Author(s): A. Al-Hinai, A. Feliachi

Reference: Proceedings of the Baha Technical Conference, May 3-5, 2004

Abstract: Generators (DGs) can provide solutions to recent energy challenges as they provide either an alternative source of power or a complementary power to an existing electric power system. Hence, additional loads and peak demands could be supplied from DGs instead of expanding traditional power systems by building large generation stations and/or new transmission lines. However, as the number of DGs increase, i.e. the DG penetration level becomes significant, the power distribution system becomes more and more complex to operate and control because of the dynamic nature, size, number and location of the DGs. In this case, the distribution system instead of being a traditional system with one substation and loads, it becomes a complex dynamic system with distributed dynamic components whose interactions and controls will affect the reliability, availability and sustainability of the power delivered to the consumers. This paper introduces a new approach in addressing the control and operation of such a distribution system that has a number of DGs. The approach is to apply the theory of intelligent agents to a power distribution system that has a high DG penetration level. The proposed control architecture is hierarchical with one supervisor and a distributed number of control agents in the lower layer. Specifically, a central control center supervises and optimizes the overall process, while each DG is equipped with its own control agent. Operations, like switching and slow control tasks, are triggered by a human operator and executed in the control center. On the other hand, control and protection actions, which need a faster reaction time, are taken by the control agent. These actions are taken mostly with fixed sets of parameters. Coordination, modifications of the criteria and parameters for the control and protection equipment, are performed at the control center. Actions for the optimization of the system are mostly initiated manually through the centralized control system on the basis of predefined network control schedules and performance indices. The proposed intelligent control agent based architecture for operation of a power distri-bution system that has a high DG penetration level is describes in this paper.

Keywords: peak demand, distributed generation, dynamics, distribution system, reliability, availability, sustainability, agent-based architecture