Optimal Power Flow With Step-voltage Regulators in Multi-phase Distribution Networks

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Power transmission lines, Voltage control, Regulators, Admittance, Load flow, Power distribution


This paper develops a branch-flow-based optimal power flow (OPF) problem for multi-phase distribution networks that allows for tap selection of wye, closed delta, and open delta step-voltage regulators (SVRs). SVRs are assumed ideal and their taps are represented by continuous decision variables. To tackle the non-linearity, the branch-flow semidefinite programming framework of traditional OPF is expanded to accommodate SVR edges. Three types of non-convexity are addressed: (a) rank-1 constraints on non-SVR edges, (b) nonlinear equality constraints on SVR power flows and taps, and (c) trilinear equalities on SVR voltages and taps. Leveraging a practical phase-separation assumption on the SVR secondary voltage, novel McCormick relaxations are provided for (c) and certain rank-1 constraints of (a), while dropping the rest. A linear relaxation based on conservation of power is used in place of (b). Numerical simulations on standard distribution test feeders corroborate the merits of the proposed convex formulation.

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