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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Extremum Seeking Control of Smart Inverters for VAR Compensation:


Reactive power compensation is used by utilities to ensure customer voltages are within pre-defined tolerances and reduce system resistive losses. While much attention has been paid to model-based control algorithms for reactive power support and Volt Var Optimization (VVO), these strategies typically require relatively large communications capabilities and accurate models. In this work, a non-model-based control strategy for smart inverters is considered for VAR compensation. An Extremum Seeking control algorithm is applied to modulate the reactive power output of inverters based on real power information from the feeder substation, without an explicit feeder model. Simulation results using utility demand information confirm the ability of the control algorithm to inject VARs to minimize feeder head real power consumption. In addition, we show that the algorithm is capable of improving feeder voltage profiles and reducing reactive power supplied by the distribution substation.

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