Distributed Power Apportioning with Early Dispatch for Ancillary Services in Renewable Grids: arXiv:2007.11715 [eess.SY]

Sourav Patel, Blake Lundstrom, Govind Saraswat, Murti Salapaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article develops a distributed framework for coordinating distributed energy resources (DERs) in a power network to provide secondary frequency response (SFR) as an ancillary service to the bulk power system. A distributed finite-time protocol-based solution is adopted that allows each DER in the network to determine power reference commands. The distributed protocol respects information exchange constraints posed by a communication network layer while being robust to delays in the communications channels. The proposed framework enables coordinated response and control of the aggregated DERs by apportioning the share of generation that each DER needs to provide towards meeting any specified global SFR command while allowing for adjustments due to variability in generation and demand in order to prioritize renewable energy sources in the network. A novel early dispatch mechanism with brown start is synthesized to achieve initial DER response to changing SFR commands that is faster than state-of-the-art distributed approaches. The proposed power apportioning protocol is validated using an end-to-end power hardware-in-the-loop configuration at a distribution system scale with 40+ physical hardware DERs, underlying 7-MW power system model, a 250-DER communication topology with physical and simulated distributed controller nodes, varied communication protocols, and an underlying real-world power system model. Experimental results demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed method toward distributed coordination of hundreds of DERs for providing fast response at SFR timescales.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-77175


  • ancillary services
  • distributed power apportioning
  • finite time ratio consensus
  • secondary frequency response


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