Multivariable Control Structure Design for Voltage Regulation in Active Distribution Networks



Distributed Generation, Active Distribution Network, Voltage Control, Multivariable Control design, Process System Engineering


The distributed generation (DG) paradigm has driven the growth of small and medium-scale renewable generation systems located close to demand centers. As a consequence, traditional distribution networks are in a transition towards the so-called Active Distribution Networks (ADNs). However, the intermittent nature of renewable generation causes rapid voltage fluctuations that are difficult to manage and deteriorate power quality. In the literature, the tasks corresponding to the design of voltage control in ADNs are addressed in a heuristic and sequential manner. In this work, a systematic strategy is proposed for the analysis, design and implementation of controllers for voltage regulation in ADNs with DG, based on the Plant Wide Control (PWC) theory of the Process Systems Engineering (PSE) community. This strategy allows us to find control structures that optimize the hardware necessary for its implementation and have good dynamic performance. The general PWC design procedure is formulated as a mixed integer two-level nonlinear programming with cost functions that only depend on the steady state models of the network. To evaluate the proposed methodology, the IEEE 33 distribution network model is used, to which 6 DGs are incorporated. The application of the proposed methodology to identify and evaluate different control structures contributes to the generation of systematic tools to approach the ADN control design process in a comprehensive manner, based on quantitative information.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Pablo G. Rullo, CIFASIS-CONICET, Rosario, Argentina. Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Facultad Regional San Nicolás (FRSN-UTN)

Received the degree in electronic engineering from the National University of Rosario (UNR), Rosario, Argentina, in 2009 and Ph.D. degree in 2017. He is assistant researcher of CONICET and Associate Professor of the electrical engineering department of San Nicolás Regional Faculty (FRSN), National Technological University (UTN). His main interests are renewable generation systems and multivariable control design strategies applied to microgrids and distributed generation.

Lautaro Braccia, CIFASIS-CONICET

Lautaro Braccia received the degree in chemical engineering from the National Technological University (UTN), Rosario, Argentina, in 2014 and Ph.D. degree at the National University of Rosario (UNR), Rosario, Argentina, in 2019. He is assistant researcher of CONICET. His main research topics are energy integration, process operability assessment, and simultaneous strategies for process synthesis and control.


Received the degree in electronic engineering from the National University of Rosario in 2001 and a Phd degree in Engineering Sciencies from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in 2009. He is a researcher at the CIFASIS-CONICET-UNR institute and a professor at the FCEIA-UNR. Currently his research is focused in the area of Optimal Control applied to Electrical Power Systems.


Received both, the Electronic Engineering and the Ph.D. degree at the National University of Rosario (UNR), Rosario, Argentina, in 2002 and 2008, respectively. He is Independent Researcher of CONICET and Adjunct Professor at the National Technological University (UTN-FRRo). Currently, he is the head of the Process Systems Engineering Group (PSEG) at the French-Argentine Center for Information and Systems Sciences (CIFASIS), Rosario, Argentina. He is the author of two books and more than one hundred works. His main research topics are plant-wide control, process monitoring, and control performance assessment


M. E. Samper and R. A. Reta, “Regulatory analysis of distributed generation installed by distribution utilities,” IEEE Latin America Transactions, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 665–672, 2015.

B. B. Zad, H. Hasanvand, J. Lobry, and F. Vallee, “Optimal reactive power control of DGs for voltage regulation of MV distribution systems using sensitivity analysis method and PSO algorithm,” International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, vol. 68, pp. 52–60, 2015.

J. Rocabert, A. Luna, F. Blaabjerg, and P. Rodriguez, “Control of power converters in AC microgrids,” IEEE transactions on power electronics, vol. 27, no. 11, pp. 4734–4749, 2012.

G. Stephanopoulos and G. V. Reklaitis, “Process systems engineering: From solvay to modern bio-and nanotechnology.: A history of development, successes and prospects for the future,” Chemical engineering science, vol. 66, no. 19, pp. 4272–4306, 2011.

P. Daoutidis, J. H. Lee, I. Harjunkoski, S. Skogestad, M. Baldea, and C. Georgakis, “Integrating operations and control: A perspective and roadmap for future research,” Computers & Chemical Engineering, vol. 115, pp. 179–184, 2018.

M. Kashem and G. Ledwich, “Multiple distributed generators for distribution feeder voltage support,” IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 676–684, 2005.

G. Fusco and M. Russo, “Robust MIMO design of decentralized voltage controllers of pv systems in distribution networks,” IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, vol. 64, no. 6, pp. 4610–4620, 2017.

Z. Cheng, J. Duan, and M.-Y. Chow, “To centralize or to distribute: That is the question: A comparison of advanced microgrid management systems,” IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 6–24, 2018.

K. E. Antoniadou-Plytaria, I. N. Kouveliotis-Lysikatos, P. S. Georgilakis, and N. D. Hatziargyriou, “Distributed and decentralized voltage control of smart distribution networks: Models, methods, and future research,” IEEE Transactions on smart grid, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 2999–3008, 2017.

M. Russo and G. Fusco, “Robust decentralized PI controllers design for voltage regulation in distribution networks with DG,” Electric Power Systems Research, vol. 172, pp. 129–139, 2019.

S. Bolognani, R. Carli, G. Cavraro, and S. Zampieri, “Distributed reactive power feedback control for voltage regulation and loss minimization,” IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 966–981, 2014.

L. Vargas, J. Quiros-Tort ´ os, and G. Valverde, “Voltage regulation of active distribution networks considering dynamic control zones,” in 2020 IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference and Exhibition-Latin America (T&D LA). IEEE, pp. 1–6.

G. Valverde and T. Van Cutsem, “Model predictive control of voltages in active distribution networks,” IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 2152–2161, 2013.

M. E. Baran and F. F. Wu, “Network reconfiguration in distribution systems for loss reduction and load balancing,” IEEE Power Engineering Review, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 101–102, 1989.

R. D. Zimmerman, C. E. Murillo-Sanchez, and D. Gan, “Matpower,” PSERC.[Online]. Software Available at: http://www. pserc. Cornell. edu/matpower, 1997.

J. J. Downs and S. Skogestad, “An industrial and academic perspective on plantwide control,” Annual Reviews in Control, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 99–110, 2011.

D. Zumoffen, “Plant-wide control design based on steady-state combined indexes,” ISA transactions, vol. 60, pp. 191–205, 2016.

L. Braccia, P. A. Marchetti, P. Luppi, and D. Zumoffen, “Multivariable control structure design based on mixed-integer quadratic programming,” Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, vol. 56, no. 39, pp. 11 228–11 244, 2017.

S. H. Dolatabadi, M. Ghorbanian, P. Siano, and N. D. Hatziargyriou, “An enhanced ieee 33 bus benchmark test system for distribution system studies,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, 2020.

A. R. Di Fazio, G. Fusco, and M. Russo, “Decentralized control of distributed generation for voltage profile optimization in smart feeders,” IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 1586–1596, 2013.

R. Tonkoski, L. A. Lopes, and T. H. El-Fouly, “Coordinated active power curtailment of grid connected pv inverters for overvoltage prevention,” IEEE Transactions on sustainable energy, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 139–147, 2010.

F. Tamp and P. Ciufo, “A sensitivity analysis toolkit for the simplification of mv distribution network voltage management,” IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 559–568, 2014.

D. A. Zumoffen, “Oversizing analysis in plant-wide control design for industrial processes,” Computers & chemical engineering, vol. 59, pp. 145–155, 2013.



How to Cite

Rullo, P. G., Braccia, L., Feroldi, D., & Zumoffen, D. (2022). Multivariable Control Structure Design for Voltage Regulation in Active Distribution Networks. IEEE Latin America Transactions, 20(5), 839–847. Retrieved from