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A Survey on Self-healing Control of Smart Distribution Grid

Wen Dan
Liu Min
College of Electrical Engineering, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550003, Guizhou Province, China
Keywords: smart distribution grid, self-healing grid, self-healing control
Abstract: This paper introduced the concept, the important meaning and the implementation
conditions of self-healing control of distribution network, summarized several key technologies,
briefly described several self-healing control methods and analyzed their features and shortages. It
is concluded that the research on self-healing control of smart distribution grid is still in the initial
stage, existing methods are not comprehensive, and a better method remains to be further studied.
1. Introduction
Along with the social and economic development and technical progress, the reliability and quality
of power supply continue increasing, it requires that the future network should be able to provide
safe, reliable, clean and high quality power supply, adapt to various types of power generation, can
be adapted to the highly marketization of electric power transaction needs, can be more responsive
to customers choices, be able to further improve the large power grid assets utilization efficiency
and benefit, be able to provide more quality service. On that basis, the United States and the
European Union as the representative, different countries and organizations all put forward to
wanting to build a smart grid (SG) of flexible, clean, safe, economical and friendly. The smart grid
is the future direction of the grid.
Smart grid mainly composed of advanced metering infrastructure(AMI), advanced distribution
operation(ADO), advanced transmission operation(ATO) and advanced asset
management(AAM)[1], of which, the main function of ADO is to make the system self-healing, the
advanced distribution automation of ADO is a foundation to achieve self-healing smart grid.
Self-healing is one of the most important characteristics of smart grid, and it is also a "immune
system" of smart grid. Self-healing, which includes self-prevention and self-recovery, refers to
isolating the wrong device from the system, in the case of little or no human intervention to make
the system quickly restored to operating in a stable state, thereby almost without interruption for the
user's power supply services. The relay protection of power system of traditional security control is
"off-line tuning, real-time action", which is different from self-healing control. The implementation
of self-healing control will accompany the network reconfiguration inevitably; adjust the protection
setting value and the switching equipment operation.
2. Self-healing grid
The concept of self-healing is based on the aim to enhance power system security and defense
capability and the needs to improve power transmission ability. As the world-wide blackout
occurred frequently, these involve cascade, the human factors and natural factors, other major
incidents cause the attention of people increasingly.Thus, to stop a cascade evolve into a blackout
2012 International Conference on Future Electrical Power and Energy Systems
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and from security protection to disaster defense are two research and development directions of
power grid security control.
In many disaster defense systems, the strategic power infrastructure defense system (SPID) [3] is
much more impressive, it is developed by The United States. SPID system adopts 3 layers of
multi-agent structure: the ground floor is the reaction layer; the middle one is the cooperative layer;
and the high one is the cognitive layer. Its main features are vulnerability assessment, fault analysis,
self-healing strategy, information and sensing, to protect power infrastructure from natural disasters,
man-made error, power market competition, information and communication system fault and
The concept of self-healing strategies of SPID, is inherited and Developed in the subsequent
research and development of self-healing grid.
3. Significance of self-healing smart distribution network and its achievement condition
Self-healing is an important characteristics of smart distribution grid, self-healing is an important
characteristics of smart distribution grid, which includes self-prevention self-recovery, and
self-prevention refers to that when power system is in the normal operation for real-time
performance evaluation and continuous optimization; self-recovery means that if power system
subjected to disturbance or fault, automatic fault detection, isolation and restoration of power
supply. The self-healing function has three objectives: Firstly, evaluating the power system behavior
in real-time, displaying the system's operating characteristics and health status; Secondly, making
response quickly for the disturbance of system; Thirdly, returning to stable grid operating area
quickly after the disturbance.
Self-healing distribution network covers the automatic control technology, relay protection
technology, computer technology, applied mathematics and many new technologies, new
progresses of other fields, it is an integrated control technology of integrated software and
intelligent device.
The significances of self-healing smart distribution network are:
(1) It is an effective solution of the following demands: load growth, market-driven grid
environment, the application of intelligent devices and equipment, high reliability of power supply,
rapid response, distributed energy resource, demand side management and demand response.
(2) It is an effective control device to prevent and avoid blackout accidents
Particularly, in order to achieve self-healing control of distribution network, the following
conditions have to be needed at least:
(1) With a variety of intelligent switchgear and distribution terminal equipment,
(2) With dual power supplies or more in distribution network, has flexible and reliable topology,
(3) Reliable communication network,
(4) Automated real-time software processing system.
4. Key technologies of self-healing smart distribution network
4.1 Distribution fast simulation and modeling
The development of fast simulation and modeling(FSM) technology is in order to provide the
support and predictive mathematical ability, and eventually form a powerful software platform for
network operators in a complex environment, to provide management decision-making support.
FSM is the core of ADO, including senior software system of risk-assessment, self-healing
control and optimization. Distribution FSM needs to support four main self-healing functions:
(1) Network reconfiguration,
(2) Voltage and reactive power control,
(3) Fault location, isolation and restoration of power supply,
(4) Relay protection setting again following system topology changes.

4.2 The technology of micro-smart grid and demand side management
Micro-grid is a collection of loads and micro-energy resource [4], a small power system, which can
not only operated with the external power grid, but also operated in isolation. Micro-grid can ease
the peak pressure of power supply to achieve the electricity peak load shifting, optimize and
improve energy efficiency, for the purpose of realizing the necessary technical foundation of
self-healing control of distribution network.
Demand-side management refers to saving energy, optimizing resource allocation and ensuring
security of electricity grid management activities by increasing end-user electricity efficiency and
optimizing power consumption under the administrative or induction measures; Demand response
refers to something that the power market users response according to the signal of market price or
incentive mechanism and changes the normal power consumption mode of market participation.
Regardless of the distribution network in the normal operating mode of the optimal control, or in
the non-normal operating mode of the correction to restore control, demand-side management is
considered and supporting users to participate in power grid interactive, it is the most critical
technologies of self-healing distribution network.
4.3 Wide area measurement and control technology
For large-scale, distributed wide area distribution networks, it is needed to establish a
synchronization information based on wide-area protection and control theory and technology to
coordinate the integration of network components protection, regional optimizing control,
preventive and corrective control, emergency recovery control with multi-line of defense of
self-healing power grid control system. The key technology of realizing self-healing control of
distribution network is based on wide area measurement and information exchange, which is the
solution that global and local parts can be decentralized and centralized with coordination of
function and speed, for achieving coordination of wide-area control and the distribution protection
5. Research status of self-healing control methods
The existing self-healing control of distribution network methods can be roughly divided into the
following categories:
5.1 self-healing control methods based on the state of city distribution network
Self-healing control methods, which are based on the state of city distribution network includes the
following steps:
(1) Define a state function ( , , , , ) f U I P Q f which is dependent on voltageU , currentI , active
powerP , reactive powerQ, frequency f set the value of emergency state, recovery state, abnormal
state, alert status and safety state is
f ,
(2) Acquisition parameters of electrical: U I P Q f ,
(3) Calculate the value of the state function, and compared with the setting state function value,
according to the result of the comparison to the related control process,
(4) Emergency control,
(5) Recovery control,
(6) Correction control,
(7) Prevention and control.
Through the above steps, running the city distribution network in hierarchical control, to give the
network the ability of self-prevention and automatic-recovery, make the city distribution network
has the ability of dealing with extreme emergencies and disasters, and the ability to improve the
reliability of city distribution network supply.

However, the model of this method, which has its own limitations is too simple. It can not reflect
the dynamic behavior of distribution networks effectively. it can not describe in depth and reveal
the relationship of running status and the control-scheme in complex distribution network.
5.2 self-healing control methods based on micro-grid and demand side management
self-healing control methods based on micro-grid and demand side management [7] applies to
micro-grid system consisted of a large number of distributed generation and energy storage, it can
give full play to micro-grid in power failure or disturbance when supporting role and power in the
normal operation of the continuous optimization of the role.
This approach is conducive to optimize control of the grid, but it can not be applied to the
distribution network, whose structure and control of micro-grid is limited.
5.3 self-healing control methods based on coordinated control mode
Self-healing control methods based on coordinated control mode [8-9] used to operate in city power
grid, adopting the integration of coordinated control mode. Signal processing and the control
strategy, which completed in automatic control process without external intervention is
self-adaptive, This method based on data acquisition, automated diagnostic the current operation
state of power grid, for using the intelligent methods to control strategic decisions, achieving the
automatic control of relay protection, switch and automatic device, impelling the power grid to a
better running status, giving it the self-healing ability, thus realize the city power grid stability,
safety, reliability, economic operation.
The essence of this method is in different operation conditions adopting different control mode to
implement self-healing of distribution network and for the seven kinds of control are given in the
literature how to conduct and control between the various control methods did not give answers on
how to coordinate.
5.4 self-healing control methods based on operation evaluation of power grid and fast
simulation and modeling
According to the shortage of "2-3-6" framework of self-healing control about distribution grid in the
literature [11], literature [10] proposed a new method, which is self-healing control methods based
on operation evaluation of power grid and fast simulation and modeling. This method established a
new hierarchical framework, the application of indicators to assess the operational status of the grid
system in real-time evaluation and forecast network security risks and impending anomalies, and
then it can identify the operation area of the grid. According to the grid state parameters, then
according to different operation regions corresponding to predefined control and afterwards control
scheme, raising the capacity of coping with various disturbances in city grid, and enhancing the
security and reliability of grid operation.
Based on the evaluation indicators and operation of power network partitioning, the method can
be embedded into city power grid control dispatching center with new intelligent devices and
equipment to achieve self-healing. However, the method in this literature has not been verified and
can not verify the actual effectiveness. It needed the next step to continue to study and solve.
5.5 self-healing control methods based on network vulnerability assessment index for the
reconfiguration of distribution network
Combining of the power system vulnerability and risk theory [12], risk assessment index can well
consider all the aspects of the distribution network. From the possibility of the contingency and its
severity, risk assessment index can be a comprehensive assessment of the level about the network
security. The risk index is computed by the product of the contingency and its severity, as shown in
{ }
, , , ,
( ) ( ) ( ) ( , )
t f i i j t f i i j
R X P E P X X S E X =


E is the ith contingency and ( )
P E is its probility.
, t f
X is the forecasted condition at time t,
( )
t f
R X is the risk index of this condition.
, i j
X is the jth possible loading condition,
, ,
( )
i j t f
P X X is the probability of this condition.
( , )
i i j
S E X quantifies the severity, or consequence, of theith contigency occurring under the jth
possible opertin condition.
Risk-based vulnerability assessment index can be designed according to the specific research
object and targeted to be modified, thus for the distribution network comprehensive evaluation. On
the basis of this method, this paper have proposed the comprehensive system vulnerability index. To
a very great extent, it solved the single goal in this problem of distribution network reconfiguration
with the application of artificial intelligence algorithm, such as genetic algorithm and ant colony
algorithm. As the optimization method for network reconfiguration of distribution network, it
improved network security, reliability, reduce network losses and so on. Through the establishment
of the software of self-healing function which is based on the vulnerability assessment and
network reconfiguration, intelligent equipment can help achieve the operational status of the
distribution network in real time, on-line, accurate assessment and network reconfiguration.
6. Conclusion
Grid self-healing control system is a large engineering system, causing many new problems which
is worthy of deep research and need gradual implementation and development. With the continuous
progress of Technological in good condition, the concept and the system of the grid self-healing
control will continue to be clear and practical, research will continue to achieve important results, the
power system will gradually become safe, strong and reliable operation of critical infrastructure in the
social system. However, self-healing control research is still in the initial stage. The existing
methods can not realize the distribution network control comprehensively. To the full realization of
self-healing control method remains to be further studied.
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