On the improvement of the reliability of the restoration processes of power grids
The grids that are examined under the SDN-microSENSE include both low voltage and high voltage networks with real time monitoring capabilities that include power generation from DERs such as photovoltaics and wind turbines. The issue with such grid networks is that the optimization of their restoration planning process requires knowledge of actual consumption patterns and fluctuations in the generation. These fluctuations are usually caused by massively deployed photovoltaic sources. In order to address these issues, the distributed system operators will need to know i)the unused capacity that can be used for new devices that either consume or produce, ii)the available service that can be provided to customers who attach a new consumption or production device to the grid, iii) the bottlenecks that may be caused by electric vehicle charging at specific nodes. Finally, it is worth mentioning that besides the aspects of planning and monitoring, electric vehicles and photovoltaic systems require energy scheduling and control on the operational level.
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The improvement of the reliability of such grid networks is directly dependent to the enhancement of their operation flexibility options. The main goal of such flexibility options is to create power reserves that will be able to be activated when needed according to the demands of the network during certain time periods, or critical events (i.e. during the restoration process) within the day. The majority of such flexibility options are located in active distribution systems, thus, the collaboration between the distribution system operators and the transmission system operator is necessary for the management of these flexible resources. This cooperation, along with the supportive services that the distribution system operators can provide to the transmission system operator can be characterized in terms of active or reactive power reserves of an active distribution system. Additionally, these supportive services can also include participation in unforeseen overload congestion management, voltage profile support (by dispatching the reserves of reactive power of active distribution systems) or enhancement of insufficient spinning reserves to face N-1 emergencies of conventional generators.