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The Framework of Advanced Distribution

Management System
Behrouz Azimian
Department of Electrical Power
Iran University of Science and Technology
Tehran, Iran

Alireza Zakariazadeh
Department of Electrical Power
Tehran, Iran

AbstractAs smart grid technology and its adoption are

expanding throughout the world, realization in smart grid
goals and benefit is important. Management system as a
software technology in smart grid plays an important role to
ensure realization of intelligent monitoring, control and
operation of power system especially in case of smart
distribution network. This paper describes a Distribution
Management System (DMS) as a new concept in electric
utility computer control systems. The scope of a DMS is
reviewed in terms of its functional layers. The goals and tools
that apply to each of the DMS layers are discussed. Moreover,
the various functions of available DMS has been compared.

Keywords: Distribution management system, smart grid,

Information technology, SCADA, DMS functions.



Modern distribution systems introduce many new

technology and components into electricity networks such
as distributed energy resources, advanced metering
infrastructure and automation devices. Many companies as
well as academic researches focus on these new
technologies and the integration of them into conventional
distribution system. However, without a management
system which coordinately monitor, control and operate
the components and operation of the network, the benefits
of these technologies may not appear.
The authors in [1] present an advanced distribution
management system (DMS) including the following
features: monitors each component and performs
protection functions using a dynamic state estimation, the
estimated states are transmitted to the DMS where the real
time model of the entire feeder is synthesized, uses the real
time model to perform upper level optimization
(operations planning) and lower level optimization (real
time control) via a hierarchical optimization procedure;
and applies proper controls to operate the system at
optimal points. Moreover, a new application for
monitoring available reserves from all resources in the
system has been presented.
The possible usage of a distributed automation system for
controlling electrical power systems with Distributed
Energy Resources (DER) has been demonstrated in [2].

Hadi Modaghegh
Department of Electrical Power
Tehran, Iran

The control approach is based on the IEC 61499 reference

model for distributed control system and its open source
solution 4DIAC whereas the power system is simulated
with the open source software PSAT. Also, the IEC 61850
standard for substation automation is used for monitoring
the process variables.
The system architecture of intelligent energy distribution
management has been proposed in [3] aiming at
monitoring fast changing environmental variables and
managing solar power flexibly. The results showed that the
proposed system improved the energy efficiency up to 5.6
percent if compared with normal utility interactive
Feeder reconfiguration for use by distribution management
systems is discussed in [4] multiple objectives has been
presented to reflect realistic operating environments while
achieving all benefits from feeder reconfiguration. The
multiple objectives include minimization of the worst
voltage drop, minimization of service interruption
frequency, and balanced service of important customers
for enhanced service reliability.
A hybrid EMS/DMS system has been proposed in [5]. A
hybrid EMS/DMS system requires higher level security
analysis functions such as state estimation and
contingency analysis for EMS and feeder voltage and loss
optimization for DMS systems. Special emphasis has been
placed on modelling aspects where the common elements
between EMS and DMS must be modelled to provide both
types of functions. Since such a system does not have a
high degree of observability compared with a simple
transmission system, the real-time applications such as
topology/dynamic network coloring and state estimation
have to be tailored to suit them. The complete suite of
extended real-time and study mode functions, provide
specific operational aids in maintaining security while
providing an optimum economic operation.
Automation and controlling is one the most important parts
of DMS. There are a plenty of other literatures that
examine a variety of approaches to controlling system
characteristics [6]-[8]. In [6] the author describes how the

LTC and capacitor local controllers are modeled as a part

of the Power Flow solution, and how they interact and
affect DMS optimization functions. Centralized and realtime DMS application of Volt/VAR Control and Feeder
Reconfiguration creates new opportunities to control
power distribution systems more effectively. In [7] the
author suggests how these functions may be coordinated in
combination with local automatic controllers. In [8] a new
approach is presented to power system automation, based
on distributed intelligence rather than traditional
centralized control. The resulting ability to customize
control and automation logic will greatly enhance the
flexibility and adaptability of automation systems,
speeding progress toward the realization of the smart grid

Dynamic Network

TABLE II: Tools and goals in Operation Planning and Optimization



Voltage Optimization

control of voltage profile and satisfying

optimization criteria

VAR Optimization

reducing losses, reactive power flows

and reactive power demands from the
transmission network

Volt/VAR Optimization

management of voltages and reactive

power flows in distribution network

Voltage Reduction

Reduction of the network voltage

(power) below the selected supplied
transformer or for whole distribution

Network Reconfiguration

optimization objectives and analysis of

influence of switching action on
network performance

Near Term Forecasting

forecasting of load diagrams for the next

15 minutes up to 24 hours

Short Term Forecasting

forecasting of load diagrams for the next

1 7 days

Operation Improvement

checking of improvement possibilities

of the network operation performances
(economy, security, quality and

II. Goals and Tools in DMS

A selection of tools has been defined that are used to help
the operator with reaching to a specific operational goal of
the distribution system. The list of tools and the
corresponding goals is shown in table I. Also in table II to
table IIIV the tools and goals of operation planning and
optimization applications, network operation analysis
applications and network development planning
applications are examined respectively [9].
TABLE I: Tools and goals in Network Operation applications


Topology Analyzer

an accurate insight into the actual

topology of the distribution network

Load Flow
State Estimation

calculation of steady states

detection of violations and reports of the
overall performances

Fault Location, Isolation

and Supply Restoration

detection, location, isolation of faults

and restoration of supply for all deenergized customers

Large Area Restoration

determining the plan for restoration of

the supply of large parts of the
distribution network

Outage Management

displaying position and activities of field

crew on network view

Switching Order

maintenance, validation, execution and
printing list of switching actions and
switching orders

Under-Load Switching

simulating the process of under-load

network reconfiguration

Dynamic Equipment

Load Management

reduction of distribution
network peak load


assessment of loads

Performance Indices

Load Shedding

displaying the connectivity and status of

different parts of the power system in
order to support the operator in
determining key aspects of the network

TABLE III: Tools and goals in Network Operation Analysis



Energy Losses

calculation of energy losses in

the distribution network (active
and reactive losses in all sections
and transformers)

Operational Losses

providing data about total

active/reactive energy injection,
energy losses, energy generation
and energy consumption in
specified period of time

Reliability Analysis

calculation of the reliability

indices in distribution network

Fault Calculation

detailed calculation of all fault

parameters, as well as different
network analysis in fault state

disconnecting network loads in case of

emergency situations
monitoring and prediction of thermal
state of network elements

Relay Protection

analysis of operation and

sensitivity, setting/ coordination
and placement of protections

Breaker/Fuse Capacity

providing simple and userfriendly checking of the

considering pre-fault state

Security Assessment

testing of possibilities to provide

supply restoration

Motor Start

calculation of the network state

during asynchronous (induction)
motor start

Harmonic Analysis

analysis of harmonics influence

in MV and LV networks

Historical Application

Creation of a historical delta.

Historical delta is a set of actions
that need to be applied to the
network in order to change the
network state from the starting
point in time to the ending point
in time.

Automatic Trouble Analysis

It estimates the type and location

of the problem.

Table V: DMS Functions



Substation and feeder SCADA

It monitors equipment located in

distribution substation and on
pole tops and other locations
along feeders.

Substation Automation

It Includes functions that control

devices in a substation.

Feeder Automation

It Includes functions that control

devices in a feeder.

Distribution system analysis

It accurately models the

conditions found on distribution

Interfaces to Other Computer

It Relates computer systems that

manage the distribution systems

Among the mentioned functions, interfaces to other

computer is of great importance, so it needs more
discussion as a part of DMS. As shown in figure 1 it has
four important tools.

TABLE IV: Tools and goals in Network Development Planning



Long-Term Forecasting

providing load (energy) forecast

for the future period of several

Medium-Term Forecasting

assessment of the sequence of

annual peak loads of large areas
or entire network, for a future
period lasting few months or

Network Development Planning

determining an optimal plan of

network development for the
coming medium and long-term

Network Automation

finding optimal solution for

selected equipment and
reduction of outage time and
non-delivered energy

Capacitor Placement

determination of optimal
locations, types, sizes and
switching status of capacitor

Network Reinforcement


planning of existing distribution

network reinforcement and
checking of the technical and
security criteria

DMS Functions

The functions of DMS could be summarized in table V


Load Management

Information System
Interfaces to Other
Information System

Energy Management

Fig. 1: Tools of Interfaces to Other Computer function

In what follows specific goals of each part will be

mentioned briefly.
Load Management System
Automatic meter reading for energy and peak
Remote programming of meters for time-of-use
rates and real-time pricing;
Remote meter testing;
Remote service connection and disconnection;
Tamper detection;
Customer outage detection;
Bad neutral detection;
Load surveys.
Geographic Management System
Efficient interfacing between the distribution
operator and the trouble call management

used as the source for distribution model data,

Customer Information System
Serving the customer accounting function of the
Trouble call analysis function;
Obtaining the complete list of affected customers
during fault situations.
Energy Management System
Calibrating the load data used in the transmission
system power flow;
Implementing the load shedding and subsequent
Rotating load shedding during extended emergency
III. Information Technology Frameworks
Developing an Electric distribution Management Systems
that supports evolution and flexibility for customers
necessitates a fundamental change from architectural
concepts used in the past. In short, systems must change
from application oriented to information oriented system
architecture. Figure 2 depicts the structural differences
between these types of architectures. [11]
Application Oriented
Basic User Interface

Information Oriented
User Interface Management

for data entry and display, application specific abstract

models implied through use of unique data structures and
software design, and embedded data access routines.
Proprietary user interface, database management systems,
and platform operating systems are commonly used in
these architectures. These solutions, although workable in
the past, are unable to support most accepted standard and
third party products due to their proprietary nature.
Additionally, the design of the applications to include
specific aspects of the user interface, abstract modeling
and data access, provides great difficulty in stabilizing the
underlying product, since customization is difficult to
control and contain.
In comparison, information oriented systems provide a
framework for decoupling the user interface, underlying
models, and data access from the applications, based on
accepted standard components. This decoupling allows
product stability and evolution at all system levels, and
promotes development focused on interactive user needs.
Information oriented architectures also provide a common
reference for data sharing, which enables building systems
that can easily be integrated with other systems. For
example, extraction of the information and model
management layer from the applications allows
development of independent tools to construct graphically,
manipulate and present the physical representation of the
user model where all derivation of abstract application
models is accomplished transparently to the user (e.g., the
abstract mathematical model for distribution power flow
calculations may be constructed automatically directly
from digitized geographic maps and associated facilities
data of the physical system).


IV. Conclusion
Application Specific Embedded
User Interface

Application Algorithms

User Interface Tools

Application Management

Application Specific Implied

Abstract Modeling

Application Tools

Application Specific Embedded

Data Access

Information and Model


An advanced distribution management system (ADMS) is

the software platform that supports the full suite of
distribution management and optimization. The different
architecture and conceptual model exist for DMS. In this
paper the different models of DMS has been investigated
and the required tools to establish a typical DMS has been
analysed. Moreover, the available DMS has been
evaluated in terms of goals and functionalities.

Database Management System
and Platform

Model Definitions and Data

Access methods
Configuration Management
Platform Components

Fig. 2: System architecture comparison

Application oriented systems typically consist of a number

of applications with embedded user interface mechanisms


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