Integrated planning of modern distribution networks incorporating UK utility practices

  • Nurulafiqah Nadzirah Mansor

Student thesis: Phd


Distribution system plays a significant role in the overall electrical power system due to its impact on electricity costs, reliability as well as security of supplied energy. Optimal development planning of modern distribution system is mainly required to satisfy continuous change in customer demands and generations in a cost-effective manner, utilizing the available smart solutions. All these aspects need to be addressed in modern distribution planning methodology that can be applied today in real-life. Review has shown that there are no distributions planning models that adequately model security of supply of radially operated networks. Moreover, the optimal development planning models still do not consider multiple operating regimes, which has become a necessity due to connection of low carbon technologies. Numerous techniques published on this subject tend to ignore the regulations and planning standards that must be complied during system development, resulting in methodology that is not in-tuned with business practices. Furthermore, a comprehensive model that integrates all major components of today’s real-life distribution planning is still lacking, even though many of them have been addressed individually. In this thesis, integrated planning methodology for development of distribution system is proposed, incorporating utility practices in the UK. The overall methodology built on two independent stages, investment stage and operation stage. The operation stage is further cast into two sub-stages, quality of supply planning and minimization of operation costs planning. The overall planning methodology incorporates the novel probabilistic decision tree concept for distribution system planning to consider probable network uncertainties. The first model which is the investment stage determines the new construction and reinforcement of circuits and switchgear, along with circuit decommissioning. Multiple operating regimes due to fluctuation in generation and load profiles are considered, in addition to explicit modelling of N-1 security constraint according to P2/6 planning standards. The quality of supply planning determines the allocation of switchgear and its automation to maximise the reliability benefits from the regulatory incentive regime. Finally, the operation model determines the optimal network configuration that minimises the total operation costs of distribution system. The final outputs are list of cables and switchgear for construction, reinforcement, and decommission, benefits harvested due to quality of supply investments on switchgear, optimal network running arrangement, etc. These studies have proven to be important in formulating effective strategies for development of distribution system, in compliance to the planning standards and resulted in higher network operation capabilities
Date of Award1 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJoseph Mutale (Supervisor) & Victor Levi (Supervisor)


  • Operations cost minimization
  • Distribution operations planning
  • Quality of supply
  • Mixed-integer nonlinear optimization
  • Medium-voltage networks
  • Optimal reconfiguration
  • Security standard
  • Distribution investment planning

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