Evolution of Distribution System Load Flow Methods – a Bibliographic Review
S 
Mishra, Nonmember 
D 
Das, Nonmember 
Load flow methods for power distribution systems are quite different in comparison to transmission systems owing to some special topological features. Over years various load flow methods known as Distribution System Load Flow (DSLF) methods have been proposed to exploit the special topological properties as well as to overcome the difficulties arising out of the ill conditioned nature of the distribution systems. In this paper, an extensive chronological survey of the development of various DSLF methods available in the literature is presented. Uncertainties in input parameters, application of object oriented approaches and three phase four wire distribution load flow methods are some of other features of distribution load flow which have also been reviewed in this paper. The emergence of distributed generators and use of FACTS devices have made the distribution system and hence the DSLF methods far more complex than its earlier versions. The evolution of the present day three phase unbalanced DSLF methods with multiple feeding sources, embedded FACTS devices, advance software approaches etc., has been traced in this paper.
Keywords : Distribution system; Load flow; Distributed generators; Forward and backward sweep
INTRODUCTION
Load flow calculation studies started with the Ward and Hale method ^{1} in 1956 is a very basic and important tool in the field of power system engineering. Since the invention, many methods for solving the load flow problem have been developed ^{2} . Most of the methods have ‘grown up’ around transmission systems and, over the years, variations of the Newton method such as the fast decoupled method ^{3} , have become the most widely used. Distribution networks are characterized by radial structure and high R/X ratio feeders. Conventional power flow methods show convergence problem in solving such networks. Special power flow methods have therefore come out over years, which exploit the special characteristics of distribution networks, namely radiality and the presence of only one voltage controlled bus. These alternate algorithms show better efficiency and simplicity for radially configured networks than the traditional Gauss Siedel and NewtonRaphson (NR) methods ^{4}^{}^{6} and are classified as distribution system load flow (DSLF) methods. However, the emergence of distributed generators and use of FACTS devices have made the distribution system and hence the DSLF methods far more complex than its earlier versions. Thus, the evolution of the present day three phase unbalanced DSLF with multiple feeding sources, embedded FACTS devices, advanced software approaches etc., has been traced in this paper through an extensive bibliographic survey.
LITERATURE REVIEW OF DSLF METHODS
Sivkumar Mishra is with Department of Electrical Engineering, Ghanashyam Hemalata Institute of Technology and Management, Puri752002, Orissa and Debapriya Das is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT, Kharagpur 721302, West Bengal.
This paper (modified) was received on August 03, 2010. Written discussion on the paper will be entertained till November 30, 2010.
Radial distribution systems are inherently unbalanced, owing to factors such as the occurrence of asymmetrical line spacing, the combinations of single, double and three phase line sections and the imbalance of customer loads; hence, solution methods based on the assumption of balanced loading are not applicable. Yet, in literature many DSLF methods have been proposed that solve only the line to neutral equivalent of a balanced system. Thus, important information such as the effect of mutual coupling on voltage drop and unbalance is lost ^{7} . Various DSLF methods ^{8}^{}^{2}^{1} are available in literature, which effectively exploit the radial nature and overcome the illconditioned nature due to high R/X ratio of the distribution networks but are suitable for single phase analysis of radial distribution networks (RDN), assuming balanced operation. The load flow methods proposed for distribution systems considering the unbalance operation can be grouped into two basic categories ^{2}^{2}^{}^{2}^{4} . The first category is Forward Backward Sweep (FBS) / Ladder Network based methods, Loop Impedance Method and Implicit Zbus Gauss method or modified versions. The other class is composed of methods which require information on the derivatives of the network equations. Newton like methods involving formation of Jacobians and computation of power mismatches at the end of the feeder and laterals and other fastdecoupled methods, tailored specially for distribution systems, come under this second category.
Ladder Network / Forward Backward Sweep based Methods
Literature survey reveals that most of the methods for radial distribution load flow have been predominantly based on Forward and Backward Sweeping (FBS)/ Ladder Network based approach .The obvious reason for the above is that this method is simple, fast and robust. The general algorithm consists of two basic steps: forward sweep and backward
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sweep. The forward sweep is mainly a voltage drop
calculation from the sending end to the far end of a feeder
or a lateral, and the backward sweep is primarily a current,
power or admittance summation based on the voltage updates from the far end of the feeder to the sending end .Many methods ^{2}^{5}^{}^{3}^{4} have been proposed in literature which are classified as FBS based DSLF methods .Some distribution feeders serving densely loaded areas operated with weakly meshed loops by closing the normally open tie switches. Shirmohammadi, et al ^{3}^{5} have proposed a compensation method for distribution systems with weakly meshed structures. Several methods ^{3}^{6}^{}^{4}^{2} which are based on the compensation technique and follow the FBS based DSLF methods suitable for weakly meshed distribution systems have been reported.
Implicit Zbus Gauss and Loop Impedance Matrix Methods
Gauss Implicit ^{4}^{3}^{,}^{4}^{4} method has been proposed which uses
a bifactorised complex Y admittance matrix based on
equivalent current injection (ECI) but requires the
factorization of the full Ybus matrix, adversely affecting the performance in terms of speed. Teng ^{4}^{5} proposed a modified GaussSiedel method, by blending the Implicit Zbus method4344 and the GaussSiedel method to improve the computational efficiency. Goswami and Basu ^{4}^{6} have formulated a load flow algorithm by writing simple loop equation and representing loads as complex impedances.
A topological approach ^{4}^{7} has been proposed where two
matrices are developed, namely, the bus injection to branch current (BIBC) matrix and branch current to bus voltage (BCBV) matrix. The load flow solution is obtained by using simple matrix multiplication of these two matrices. Chen and Yang 48 have proposed an unbalanced DSLF based on branch frame of reference.
Newton Like Methods and Modified Fast Decoupled Methods
Various attempts have been made to modify the Newton’s
method to make it applicable to distribution systems. In the modified NR technique ^{4}^{9} , the network radial structure is explored to express the Jacobian matrix as a product of UDUT, where U is constant upper triangular matrix and D
is a diagonal matrix, the elements of which are updated at
every iteration. An attempt has been made ^{5}^{0} to extend the standard three phase decoupled theory ^{5}^{1} with certain modifications to obtain a fast decoupled three phase DSLF.
A fast decoupled DSLF has been proposed ^{5}^{2} , which orders
the ‘laterals’ instead of ‘buses’ into ‘layers’, thus reduces the problem size to the no. of laterals. A Phase Decoupled load flow method ^{5}^{3} has been proposed based on ECI method. Methods ^{5}^{4}^{}^{6}^{5} are some other variations of NR based DSLF method or various decoupled
MODELING ASPECTS IN DSLF
Distribution systems are inherently unbalanced due to reasons stated before. To avoid significant error arising from
inherent system imbalance, rigorous distribution analysis using detailed component models is required.
Feeder Modelling
In Dilek, et al ^{4}^{2} and Chen and Dilon ^{6}^{6} and Vempati, et al ^{6}^{7} ,
a detailed discussion of feeder models for both coupled
and uncoupled feeders has been given. Starting with a modified version of Carson's equations, Kersting and Philips ^{6}^{8} and Kersting ^{6}^{9} have developed distribution feeder models that can be used in unbalanced DSLF. In this work, modeling of both distribution overhead and underground line segments has been carried out, which accurately computes the phase impedance and admittance matrices taking into account the actual phasing of the line and spacing between conductors.
Transformer Modelling
The modeling of three phase transformers is a vital step in distribution system analysis. Due to unbalanced system operations, a complete and accurate threephase model is desirable for distribution and inline transformers of various core and winding configurations. A threephase transformer model has been discussed in Dilon and Chen ^{7}^{0} and Kersting, et al ^{7}^{1} . Chen, et al ^{4}^{3}^{,}^{7}^{2} have proposed a two block three phase transformer model and a similar model has been proposed in Baran and Staton ^{7}^{3} .Gorman and Grainger ^{7}^{4}^{,}^{7}^{5} have discussed the conversion of nodal admittance matrix from primitive admittance matrix in detail. Kersting and Philips ^{7}^{6} have developed the models for an unsymmetrical three phase transformer bank and Kersting et al ^{7}^{1} have presented an exact model of three phase ungrounded WyeDelta transformer for. Various other aspects of transformer modeling for DSLF have been presented ^{7}^{7}^{}^{8}^{2} .
Load Modelling
Most of the electrical loads of a power system are connected
to the low voltage distribution systems. The electrical loads
of a system comprise residential, commercial, industrial and municipal loads. The active and reactive load powers of a distribution system are not independent of system voltage and frequency deviations. Also, the active and reactive power characteristics of various types of load differ
from each other. In static analysis, like load flow analysis, it
is considered that the frequency deviation is insignificant
and thus only the effects of voltage deviation on the active and reactive load powers is considered to get better and accurate results. Various approaches of load modeling for DSLF have been proposed in the papers ^{2}^{7}^{,} ^{8}^{3}^{}^{8}^{7} .
Test Feeders for Unbalanced Distribution System Load Flow Analysis
With many computer programs available for the analysis of radial distribution feeders and because of the wide variation of the assumptions made in the development of the programs, there is a need for benchmark systems for
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comparison and testing of the various programs. Kersting and Willis ^{8}^{8} have presented the complete data for three four wire Wye and one three wire delta radial distribution feeders. In ^{8}^{9} , an updated version of the same test feeders along with a simple system that can be used to test three phase transformer models, is presented. The complete data and solutions for all the test feeders can be downloaded at http:// ewh.ieee.org/soc/pes/dsacom/testfeeders.html. With the increase in the application in distributed generation technologies such as wind turbines and various combined heat and power applications that employ induction generators, Dugan and Kersting 90 have presented a more extensive model which consists of IEEE 34 node test feeder with two large induction machines.
RECENT TRENDS IN DSLF
Uncertainties in Input Parameters
All the distribution load flow methods so far discussed have been carried out assuming the input quantities (loads at different buses and feeder parameters) are known and fixed. However, in real life situations, the values of these input quantities may contain a significant amount of uncertainties. These uncertainties might occur due to error in the calculation or measurement of the feeder parameters; and error in the metered, calculated or forecasted values of the demand in the system load buses. Hence, researchers have tackled these in various ways. Das et al ^{9}^{1} have presented a fuzzy model for radial distribution system, where uncertainties in loads are modelled as fuzzy numbers. Various approaches have been proposed to handle uncertainties in input parameters in DSLF ^{9}^{2}^{}^{9}^{5} .
Multiple Feeding Sources (Distributed Generation)
Recent technology improvements in micro turbines, fuel cells and energy storage devices have provided the opportunity for dispersed generation (DG) at the distribution level. With the penetration of distributed generation in distribution systems now DSLFs are required to be modified keeping in view the multiple feeding sources. Together, this requires that the load flow algorithm be more robust and faster than that required for static studies. Compensation based DSLF ^{3}^{4} has been extended to a DG distribution system with PV node compensation ^{3}^{5} . Various methods of DSLF with distributed generation have been proposed in the papers ^{9}^{6}^{}^{1}^{0}^{6} .
Application of FACTS Devices
The major objectives of FACTS devices installed on a distribution feeder are to improve voltage profiles, correct power factor and reduce line losses. Modifications and extensions to standard distribution load flow algorithms with FACTS devices are reported in literature ^{1}^{0}^{7}^{}^{1}^{0}^{9} . Tripathy et al ^{1}^{1}^{0} have proposed a load flow technique which handles multiple sources and looping of the distribution networks with optimally placed DSTATCOM. Mori ^{1}^{1}^{1} and Mehdi, et al ^{1}^{1}^{2} have modelled the DSTATCOM for DSLF analysis.
Similarly, Hosseni, et al ^{1}^{1}^{3} have modeled unified power quality conditioner (UPQC) for distribution system load flow.
Object Oriented (OO) Methods
The Object Oriented (OO) methods are particularly appealing, because OO modeling and programming allow to fully exploit the advantages of the new architectures and guarantees flexibility, expansibility and easiness of maintenance of Distribution Management Systems (DMS) functions and software packages. Losi and Russo ^{1}^{1}^{4} have proposed the application of OO approach to distribution load flow problem using NR method and is then extended to weakly meshed topology of distribution systems ^{1}^{1}^{5} . The effects of various load models on the distribution load flow solution and on the convergence characteristics of the OO algorithm are presented ^{1}^{1}^{6} . OO distribution load flow modeling is extended to include DGs ^{1}^{1}^{7} . Selvan and Swarup ^{1}^{1}^{8}^{}^{1}^{2}^{1} have proposed various Object Oriented FBS based DSLF methods.
Three Phase Four Wire Distribution Load Flow
Three phase four wire distribution networks are widely adopted in modern power distribution system. A multi grounded three phase four wire service has higher sensitivity for fault protection than a three phase three wire service. The return current is due to both the unbalanced load and nonlinear characteristics of electrical equipments through the distribution feeder. However, the neutral wire in most of power flow software is usually merged into phase wires using Kron's reduction. Since the neutral wire and ground wire are not explicitly represented, neutral wire currents and voltages remain unknown. In some applications, like power quality and safety analysis, loss analysis, etc. knowledge of the neutral wire and ground currents and voltages could be of special interest. Ciric, et al ^{1}^{2}^{2}^{,}^{1}^{2}^{3} have proposed a general power flow algorithm for three phase four wire radial distribution networks considering neutral grounding, based on forward backward sweep method. Similarly, various related methods ^{1}^{2}^{4}^{}^{1}^{2}^{6} can be found.
CONCLUSION
Distribution system load flow analysis has come a long way, starting from simple analysis of radial networks to its present form with many complexities as discussed. Load flow calculation methods for distribution system analysis vary from adaptations of networked transmission system analysis methods to a wide variety of ladder/ forward Backward Sweep methods that take advantage of the radial structure of most distribution systems. Ladder/ forward Backward sweep techniques have superior performance compared to the coupled matrix methods for radial circuits as the solution sweeps fit naturally with the operation of voltage regulator controls and other controls on the distribution equipment, thus simplifying control algorithm implementation ^{1}^{2}^{7} . However, Araujo, et al ^{1}^{2}^{8} have shown that for very large circuits, modern sparse techniques have
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overcome the speed advantage of the sweep method. This is an important issue because distribution load flows are now being performed routinely on systems larger than 15000 three phase buses. The increasing penetration of distributed generators into the distribution system and the use of FACTS devices are the two factors that will affect the future trend of development of Distribution load flow techniques.
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