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Methodologies to assist the management of transformers in modern distribution systems under the integration of distributed energy resources

Grant number: 22/11182-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2023
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Electrical Engineering - Power Systems
Principal Investigator:Madson Cortes de Almeida
Grantee:Bruno Cortes de Souza
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Elétrica e de Computação (FEEC). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:21/11380-5 - CPTEn - São Paulo Center for the Study of Energy Transition, AP.CCD


The increasing interest of developed countries in consolidating energy matrices mainly composed of clean and renewable sources has led to the widespread adoption of the so-called Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in distribution systems. More specifically, there has been a wide insertion of photovoltaic generation, energy storage systems, and the electrification of the vehicle fleet supported by the installation of charging stations. Consequently, the operation of distribution networks has become more complex. In these networks, an important aspect of adopting DERs is the change in the typical profiles of loading curves, which can present consumption and generation peaks at different times of the day, in addition to significant changes on consecutive days, e.g., due to sudden changes in sunshine duration patterns.To deal with this challenging scenario, the Brazilian national energy regulatory agency (ANEEL) has sponsored and encouraged studies about the impacts of the DERs allocation, which can lead to significant changes in the responsibilities and remuneration rules of the utilities. Thus, to help them in their new role as an integration agent of these energy resources, the development of methodologies to support the management of distribution transformers is imperative, given the impact that DERs can cause on existing transformers, the importance of the equipment for the continuous operation of the grid and the relevant financial contribution of this asset (associated with the number of distribution transformers units, its acquisition cost, and its inherent losses) for the utilities' revenues.In this context, the general objective of this postdoctoral project is to investigate methodologies to support the management of distribution transformers, especially the ones connecting DERs in modern distribution systems. More specifically, four aspects of distribution transformer management will be investigated: (i) evaluation of methodologies for the diagnostics of electrical losses and loading level in distribution transformers; (ii) development of methodologies devoted to analyzing and quantifying the general state of health of distribution transformers, especially in networks with high penetration of DERs; (iii) development of methodologies for a technical-economic analysis, which can even consider regulatory aspects devoted to identifying and ranking candidate transformers for replacement or reallocation; (iv) development of methodologies for the management of DERs seeking to improve the transformer health status, postponing, or avoiding the replacement of the equipment. It is important to note that part of this research will be developed in collaboration with the research group led by Prof. Bala Venkatesh (Senior Member of the IEEE, Director of the Center for Urban Energy, and expert in smart grid development) at the Metropolitan University of Toronto. In addition to strategic support, the candidate will have all the expertise of Prof. Bala Venkatesh. (AU)

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