Analysis of large distribution networks with distributed energy resources
The connection of distributed energy resources (i.e., distributed generation and energy storage) and some special loads (e.g., electrical vehicle) raises new challenges in distribution system analysis. Intermittent and non-dispatchable generation units, time-dependent or asymmetrical loads require capabilities that until very recently were not available in distribution software packages; for instance, capabilities for probabilistic and time mode simulations. This paper presents the work made by the authors to adapt OpenDSS, a freely available distribution simulator, in order to perform these types of studies taking into account that the model of an actual distribution system is usually very large and complex. A goal of the paper is to present the usage of OpenDSS as either a stand-alone tool or as a COM DLL driven from MATLAB. Several applications have been developed to obtain yearly curve shapes aimed at representing time-varying loads and renewable energy sources (sun, wind) and to run OpenDSS in a distributed computing environment (e.g., multicore installation).