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Modeling of a Small Distribution Grid with Intermittent Energy


Liviu Mihalache, Member, IEEE, Sindhu Suresh, Member, IEEE,
Yaosuo Xue, Member, IEEE, and Madhav Manjrekar, Member, IEEE
AbstractRenewable Energy resources are growing exponentially, demanding for more studies in the field of integration.
The penetration of these resources has grown to a level which
demands structural and functional changes to the grid system
to accommodate variable energy resources resulting in smart
grid topology. Behavior of the grid depends upon the type of
intermittent energy resources being added, point of coupling
impedance and the load distribution along the system. As most
of these integration activities take place on the distribution side
of power network, it is desired to conduct a comprehensive
analysis at the low voltage level. This paper presents the results
on modeling and dynamic analysis of a distribution grid system
with different levels and types of renewable energy resources
using IEEE 34 bus system as a candidate testbed. The complete
system is modeled and analyzed using Matlab/Simulink.
Index TermsConstant Load, Distributed Generation (DG),
Intermittent Energy Resources, IEEE 34 Bus, Split Phase Transformer


Twenty-first century is witnessing a revolution of a fully

controlled, flexible grid system with bidirectional power and
information flow called Smart Grid. This architecture provides
the flexibility to adapt to a changing mix of demand-side
resources, including varying load, dispatchable distributed
generation and storage, as well as variable-output local generation such as wind and solar. In US, distributed generation
system (DG) constitutes 1.6% of the summer peak as of
2007, and is projected to grow at an exponential pace [1]
that demands for a total analysis of the system dynamics.
Modern grid system can be considered as a combination of
power electronic devices and intermittent energy resources
alongside with the old downstream flow grid. For achieving
bidirectional power flow in the distributed grid system, it is
required to integrate more solid state switching elements [2].
Power electronic devices with sophisticated control circuitry
are able to enhance the performance of the grid by improving
its reliability and stability. Unlike the fossil fuel generation
system, most of the distributed energy resources (DER) are
intermittent in nature which calls for a detailed analysis of
its impact on the grid system, especially when wind power
combines with solar and storage devices [4], [7], [9]. To
understand these characteristics in detail it is preferable to use
a small distribution grid model as its size can be modeled
in Matlab without a significant increase in the simulation
Authors are with Siemens Corporate Research, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, USA. (email: sindhu-suresh@siemens.com)

978-1-4577-1002-5/11/$26.00 2011 IEEE

Fig. 1.

Conceptual architecture of the proposed system.

and computational time. Several studies indicate that IEEE34 bus system with application-specific modification would
be a suitable testbed for the analysis of DG [3], [5], [6], [8].
This paper presents the results of modeling and analysis of
a 2.5MW grid system with an emphasis on the nature of the
integrated energy resource, the point of coupling, penetration
level and the nature of the load. Conceptual architecture of the
candidate system is given in Fig. 1. The dotted lines indicates
the work which will be reported in the future.
This paper is organized as follows. Section II describes the
modeling of the IEEE 34 bus system with split-phase AC and
the results of the dynamic studies are then compared with
equivalent results of the IEEE benchmark system. Modeling
of the system components such as load, DG and converters
are presented in section III. Section IV presents different case
studies and corresponding results. Lastly, section V presents
conclusions and lists the scope for future work.
The testbed chosen for distribution system analysis is the
modified version of standard IEEE 34 bus test feeder as shown
in Fig. 2. This feeder mimics an actual feeder in Arizona
with all its electrical characteristics. From a macroscopic level
of conducting operational studies at certain point of coupling
(PCC) due to the integration of renewable energy resources

recommends a modified model. The original feeder is modified with a center-tapped transformer of 120/240V, which
is required for the residential type connection requirements.
Constant current and power models are detailed in section
III. The original IEEE 34 bus system model was developed

Constant power and constant current blocks are introduced and will be discussed in detail in section III.
Distributed loads are connected at the center of each
segment. This leads to an increase in the number of
feeders in the Matlab-Simulink model.
A single-phase center-tapped transformer of 120/240 V
is introduced into the system between the lateral nodes
and the loads are distributed accordingly.
A long cable of varying length is introduced on the
secondary side of the transformer to observe the impact
of voltage fluctuations using Carsons equation [14].

A. Case Study (N-0) No Fault

Fig. 2.

Modified IEEE 34 bus system.

For the (N-0) analysis, the secondary of the center tapped

transformer is subjected to balanced and unbalanced load
conditions. A long cable introduced in the secondary side of
the transformer creates voltage drop impact. Fig. 4 gives the
transient response for both center tapped transformer secondaries with an intermittent load switched on at 0.2 seconds.
For given cable length and load, the secondary voltage drops
to 103.5V which is below the ANSI standard range A-normal
steady state voltage (110V) and is also below the B-Emergency
steady state value (107V).

before the exponential increase of interconnection of all DGs

justifying the need for modification. The characteristics of the
newly developed testbed are given below. The (N-0), (N-1)
and (N-2) contingency analysis as recommended by NERC
for transmission systems [12] were adopted for the distribution
system reliability analysis. All the three cases were analyzed
in detail before integrating the renewable energy sources and
are detailed in this section.

The feeder is modeled by using three-phase mutual

inductance blocks where the mutual coupling between
phases are calculated using Carsons equation [13]. The
feeder model is given in Fig. 3

Fig. 4. Transient response with unbalanced load on the secondary of the


B. Case Study (N-1) With Single Fault

Fig. 3.

Mathematical model of the feeder.

Contingency analysis is carried out by creating single line

and three phase fault with normal clearing time. This is tested
under different scenarios, for instance injecting a three phase
short circuit downstream from the center tapped transformer
at node 858 and removing the fault after 10 cycles. Some
scenarios especially the ones which have a drastic effect on
the grid system are explained in detail here. A single-phase
to ground fault is introduced at node 890 and its effect is
analyzed at node 844 where the power factor capacitors are
installed. A fault at node 890 has a smaller impact at node 844
as compared to the case where the fault is located near by. This

is due to the large distance from the fault and the presence
of 500kVA transformer on the 4.16kV line, which dampens
out the oscillations. Moreover, the power factor capacitors
are discharging through a large feeder impedance. Current of
phase A does not experience a large overshoot and the voltage
dip on phase A and swells on other two phases are limited as
shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 5.

for distributed generation like Wind-Mill. Two scenarios with

multiple faults are discussed in detail here. In the first case,
the short circuit at 4.16kV transformer on phase C is followed
by a fault on node 858 at phase A. The effect on node 844
where the power factor capacitors are located is shown in
Fig. 6. In this case both faults on the system overlap for a time
period from 0.3 to 0.515s. Presence of the short circuit fault on
two different phases lead to an over-voltage on the unaffected
phase. In this particular case, due to large impedance, the
transients are dampened out fast. Fig. 7 shows the voltages
on the secondaries of the center tapped transformer due to
a combined loss of the largest load (150+j75) at node 890
and a single phase fault on node 858. Neither the loss of an
element nor the short circuit does not lead to a voltage drop
below minimum utilization voltage set by the ANSI emergency
standard steady state range of (107V). The root mean square
voltage on the secondary of the transformer varies dynamically
under different system conditions and is represented on the
Fig. 7 with various modes the system has gone through.

Single-phase fault to ground (Node 890, phase A).

The effect of single phase line to ground fault is simulated

at the same node but on different phases other than A. An
asymmetric fault on phase C results in an increase in voltage
on other two phases. Because the center-tapped transformer is
located on phase A, the voltage boost cancels out the voltage
drop due to the secondary side line impedance, however, this
may not be the situation with light load.
C. Case Study (N-2) With Multiple Fault
Test cases were generated to see the impact of losing the
largest consumer with and without fault on the grid system.
As expected, a temporary loss of a load results in an increase
of voltage, especially for the node 844 with power factor
capacitors, leading to voltage levels of more than 1p.u. A
fault occurring along with loss of an element has a significant
impact leading to an emergency state. Test cases were conducted for different combinations. Nodal voltage matrices were
cross-checked with the results from the standard softwares

Fig. 6. Single-phase fault at 4.16KV transformer (phase C) and at node 858

(phase A).


Dynamic behavior of the distribution grid system is analyzed by introducing constant power and current load as
specified in the IEEE 34 bus system model along with the
intermittent generating units. This in turn helps to understand
the effect of adding renewable power sources to a grid. The
blocks modeled for these are detailed in this section.

Fig. 8.
Fig. 7.

Constant current mode.

Loss of an element followed by a single line ground at node 890.

A. Constant Load Model

Matlab/Simulink does not have constant power and constant
current blocks. The static load model that represents the power
relationship to voltage as an exponential equation is [10],
usually expressed as in the following form.
PL = PLo V
QL = QLo V
Where, is the active power exponent, is the reactive power
exponent, PL0 is the active power operating point, QL0 is
the reactive power operating point, V is the per unit value of
voltage. The current absorbed by load is given by the equation
(PL jQL )
IL = p
the exponents are set to 0,1 the load can be represented as
constant power and current respectively. The Phase Locked
Loop was modified in order to avoid use of algebraic loops
in Matlab. The model block and the simulation results for
constant current are shown in Fig. 8 and Fig. 9 respectively.
The constant power model block is shown in Fig. 10.
B. Wind Model
A 10% (260kW) wind power source is modeled based on
an existing Simulink wind turbine model. The wind speed
is set such that the power generated is 260kW. The main
parts of the system are the wind turbine, the doubly-fed
induction generator, the back to back PWM converter and
the electromagnetic filter. This model is incorporated with
additional control circuitry for grid and rotor side of the
converter along with the wind turbine.
The reactive power demand for the wind turbine is assumed
to be zero for the initial phase of study. Electromagnetic
torque controller [11] has a closed loop algorithm which
controls the phase voltage to the rotor side based on the

Fig. 9.

Constant current model output.

wind speed, active and reactive power, direct and quadrature

axis current and voltage. Grid side controller regulates the
voltage of the DC link. It consists of voltage regulator on
the outer loop and current regulator assisted by feed forward
loop which regulates the grid side voltage generated by the
converter. Electromagnetic filters with Q value of 50 are used
for removing the harmonics of the order 3 and above. The
turbine and drive train is a closed loop system which controls
the torque generated by the drive mechanism based on the
nominal speed of the generator. The output of the wind based
converter is given by Fig. 11.
C. Photovoltaic Power
A 10% PV power source is developed assuming maximum
power point tracking. The PV inverter is current controlled at a
2.6KHz switching frequency and uses Direct-Quadrature axis
(DQ) PI regulator in a rotating frame synchronized with the
grid via Phase Locked Loop. The base power of the inverter is

Fig. 10.

Constant power model.

Fig. 12.

Photovoltaic power model.

is better to integrate wind resources where the voltage is at its

minimum, in order to provide maximum local compensation
and minimum disturbances to other nodes. If the load at node
890 becomes lighter, the voltage profile will increase significantly leading to an over-voltage situation without voltage
regulators. Similar simulation was carried out by connecting
the wind power at node 848. In this particular situation the
impact of addition of wind power has less significance on node
890, as expected. The model is able to detect the voltage on
secondary 1 of the center-tapped transformer as it approaches
minimum utilization voltage according to ANSI standard A
steady state with wind power on the grid system.
Fig. 11.

Wind power 260kW.

500kW and delivered power to the grid is 250kW depending

on the control circuit set point. The model is given by Fig. 12.
A. 10% Wind Power (N-0) No Fault
The wind power is connected to Node 890 which has
the maximum voltage drop, nearly 10%. Penetration of wind
power at node 890 provides an almost 8% increase in the
voltage profile. At this node the addition of the wind power has
a significant effect to the nearby nodes leading to an increase
in voltage of about 1.05p.u. and it fades away as the nodes
are located further down. For some of these remotely located
nodes, the voltage boost is only between 1-2%. If possible, it

B. 20% Renewable Energy from Wind and Solar (N-0) No

Node 890 was chosen again due to the maximum voltage
drop, nearly 10%. 20% penetration leads to an increase in
voltage around 1.15p.u. nearly doubling the effect with wind
power alone. In general, the same conclusions from the previous case remain valid. This scenario analysis clearly indicates
that voltage regulators are mandatory in order to prevent over
voltage. As the time required for the tap-changers to change is
more it leads to a potential tripping of the system due to failure
in triggering the critical protection devices. The total active
power at the input of the IEEE 34 bus system is reduced due to
the reduction in power injected by the 20% renewable energy
source. In this situation if the reactive power of the system
remains relatively constant can lead to a lower power factor
of operation. In such situations reactive power compensator
are recommended to keep the system power factor at a higher
level. Addition of 20% renewable energy at node 890 has little

effect under normal conditions on the unbalanced load of split

phase AC transformer located between node 818 and 820. The
model is able to detect that voltage on secondary terminal
which approaches minimum utilization voltage according to
ANSI standard A - steady state voltage, shown in Fig. 13.

phases there by activating both under-voltage and over-voltage

state leading to anti-islanding mode.

Fig. 14. Three phase fault at node 858 as reflected at the center-tapped
transformer with 10% wind power.

D. Fault Analysis with 20% DG Power (N-1)

Fig. 13. Voltage characteristics at the secondary terminal of center tapped
transformer with 20% renewable energy at node 890.

Table. 1 shows the characteristics of the grid when renewable sources are coupled at node 890.
Node(phase A)


with 10% Wind


20% (Wind + Solar )


C. Fault Analysis with 10% Wind Power (N-1)

A three-phase short circuit fault downstream (node 858)
leads to a collapse of the transformer voltage 50% below the
ANSI standard A - normal steady state and the emergency
steady state irrespective of the presence of a 10% wind power
at 890, as seen in Fig. 14. The same fault leads to a more
severe fault condition at node 890. Under voltage situation
will activate the protection device to trip and disconnect the
wind source from the grid system. Three phase fault is injected
into different nodes and the impact of the system as a whole is
studied. The whole procedure is carried out for the analysis of
single phase fault at node 858, which is close enough to 890.
The asymmetrical fault leads to voltage increase in other two

The procedure used for the 10% wind scenario is now

extended for 20%. The characteristic behavior of the grid
system remains as that of the 10% integration but the differences in the severity or gravity of operation of the protection
devices increase due to the magnitude of change in the system
behavior. In this section we will be detailing more on single
phase fault at node 858. The effect of single phase short
circuit to ground fault at node 858 on phase A is reflected
at the secondary of the center tapped transformer. This fault
leads to a collapse of the transformer voltage below the
minimum utilization level of ANSI standards both for normal
and emergency state, shown by Fig. 15. Impact of the fault on
node 890 is not so severe as that with 10% wind power but it
is significant enough to cause the protection device to trigger.
A typical scenario of losing a customer at node 890 is
simulated with 20% wind power. Removal of load triggers
over-voltage mode and the turbine is disconnected from the
system. When the load of 450kW is reconnected there are
heavy oscillations and over voltages for seconds which again
lead to the failure of interconnection.
E. Fault Analysis with 10% Wind Power (N-2)
Multiple fault contingency analysis is carried out for different combinations. Loss of element followed by short-circuit
fault, multiple short circuits at different nodes at the same
time, loss of an element and fault are the different scenarios
analyzed. Here loss of an element and single line to ground
fault is described in detail. Fig. 16 shows the impact of
simultaneous unusual incidents at node 890 namely losing a
customer at node 890 and a single phase line to ground fault
on phase C. Removal of the load results in over voltage which

Fig. 15. Characteristics at the center tapped transformer with a single phase
fault at node 858 with 20% renewable energy at node 890.

in turn will trigger the anti-islanding mode. Voltage drop on

phase C due to the short circuit will lead to the disconnection
of wind power from the grid.

Fig. 16. Loss of an element and single line to ground fault as reflected to
the wind power source.

F. Fault Analysis with 20% Renewable Energy (N-2)

Similar scenario as explained above for 10% wind power is
carried out for 20% integration. To have a better understanding
of a different fault mode, the loss of an element followed
by single-phase short-circuit is depicted in Fig. 17. Once
the load is removed, the voltage swelling may trigger over
voltage protection and disconnect the wind power source.
Heavy oscillations and over voltage when the load is connected
back can again force the DG to go off-line.
G. Low Voltage Ride Through (LVRT) using the PV Inverters
Depending on the grid code system the renewable generator
should be able to withstand voltage fluctuations for small time

Fig. 17. Characteristics at the node 890 with loss of an element followed
by single line fault with 20% renewable energy at node 890.

periods. Although mainly designed to provide active power,

these converters can also be used to provide additional utility
functions also known as ancillary services. The IEEE standard
1547 defines ancillary services as frequency regulation, voltage
regulation, reactive power supply, spinning and non spinning
reserves. Reactive power control is the most important among
the listed ones as it helps to protect the loads from voltage
The extent to which the PV inverter can stabilize the voltage
fluctuations depends on different characteristics like maximum
current rating of the inverter, coupling impedance, inverter line
filter, existing load at the point of coupling and the ability to
detect the voltage dip and swell in a short period of time [15].
For a given coupling impedance and existing load the change
in reactive power required to compensate the voltage variation
is approximated by the equation given below by equating V
to zero and rearranging for the reactive power injection.
Q ' P.
Addition of more inverters can increase the voltage boost
and totally compensate the grid voltage variation. Fig. 18
shows how the multiple inverter system compensates the
voltage drop. Grid voltage starts dropping at 0.2s. Inverter
1 with a rating of 10% of the total grid load is switched on
at 0.4s which compensates for the drop to an extent but not
completely. After a time interval of 0.5s, the second inverter is
activated along with the first one leading to complete voltage
The PV inverter has two modes of operation under LVRT.
Fig. 19 shows a 90 degree phase shift between voltage and
current confirming the switching of the PV inverter from active
mode to reactive mode. Under normal mode of operation, the
V ' P.


Fig. 18. Low-voltage Ride Through with grid voltage supported by reactive
power injection (Two Inverter).

This paper reports the work using Matlab/Simulink to model

a small distribution grid with up to 20% renewable energy
resources (10% wind and 10% solar) based on a modified
IEEE 34 bus system which included a center-tapped low
voltage transformer typically used in residential areas. The
model is then analyzed for various fault scenarios with and
without the renewable 20% energy sources and their impact
in various points across the IEEE 34 bus system. The model
developed was also used to analyze a LVRT scenario with
multiple PV inverters. Overall the model has proved a viable
tool that can be used for small distribution grid analysis. It can
also be utilized as a test environment to study various detailed
control strategies applicable to both wind and solar based
PWM converters. Future work will be extended to the design
and application of Distributed Grid Management Controller
System based on DSP and FPGA platforms.

Fig. 19.

Characteristics of current and voltage under LVRT for the PV

PV inverter acts like an active power module, while under grid

fault condition the PV inverter switches in the grid support
mode and delivers only reactive power. Fig. 20 details the
operation and transition of the PV-inverter from active to
reactive mode.

Fig. 20.

Power delivery of PV inverters under LVRT.

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