A Reactive Future modeling

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Team Name A Reactive Future
Faculty Adviser Dr. Herb Hess
Client Avista Utilities
Duration Fall 2017 - Spring 2018
Team Members
  • Nick Flynn
  • Maximilian Schnitker
  • Tianyi Chen
  • Barjas Alruwaili

Our project goal is to propose non-wire solutions to satisfy the needs of the consumers since the substations' solutions are very expensive. The suggested method consists of using integration capacity analysis to find the constraints of the system, then use locational value analysis to find non-wire solutions to the problem that beat the current bid.

Problem Statement[edit]

There is a place in Idaho where the load concentrations are a long distance from substations, making voltage drop, cold load pick up and protection a challenge. In response to new ideals from consumers regarding the utility companies we are conducting research into providing non-wire solutions and reform how the utility plays a role in energy distribution.


Design Process (First Term)
First Steps The first step in our design will be determining the integration capacity of the circuit. Integration Capacity” is the amount of DER capacity that can be installed on a distribution circuit without requiring significant

distribution upgrades. From our locational value analysis research we know that the most successful locations are where the installation of DER’s will not require significant upgrades.

Software Gridlab-D
Capacity Testing Design
  1. Determine the three segments on each feeder by identifying the start and end of each impedance zone on the main feeder
    • Determine the maximum impedance of each feeder. Once the maximum impedance is determined, the feeder will be divided into three segments
  2. Synthesize the circuit demand profile from AMI, SCADA, or other data, and input into GridLab-D
  3. Conduct power flow analysis to determine thermal and voltage limits on each line section
    • Place a 1MW generator at different points along each segment, and perform a power flow analysis to determine if the generator violates thermal or voltage limits anywhere along the feeder. If no violations are identified, capacity of the generator will be increased and the power flow analysis will be repeated. This process will continue until a violation is identified or reverse power flow occurs
  4. Once a violation is identified, the integration capacity will be the largest generation capacity that passed the analysis without any violations
Distributed Energy Resources, (DERs), under consideration
  • Energy Storage
  • Dynamic Voltage Controllers
  • Smart Inverters, (Used with PV installations)
  • Power Regulating Transformers
  • Rooftop Solar paired with energy storage in order to compare space available between rooftops and possible field sites for solar generation
  • Solar at the water treatment plant which has larger scale and similar to solar facility
  • Demand Response which consists of monitoring usage and incentivizing potential usage
Next steps
  • Convert the CIM model of the feeder to a GridLAB-D model
  • Determine the capacity of the feeder
  • Use GridLAB-D to model distributed generation on the feeder

Power World Model[edit]

The picture of the power world is a test scenario of a feeder called "R-12.27-3.glm". In the feeder we included generators working at 1 power factor and we saw how the distribution line limits changed.


Research Report Nov 17th
Report summarizing topics that are of interest to the client.
Gridlab-D Model April 9th 2018
Develop a model using the Software Gridlab-D to aid the client in future scenario simulation.
Final Report May 1st
Final Project report summarizing the year of research and fulfilling all the normal capstone requirements.

Team Members[edit]

Group Photo From Left: Tianyi, Nick, Maximilian, Barjas

A Reactive Future Team
Member Biography Discipline
Nick Flynn Senior in electrical engineering with an emphasis in power. Electrical Engineering
Maximilian Schnitker Senior in Electrical Engineering graduating in May of 2018 with an emphasis in Power Electrical Engineering
Tianyi Chen Senior in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in power systems Electrical Engineering
Barjas Alruwaili Senior in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in power system area Electrical Engineering

Links to Resources[edit]

This will be updated later to include links to meeting minutes, team schedule, and other administrative resources.