Hierarchical Distributed Voltage Regulation in Networked Autonomous Grids

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

16 Scopus Citations


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 the 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 an improvement of more than tenfold in the speed of convergence compared to the centrally coordinated primal-dual algorithm.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Event2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 10 Jul 201912 Jul 2019


Conference2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-73345 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-75056


  • autonomous grid
  • distributed
  • hierarchical
  • regulation
  • voltage


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