Hierarchical Distributed Voltage Regulation in Networked Autonomous Grids: Preprint

Xinyang Zhou, Fei Ding, Zhiyuan Liu, Wenbo Wang, Lijun Chen, Changhong Zhao

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


We propose a novel algorithm to solve optimal power flow (OPF) that aims at dispatching controllable distributed energy resources (DERs) for voltage regulation at minimum cost. The proposed algorithm features unprecedented scalability to large distribution networks by utilizing an information structure based on networked autonomous grids (AGs). Specifically, each AG is a subtree of a large distribution network that has a tree topology. The topology and line parameters of each AG are known only to a regional coordinator (RC) that is responsible for communicating with and dispatching the DERs within this AG. The reduced network, where each AG is treated as a node, is managed by a central coordinator (CC), which knows the topology and line parameters of the reduced network only and communicates with all the RCs. We jointly explore this information structure and the structure of the linearized distribution power flow (LinDistFlow) model to derive a hierarchical, distributed implementation of the primal-dual gradient algorithm that solves OPF. The proposed implementation significantly reduces the computation burden compared to the centrally coordinated implementation of the primal-dual algorithm. Numerical results on a 4,521-node test feeder show that the proposed hierarchical distributed algorithm can achieve more than 10-fold improvement in the speed of convergence compared to the centrally coordinated primal-dual algorithm.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2019
EventIEEE American Control Conference - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Duration: 10 Jul 201912 Jul 2019


ConferenceIEEE American Control Conference
CityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-75056 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-73345


  • autonomous grid
  • distributed
  • hierarchical
  • regulation
  • voltage


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