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Modelling and analysis of demand response implementation in the residential sector

Rahman, Md Moktadir (2018) Modelling and analysis of demand response implementation in the residential sector. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Demand Response (DR) eliminates the need for expensive capital expenditure on the electricity distribution, transmission and the generation systems by encouraging consumers to alter their power usage through electricity pricing or incentive programs. However, modelling of DR programs for residential consumers is complicated due to the uncertain consumption behavious of consumers and the complexity of schedulling a large number of household appliances. This thesis has investigated the design and the implementation challenges of the two most commonly used DR components in the residential sector, i.e., time of use (TOU) and direct load control (DLC) programs for improving their effectiveness and implementation with innovative strategies to facilitate their acceptance by both consumers and utilities.

In price-based DR programs, the TOU pricing scheme is one of the most attractive and simplest approaches for reducing peak electricity demand in the residential sector. This scheme has been adopted in many developed countries because it requires less communication infrastructure for its implementation. However, the implementation of TOU pricing in low and lower-middle income economies is less appealing, mainly due to a large number of low-income consumers, as traditional TOU pricing schemes may increase the cost of electricity for low income residential consumers and adversely affect their comfort levels. The research in this thesis proposes an alternative TOU pricing strategy for the residential sector in developing countries in order to manage peak demand problems while ensuring a low impact on consumers’ monthly energy bills and comfort levels. In this study, Bangladesh is used as an example of a lower-to-middle income developing country.

The DLC program is becoming an increasingly attractive solution for utilities in developed countries due to advances in the construction of communication infrastructures as part of the smart grid concept deployment. One of the main challenges of the DLC program implementation is ensuring optimal control over a large number of different household appliances for managing both short and long intervals of voltage variation problems in distribution networks at both medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) networks, while simultaneously enabling consumers to maintain their comfort levels. Another important challenge for DLC implementation is achieving a fair distribution of incentives among a large number of participating consumers. This thesis addresses these challenges by proposing a multi-layer load control algorithm which groups the household appliances based on the intervals of the voltage problems and coordinates with the reactive power from distributed generators (DGs) for the effective voltage management in MV networks. The proposed load controller takes into consideration the consumption preference of individual appliance, ensuring that the consumer’s comfort level is satisfied as well as fairly incentivising consumers based on their contributions in network voltage and power loss improvement.

Another significant challenge with the existing DLC strategy as it applies to managing voltage in LV networks is that it does not take into account the network’s unbalance constraints in the load control algorithm. In LV distribution networks, voltage unbalance is prevalent and is one of the main power quality problems of concern. Unequal DR activation among the phases may cause excessive voltage unbalance in the network. In this thesis, a new load control algorithm is developed with the coordination of secondary on-load tap changer (OLTC) transformer for effective management of both voltage magnitude and unbalance in the LV networks. The proposed load control algorithm minimises the disturbance to consumers’ comfort levels by prioritising their consumption preferences. It motivates consumers to participate in DR program by providing flexibility to bid their participation prices dynamically in each DR event.

The proposed DR programs are applicable for both developed and developing countries based on their available communication infrastructure for DR implementation. The main benefits of the proposed DR programs can be shared between consumers and their utilities. Consumers have flexibility in being able to prioritise their comfort levels and bid for their participation prices or receive fair incentives, while utilities effectively manage their network peak demand and power quality problems with minimum compensation costs. As a whole, consumers get the opportunity to minimise their electricity bills while utilities are able to defer or avoid the high cost of their investment in network reinforcements.

Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Shafiullah, GM, Arefi, Ali, Hettiwatte, Sujeewa and Crebbin, Gregory
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