-phase system using any manual configuration method. Therefore. however for industrial loads reactive power consumption may be significant. The objective function was derived considering the kilowatt-hour energy consumption of the consumers connected to the distribution feeder. it is essential to determine the optimal configuration for the consumer loads to maintain an improved voltage profile along the distribution feeder. Therefore. A. cos θk is the power factor of the kth consumer and n is the number of consumers connected to the feeder. B or C.. the active power consumption is measured by kWh. the consumer loads connected to a distribution feeder should be balanced at the distribution transformer. In addition. the generalized objective function can be derived using consumer energy consumption as follows: ⎡⎛ n ⎢⎜ n A = Min ⎢⎜ ∑ p i − ∑ p i 1 i =1 ⎢⎜ ∀ Sik== A ∀S k = B ⎣⎝ ⎞ ⎛ n n ⎟ ⎜ ⎟ + ⎜ ∑ pi − ∑ pi 1 i =1 ⎟ ⎜ ∀ Si == A ∀S k = C ⎠ ⎝ k 2 ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠ 2 ⎤ ⎥ (4) ⎥ ⎥ ⎦ In addition. The following criterion is derived to ensure the minimum phase imbalance at each network access point. Sk denotes the state of the consumer. Therefore. The loading of each phase is the main concern.. 1 the secondary distribution (400 V line to line) feeders are fed through an 11 kV/400 V step-down distribution transformer and consumers are fed through the network access points. the proposed reconfiguration approach is based on the consumer kilowatthour energy consumption metered over a one month period. ⎛ m B = Min ⎜ ∑ ( PAj − PBj ) 2 + ( PAj − PCj ) 2 ⎜ ⎝ j =1 [ ⎟ ]⎞ ⎟ ⎠ (5) where PAj . 1 indicates a typical configuration of a secondary distribution feeder. where. In order to maintain a minimum phase imbalance at the distribution transformer. it is essential to derive a criterion to maintain a uniform load profile in all three phases at each consumer access point of the distribution feeder. and ultimately causes insulation failure and reduction in life time. Therefore. the network access point is also an important factor in the optimization process. The consumer energy consumption is the main data available for the utility which is metered over a specified time period (typically one month). Fig. Vk is the averaged supply voltage to the kth consumer at time period Tk. distribution feeder also suffers from poor voltage profile.

convexity. 2. This raw measure of fitness is usually used as an intermediate stage in determining the relative performance of individuals in a GA.01. The GAs are widely being used in power system optimization problems.e. with a binary population of N individuals whose chromosomes are M bits long. load profile characteristics of a domestic consumer is similar to Fig. Further it is assumed that reactive power consumption is negligible. stability assessment [19].. There are several important steps involved in GA. V0 V1 V2 V3 V4 V5 I1 I2 I3 I4 I5 Fig. mutation is randomly applied with low probability. Objective function formulation (fitness function) The objective function is used to provide a measure of how individuals have performed in the problem domain. generator scheduling and unit commitment [17-18]. space limitations.profile (see Fig. i = 1. 2. B. 2 has two peaks periods. The node voltages can be calculated as follows: Vi = Vi −1 − Z ∑ I j . 2. or special properties of the function to be optimized such as . which considers a single crossover point in selected parents for next generation.000 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Hour (hr) Fig. For example. Such as distribution feeder switching reconfiguration [2-9]. Generate Initial Population The initial population can be created while specifying number of individuals per population and number of decision variables to be used in the optimization process. N × M random numbers uniformly distributed from the set [0. Single line representation of a radial distribution feeder.300 0. Usually considered as a background operator. typically in the range of 0. 3. They only require the evaluation of so called fitness function or the objective function to assign a quality value to every solution produced. Basic Genetic Algorithm Operators 0. Mutation In natural evolution. It is highly applicable in the case of discrete selection or mixed integer programming. the fittest individuals will have the lowest numerical value of the associated objective function.3. 0. mutation is a random process where one allele of a gene is replaced by another to produce a new genetic structure. In a minimization problem. The primary building box of GA is known as the chromosome which can be directly mapped into the decision variables in the optimization problem. m j =i m (7) where Vi. Typically. The consumer load profile indicated in Fig.400 Load (pu) 0. A. and modifies elements in the chromosome. Ii. 4. are some the applications of GA in power systems.. 1] would be produced. 3. or existence of derivatives [16]. i. and n denote voltage at node i. Voltage Drop along a Radial Distribution Feeder This study has been conducted considering a radial distribution feeder having five network access points located at equal distance. In GAs. Fig. current consumed at node i. In multiple crossover two or more crossover points are considered within the chromosome of the two parents. Like its counterpart in nature. III.001 and 0. The basic steps involved in GA based optimization process are explained below. automatic voltage regulator tuning (AVR) [20] etc.1 Ω is considered between each node of the distribution feeder.. Crossover The basic operator for producing new chromosomes in the GA is crossover. The domestic consumer loads are mostly considered to be constant current loads [15].. 3 represents the single line diagram of a radial distribution feeder. Solutions with the highest fitness have a high probability of contributing new off-springs to the next generation. unimodality. One of the most interesting aspects of the GA is they do not require any prior knowledge. The voltage at the distribution transformer (V0) is assumed to be maintained at 230 V (line to neutral) and a uniform line impedance of 0.. and hence consumer loads are operating closer to unity power factor.500 0. 5. In our approach. The simplest form of crossover is single-point crossover. the role of mutation is often seen as providing a guarantee that the probability of searching any given string will never be zero and acting as a safety net to recover good genetic material that may be lost through the action of selection and crossover. Z. GA BASED OPTIMIZATION The GA is a global search technique based on the evolutionary process in nature. Parent Selection Parent selection is a simple procedure where two individuals are selected from the parent population based on their fitness value. Load profile of a typical domestic consumer. a simple roulette-wheel selection rule is employed. 2. impedance between two network access points and number of nodes respectively. 2) is followed by the consumer loads during a day. morning peak and night peak. 1. and hence assumed constant current at each network access point.200 smoothness. crossover produces new individuals that have some parts of both parent’s genetic material.100 0.

i.6. 7. 1. the fitness of the individuals in the new population can be determined.e. When each chromosome is assigned to a decision variable. Chromosome definition. Each individual chromosome is assigned (see Fig.9 20 40 The convergence of the fitness function is shown in Fig.e. Objective Function Definition The objective function was formulated based on the energy criteria developed in Section II (Eqn. 700 Best = 0 600 Fig. TABLE I TEST FEEDER CONSUMER ENERGY CONSUMPTION Consumer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 kWh 203 221 182 167 291 187 173 196 169 177 Node 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 Consumer 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 kWh 188 342 269 198 172 189 151 210 191 186 Node 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 A number of simulations have been performed with formulated GA based optimization algorithm by varying different parameters in the algorithm. The multiple 400 300 200 100 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Generation Fig. reflecting the connectivity options available for each consumer load. IV. X20) based on the number of available consumer loads for the optimization. 4) to twenty decision variables (X1. then the fractional difference between the new and old population sizes is termed as generation gap. since multiple decision variables are used in the algorithm. it carries the configuration option for each load and that information has been used to generate the objective function value for each individual in the population. Best Fitness 500 The number of individuals per population is varied until the best reconfiguration is obtained for the feeder. X3. Once each individual is assessed on their fitness. Since this is a minimization problem. (6)). The monthly energy consumption related to each consumer is given in Table I. Reinsertion Once a new population has been produced by selection and recombination of individuals from the old population. 5. the fittest individual should signify a minimum value for the objective function. the GA may be restarted or a fresh search is initiated. . B. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The test distribution feeder consists of twenty consumer loads and five network access nodes. and the best configuration was obtained under following conditions as illustrated in Table II. consumers with uniform load profiles and non-uniform load profiles. As the fitness of a population may remain static for a number of generations before a superior individual is found. The consumer energy consumption based optimal reconfiguration solution for the test distribution feeder was analyzed considering two scenarios. or C) based on the three phases in the distribution feeder. the application of conventional termination criteria becomes problematic. point mutation was used in the optimization process. phase A. Application of GA to Load Reconfiguration 1.e. Chromosome Definition The test distribution feeder consists of twenty single-phase consumer loads and each load has three options (i. TABLE II THE GA PARAMETERS FOR OPTIMIZED SOLUTION Number of individuals per populations 400 maximum Number of generations 100 Generation gap Number of variables Precision of binary representation 0. The number of generation is varied across the simulation until the best configuration is obtained. If no acceptable solution is found. Convergence of the fitness of the individuals with the generations. Therefore. 5. 2. The objective function value is assigned as the fitness of the each individual in the population at the end of each iteration.…. If fewer individuals are produced by recombination than the size of the original population.. 4. 0. X2. next generation is produced using the fittest individuals in the previous generation. B. A common practice is to terminate the GA after a pre-specified number of generations and then test the quality of the best members of the population against the problem definition. the chromosome data structure is defined in a ternary form (i. Termination The GA is a stochastic search method and it is difficult to formally specify a convergence criteria. 2).

The voltage drop along the test distribution feeder was derived based on the optimal load configuration obtained from GA and the line-to-neutral voltage for all three phases is illustrated in Fig 6. 0 2 4 6 8 229. This cyclic rating allows the transformer to be overloaded at peak times so long as there is a sufficient cooling down period at the lower point in the load profile. B.050 0.300 229. since power is mostly consumed during the business hours (8. 7.4 0.2 According to Fig. and 5. peak demand is recorded during the day time for a small business consumer. load profile characteristics have also been analysed at the distribution transformer and illustrated in Fig. small business users are fed through the same 400 V distribution feeder of which their load profile characteristic is differed from a typical domestic consumer. 9.000 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Hour (hr) Fig. node 1. but phase-B voltage has deviated from the other two phases at the nodes 2. 4. Load profile for each phase at the distribution transformernonuniform load profile. Fig. Therefore. and it occurred at node 5. The maximum voltage deviation between three phases is 0. 9.100 0. and node 3. Further. each consumer should depict the same load variation with different magnitudes proportional to their energy consumption. 8. there can be users with different load profiles.3% drop compared to voltage at the distribution transformer.00 am to 5. Consumers with Non-Uniform Load Profile Characteristics In a distribution feeder. In that basis. Load profile of a small business consumer. 7. 2. In addition. 7. The load profile variation at the distribution transformer with this scenario is shown in Fig. 0 2 4 6 8 . According to Fig.150 0. In particular.8 229.250 Load (pu) 0. 7000 Phase A According to Fig.0 Phase B Phase C Voltage (V) 229. 8. 8. Consumers with Uniform Load Profile Characteristics In this study it is assumed that all the consumer loads connected to the distribution feeder depict the same load profile characteristics illustrated in Fig. all phases have indicated a uniform voltage drop at the distribution transformer.00 pm). the voltage drop characteristics was derived for the test distribution feeder using (7) with the optimal load configuration obtained from GA. 0. phase-C has shown the minimum voltage in the test feeder.A. This ultimately results a zero phase imbalance at the distribution transformer. 7000 Phase A 6000 5000 Load (W) 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 Phase B Phase C 6000 5000 Load (W) 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 Phase B Phase C 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Hour (hr) Fig.05 V. 6.6 0. a uniform load distribution has been achieved for all three phases throughout the day. Load profile for each phase at the distribution transformer-uniform load profile. 6. 230.200 0. which is a 0. Typically. The voltage profile of the test distribution system (consumers with uniform load profiles). 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Hour (hr) Fig.2 0 1 2 3 4 5 Node No. Therefore. a transformer has a cyclic rating allowing for the variation in the load profile.350 Phase A 230. a uniform load profile characteristic is highly desirable for long term performance of the transformer. This factor contributes to the aging of the transformer. Therefore two consumers (5 and 12) in the test feeder are assumed to have the load profile characteristic of a small business consumer which is illustrated in Fig.

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