Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Electrical and electronic engineering

Publication Details

A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Technological University of Dublin, 2021.


Load management using demand response (DR) in a low voltage distribution network (LVDN) offers an economically profitable business platform with peak load management. However, the inconvenience caused to the consumer in depriving their devices and the low levels of associated incentive have contributed to lower consumer acceptance for DR programs in the community. However, with the increasing number of controllable consumer loads, a residential-level DR program is highly plausible in the short to medium term. Further, additional DR capabilities (including ancillary services) are likely to improve the remuneration potential for participants in DR. Considering the perspective of a distribution network operator (DNO), any service useful for maintaining the stable and secure operation of an LVDN will always be appreciated. Thus, in addition to DR's peak load management potential, any further contribution in maintaining power quality (PQ) in the network considered as an ancillary service to DNO will create a profitable business opportunity.

Firstly, primary PQ management tasks in an LVDN are maintaining voltage profile and reducing harmonics. With the advancement in the consumer electronics market, increased penetration of nonlinear low carbon technologies (LCTs) based loads at the consumer-side, will increases the harmonic content in the LVDN. While consumer devices may have non-threatening levels of harmonic components, they can still cause issues by accumulating at the main feeder when the additive nature of harmonics are considered. Further, and in respect to harmonics, total harmonic distortion (THD), as a universal indicator, may not be a deterministic measure of the impact of harmonics due to THD’s dependency on the magnitude of fundamental current.

Moving to the voltage issue, in an electrical network, it is required to maintain the voltage level of all nodes in the network between regulated tolerance levels. However, during peak load hours, the voltage at the end of a radial feeder may drop below the tolerance level. The corollary is also an issue. A light loading scenario on the same feeder with a higher penetration of solar photovoltaic distributed generators (SPVDG) injecting active power can create a voltage rise scenario.

While consumer loads/loading are responsible for these PQ issues in the network, there is no direct obligation on residential level consumers to manage them as long as they are individually operating within the regulation limits. However, a DR option can utilize PQ’s dependency on loads to provide additional service to DNO to mitigate any PQ violations. The DR program's success is critically dependent on consumer participation. It also becomes essential to operate the program with a minimum level of consumer inconvenience. Therefore, a proposal for micromanaging consumer load on an LVDN while considering consumer inconvenience and attaining PQ objectives is thus the theme of this thesis.

This research proposes a PQ constrained consumer-friendly DR (PQ-C-DR) program that can provide additional ancillary PQ management services along with conventional DR capabilities. Due consideration is given to minimize consumer inconvenience while operating DR to ensure social acceptability and equity. Harmonic levels in the network are essentially integrated as harmonic heating constraints to maintain stable levels of harmonics in LVDN. A DR in conjunction with a co-ordinated incremental and ‘fair’ curtailment algorithm is introduced to manage the voltage levels in the radial LVDN. A sensitivity study of the proposed algorithm is performed on an urban distribution network model under different operating scenarios.

This thesis introduces a new algorithmic dimension in applications for load management to ancillary services (PQ management) using DR. The PQ-C-DR will favour consumer comfort while profiting all stakeholders involved, which essentially creates a win-win scenario for all network participants – essential in DNO/consumer negotiations to achieve wider DR engagement. Improving the profitability of DR by providing additional service(s) is beneficial to both customers and retailers. Furthermore, the DNO benefits from delaying additional peak and PQ management related investments, which could essentially improve the utilization factor of the network.



Technological University Dublin