Optimal allocation of sectionalizing switches in rural distribution systems

Daldal, Mustafa
The distribution system which forms the final connection between customers and power source plays a vital role in an electrical network. Different studies show that substantial proportion of the customer interruptions occurs due to the failures on distribution network. The ongoing privatization process of the electrical distribution services in Turkey raises the importance of reliable and continuous electricity supply significantly. The new regulations come up with this privatization process and the electrical distribution companies are strictly required to comply with these regulations to ensure the reliability of the distribution network. The legal framework and severe punishments applied to the electrical distribution companies exceeding the continuity of supply indices force them to invest on their network in order to increase the reliability of their system. As the reliability of electricity supplied increases, investment cost also increases. However, low system reliability causes higher outage frequency and duration which will increase the damage of these outages to customers and also increases the cost of the distribution company as a result of the penalty payments. This tradeoff between Outage Cost and Utility Cost requires consideration of an optimization when determining the optimal reliability level. In rural areas where electrical distribution network consists of long radial overhead lines in arborescent structure, continuity of supply is a major problem due to the high failure rates. The implementation of protection devices having reclosing capability and automated sectionalizing switches enhances the continuity of supply on rural networks substantially. The balance between the cost associated with installation of switches and the reduction on Outage Cost is an important optimization issue for distribution network operators. In this thesis study an algorithm is developed in order to determine the optimum number and locations of the sectionalizing switches on a rural electrical distribution network in Turkey which gives an optimum investment level with an optimum Outage Cost.