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Distribution system performance evaluation accounting for data uncertainty

Article  in  IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery · August 2003

DOI: 10.1109/TPWRD.2003.813868 · Source: IEEE Xplore

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Jovan Nahman Dragoslav Perić


Higher Education Technical School of Professional Studies in Požarevac, Serbia

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Distribution System Performance Evaluation

Accounting for Data Uncertainty
Jovan Nahman and Dragoslav Peric

Abstract—The effects of uncertain input data on the perfor-

mance evaluation of a distribution system are analyzed. A crite-
rion is introduced for assessing the grade of uncertainty of the re-
sults obtained in the calculation of maximum loads, voltage drops,
energy losses, and characteristic reliability indices of a network if
some input parameters are only guesses based on limited experi-
ence, measurements, and/or statistical data. Reasonable outputs
bounds are determined based upon the shape of the function mea-
suring the uncertainty. High uncertainty of a result obtained indi-
cates that a re-examination of relevant uncertain input data would
be recommendable for a more precise quantification. The method
proposed is applied to a real life example for illustration.
Index Terms—Distribution systems, fuzzy mathematics, oper-
ating performances, uncertainty.


F OR a proper planning of construction and exploitation of

distribution networks, various network performances have
to be analyzed. The most important among them are the max-
imum currents to be carried by the distribution feeders and asso- Fig. 1. Characteristic function of a FN.
ciated voltage drops, annual energy losses, and the reliability of
supplying consumers demands. Unfortunately, many of the in- variable by the uncertainty levels characterizing these intervals.
puts forming the basis for these studies are often assessed with Such a quantification of the uncertainties makes it possible to
some uncertainty, for many reasons. The annual load duration judge the credibility of the results of network analysis based
diagrams of consumers load demands can be only roughly pre- upon uncertain inputs. If the uncertainty grade of a result ob-
dicted. The same is the case with the failure transition rates of tained is too high, some of the most uncertain and most effective
network elements and associated renewal duration which are inputs should be reconsidered for a more precise quantification.
important for reliability evaluation [1]. As these input data sub-
stantially affect the results of network analysis, it is important to II. MATHEMATICAL MODEL
have some idea how uncertain are the results obtained if some
of the inputs can be only roughly assessed. An adequate tool for A. Engineering Interpretation of Fuzzy Algebra
incorporating the uncertainties in distribution network studies Consider a variable which values are not known with cer-
and for assessing the grade of acceptability of the results ob- tainty. This variable may be modeled as a normalized unimodal
tained can provide the fuzzy algebra. Some applications in re- fuzzy number (FN) as depicted in Fig. 1 [7]. FN models of
liability analysis of power systems using fuzzy arithmetic and guessed quantities are further on denoted by capital letters.
fuzzy logic have been suggested in the past [2]–[4]. Fuzzy tech- Parameter ( —cut) is introduced that may be
nique was also successfully used in consumer demand predic- interpreted as the level of uncertainty of the guess made at .
tion [5], [6]. This paper proposes a method for quantifying the To each , an interval of possible values is attached with
uncertainties of the input and output data in a distribution system lower bound and upper bound . For increasing , these
performance analysis. The method models the input and output bounds become closer to one another tending to a single value
quantities in distribution network analysis as fuzzy variables. as approaches to 1. This value is the kernel of , denoted .
The uncertainty grade for a fuzzy variable is measured by the The uncertainty of is the highest of all as the presumption
interval encompassing its most credible values. This interval is that has exactly a specified value must be taken with the least
obtained by weighting the possible intervals of the values of the confidence. If is modeled by a triangular FN, then this FN is
completely defined by the triple .
Manuscript received November 22, 1999. The uncertainty grade of , for , may be determined
J. Nahman is with the University of Belgrade, Belgrade 11000, Yugoslavia. as
D. Peric is with the School of Electrical Engineering, Belgrade 11000, Yu-
goslavia. (1)
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2003.813868

0885-8977/03$17.00 © 2003 IEEE


As can be seen, the integral in (1) gives the interval of variable

values obtained by weighting all possible intervals of these
values by associated uncertainty levels. This interval may be
considered as a most reasonable prediction of variable values
concerning its uncertainty. Interval bounds are given in relative
terms with the kernel of being the base value.
The variable lower bound relative declination of may
be determined as


The corresponding declination of upper bound equals


It is clear that


On the basis of the former definitions, the following bounds

for variable values may be taken as most reasonable for engi-
neering decisions made under uncertainty


B. Calculation Flow
Presume that is a function of inputs , . If
inputs are modeled as FNs, to encompass their uncertainty, then
is also a FN which may be formally expressed as


To define , its characteristic function has to be con-

structed. In order to determine this function, a series of values Fig. 2. Sample distribution network feeder.
is generated from the whole interval (0,1). For each , the lower
and upper bounds of are determined as III. NETWORK MODEL
A. Maximum Feeder Branch Currents
(7) Consider a branching feeder of a radial distribution network
presented in Fig. 2. It is supposed that the feeder consists of
branches characterized by their length and the consumer de-
(8) mand load at their receiving end. The branches can be separated
from each other by opening the disconnectors at their sending
Bounds and for all define . ends that are not marked for simplicity.
As can be observed from (7), equals the minimum of To determine the maximum feeder branch currents and max-
function if values are within intervals (8). These intervals imum voltage drops along the feeder, the peak rms magnitudes
are determined by the lower and upper bonds of for for of load demand currents are used as input variables. They are
which the calculation is performed. equals the maximum presumed to be fuzzy variables quantified by triangular fuzzy
of function obtained for the same intervals of values. numbers. The following relationships correlate these currents
The calculation of and is trivial if is a mono- with currents flowing through feeder branches [8], [9] (here and
tonic increasing or decreasing function with regard to all argu- further on fuzzy variables are designated by capital letters)
ments being within the intervals in (8). In the first case,
is obtained from for and for ,
. In the latter case, should be inserted to (9)
obtain and to obtain . As will be shown here-
after, all distribution network quantities of interest are mono- where , are by 1 column vectors of real and
tonic increasing functions of their arguments which makes the imaginary parts of branch currents while , are
analysis easy and straightforward. corresponding column vectors of load demand peak currents.

The elements of the by Boolean matrix are

if branch supplies branch

It is implied that .
Equations (9) and (10) simply state that the current flowing
through a feeder branch is equal to the sum of the load demand
currents supplied by this branch.
For illustration, the first 5 rows of for the feeder in Fig. 2
are (see equation at the bottom of the page).
From (9), it follows that the maximum branch currents also
are fuzzy quantities. The rms of the current in branch equals

(11) Fig. 3. Branch k load duration diagram.

where is a 1 by row vector built of the row elements magnitudes are dominantly determined by values
of . while drops affect the voltage phase shifts that are
very small usually. Therefore
B. Maximum Voltage Drops
Let us denote by , the diagonal by matrix of the lengths (18)
of feeder branches. Then, the voltage drops at load points are
which means, according to (16), that voltage drops are practi-
(12) cally monotonic increasing functions of load point demand cur-
rents. This facilitates the calculation of their bounds for various
where uncertainty levels .

(13) C. Load Demand Duration Diagram and Energy Losses

The load duration diagram can be represented by several real
It is assumed that the feeder branches have the same impedance
current load levels of given duration, spread in descending order.
per unit length . From (12), it is clear that the elements of by
The load levels are treated as uncertain data and quantified by
1 column vector are fuzzy quantities as they depend
corresponding triangular FNs. In this application, three load
on .
levels are presumed to be sufficiently representative: maximum,
Bearing in mind that
medium, and minimum load level (Fig. 3). The load level dura-
(14) tion and the power factor are presumed to be the same for all
consumer loads. Consumer loads have been considered to be of
with and being the real and imaginary parts of , from (12) the same type and synchronous which means that all consumers
and (14), it follows: have the characteristic load levels approximately at the same
time. However, the load levels and their uncertainty grades for
(15) various consumers generally differ from consumer to consumer.
Based upon the assumptions made, the annual energy losses


The rms values of voltage drops at feeder load points are (19)

It is clear from (19), that the energy losses are monotonic in-
(17) creasing functions of load demand current maximum, medium,
with and being elements of vectors and minimum values represented as fuzzy variables. It makes it
and , respectively. As known, the voltage possible to easily determine bounds for various .


D. Feeder Reliability TABLE II

If there is no back feed available, as presumed, each failure
of a branch, say , interrupts the supply to all branches and
associated loads fed by this branch during its repair. Hence, the
expected energy not supplied due to branch failures is
It is assumed that the feeder failure rate per unit length , sus-
tained interruption duration , and the average real power de-
mands of customers are fuzzy variables as all of these quan-
tities cannot be predicted with certainty.
Here, with reference to Fig. 3

with being the rated network voltage and year.
The total expected energy not supplied annually equals


The second term in (22) encompasses the energy not supplied

during the fault location. is the uncertain duration of this
The system average interruption frequency index is defined
as the ratio of the total number of customer interruptions and
the total number of customers served
portional to the failure transition rate per unit feeder length.
is also a linearly increasing function of fault repair and
(23) location duration. Thus, lower and upper bounds for all of these
three performance indices can be easily obtained for each uncer-
tainty level from the lower and upper bounds of the associated
where is the number of customers served at load point . aforementioned input data for the same .
The system average interruption duration index is defined as
the ratio of the sum of customer interruption durations and the IV. APPLICATION EXAMPLE
total number of customers A. Feeder Data
A real life example of a 10-kV overhead feeder is considered,
(24) that is displayed in Fig. 2. The main feeder data are given in
Tables I–IV. The data are acquired from experience and limited
measurement. Triangular fuzzy numbers quantifying the input
with being by 1 column vector of numbers of customers quantities are given in the general form . is
served at feeder load points. the guess used in the conventional analysis.
As , , and are functions of fuzzy vari-
B. Calculation Procedure
ables, these indices are fuzzy variables too. We can observe
from (20), (21), and (22) that is a monotony increasing The calculation procedure comprises the following steps.
function of consumer currents, failure transition rate per unit 1) Using (10) and (13), determine matrices and for
feeder length, and repair duration. and are pro- the feeder under consideration.

Fig. 4. Characteristic functions of calculated performance indices.

TABLE IV 3) By inserting the values from the previous step into (11)
OTHER SAMPLE DATA and (18), determine the lower bounds of branch peak
currents and voltage drops for .
4) Using (9) and data from step 2, determine the lower
bounds of branch currents , , and
for and insert these values in (19) to calculate the
lower bound of annual energy losses for .
5) By inserting the lower bounds of , , and
2) Determine lower bounds of all fuzzy input data for for in (21), the lower bound of elements
from their membership functions. of power demands for are obtained.

TABLE V quantities is comparatively low with UG being less than 30%.

CALCULATION RESULTS However, the annual energy losses, which depend on the load
duration diagrams of consumers, characterized by three load
levels for each load point, are more considerably affected by
the fuzziness of input data. The uncertainty of the is
high if all input data are fuzzy. This particularly holds for the
upper bound of , indicating that might be much
greater than its kernel value which would be taken as relevant
in the conventional approach. For illustration, from (5) and the
corresponding data in Table V, we obtain the following bounds
of if all inputs are uncertain

MWh MWh (25)

The fuzziness of is closely related to this of the failure

transition rate and may be taken as comparatively low. How-
ever, the fuzziness of is more pronounced as it is addi-
tionally affected by fault location and repair times that we usu-
ally cannot precisely predict. It is worth noting that upper bound
6) By inserting values from the previous step and lower declinations are high in absolute terms and much greater
bounds of , , and for in (20) and (22), lower than for the majority of the analyzed outputs. This means
bound of is obtained for . that, in reality, the crisp values–based analysis might underes-
7) By inserting lower bounds of , , and for timate the examined performance indices and lead to too opti-
in (23) and (24), the corresponding lower bounds of mistic conclusions. The uncertainty of the calculated outputs is
and are calculated. tolerable if only one among the inputs is fuzzy to some extent.
8) Determine upper bounds of all fuzzy input data for The fuzziness of two or more inputs produces a high value
from their membership functions. that is greater than the sum of the declinations generated by the
9) Using the data from step 8 repeat steps 3–7 with upper inputs individually.
bounds to determine the upper bounds of all considered
performance indices for .
10) Increase for, say , and repeat steps 2–9 V. CONCLUSIONS
for this increased value of to determine lower and A method for assessing and incorporating the effects of uncer-
upper bounds of all considered performance indices for tain data upon the performance analysis of distribution systems
the new value of . is proposed. Criteria for determining the uncertainty of both the
11) Repeat step 10 by gradually increasing values until input and output quantities are suggested as well as a reason-
value is reached. In such a way, the data for the able way to determine the bounds of calculated performance in-
construction of membership functions of all considered dices reflecting the uncertainties of input data. The application
performance indices are obtained. of the suggested approach to a real life example has shown that
12) Using (1) and (5) and the data on membership func- the is the performance index most affected by the un-
tions obtained in previous steps, determine the uncer- certainties of input data and should not be taken as a relevant
tainty grades and reasonable bounds of considered per- index for any decision making unless the associated inputs are
formance indices. well known. Second most input data sensitive parameters are
and annual energy losses but to a considerably lower
C. Calculation Results degree. Maximum feeder currents and voltage drops and the
Table V quotes the results of the analysis. The effects of un- index are moderately fuzzy.
certain input data upon the uncertainty of the quantities charac-
terizing the distribution system performances are examined. The REFERENCES
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[6] Sprinivasan, C. S. Chang, and A. C. Liew, “Demand forecasting using Dragoslav Peric was born in Raca, Yugoslavia, in 1958. He received the
fuzzy neural computation, with special emphasis on weekend and public Dipl.Eng., M.Sc., and PF.D. degrees in power engineering from the Faculty
holiday forecasting,” IEEE Trans. Power Syst., vol. 10, pp. 1897–1903, of Electrical Engineering at the University in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1983,
Nov. 1995. 1989, and 1997, respectively.
[7] G. J. Klir and B. Yuan, Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy Logic. Englewood Cliffs, Currently, he is a Professor with the School of Electrical Engineering, Bel-
NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1995. grade, Yugoslavia. His main fields of interest are distribution systems operation
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1994, p. 96.

Jovan Nahman was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He received the Dipl. Eng.
Grade and the TechD degree in electric power engineering from the Faculty of
Electrical Engineering at the University in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1960 and
1969, respectively.
Currently, he is a Professor with the Power System Department at the Uni-
versity of Belgrade, where he has been since 1960.

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