Autonomous Restoration of Networked Microgrids Using Communication-Free Smart Sensing and Protection Units

Abhishek Banerjee, Vaibhav Pawaskar, Gab-Su Seo, Amit Pandey, Uttam Pailla, Xiaofan Wu, Ulrich Muenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


This paper presents autonomous restoration of networked microgrids using distributed energy resources (DERs), inverter-based resources (IBRs) in general, and controllable assets of intelligence without communication to achieve a extremely resilient power system restoration. The main innovation of this work lies in use of real-time smart sensing and decision making that enable autonomous recombination of islanded microgrids, which are individually black-started by local grid-forming (GFM) inverter units. The smart circuit breakers (SCBs) designed and demonstrated here play critical roles in the restoration process to achieve autonomy; the autonomous restoration scheme is not pre-engineered and may be subject to encounter overloading, live or downed segments as the boundary of the microgrids dynamically expands without prior knowledge and only with local measurement. We demonstrate autonomous microgrid restoration both in simulation of a modified IEEE 13-bus system, and in a hardware testbed comprising 24 GFM-IBRs and 6-SCBs, depicting several scenarios to evaluate their functionalities and interoperability. This work validates high potential of extremely resilient microgrid using novel approaches for inverter-based bottom-up system restoration in a communication-free paradigm.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1076-1087
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2010-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-83959


  • Autonomous restoration
  • black start
  • communication-free
  • grid-forming inverters
  • networked microgrids
  • smart circuit breaker


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