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Tools for improving resilience of electric distribution systems with networked microgrids

05/22/2017
by   Arthur Barnes, et al.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
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In the electrical grid, the distribution system is themost vulnerable to severe weather events. Well-placed and coordinatedupgrades, such as the combination of microgrids, systemhardening and additional line redundancy, can greatly reduce thenumber of electrical outages during extreme events. Indeed, ithas been suggested that resilience is one of the primary benefitsof networked microgrids. We formulate a resilient distributiongrid design problem as a two-stage stochastic program andmake use of decomposition-based heuristic algorithms to scaleto problems of practical size. We demonstrate the feasibilityof a resilient distribution design tool on a model of an actualdistribution network. We vary the study parameters, i.e., thecapital cost of microgrid generation relative to system hardeningand target system resilience metrics, and find regions in thisparametric space corresponding to different distribution systemarchitectures, such as individual microgrids, hardened networks,and a transition region that suggests the benefits of microgridsnetworked via hardened circuit segments.

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