Control of Pervasive Domestic-Scale Inverters for Minimizing Total Feeder Power

Matthew Deakin, Thomas Morstyn, Malcolm Mcculloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes a method for studying the potential benefits of reactive power control by domestic-scale inverters, considering network losses, inverter losses, and load-voltage sensitivity. The model is developed as a mixed-integer quadratically constrained quadratic program (MI-QCQP), using a linearization of the unbalanced distribution load flow equations. Networks both with and without on-load tap changers are studied, with the test cases covering both European and North American-style circuits. The use of domestic inverter control is shown to increase benefits compared to conventional tap control by 20%, reducing the total feeder power draw by as much as 0.5% of the feeder load. In contrast, the minimization of either load or losses in isolation is shown to increase the amount of power that a feeder draws in five of the seven circuits. To reduce the communications overhead of the approach, a control scheme is proposed that specifies the reactive power of all inverters on each phase identically; this approach is shown to realise up to 98% of the potential benefits of inverter reactive power control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106770
JournalElectric Power Systems Research
Early online date20 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Volt/Var Control
  • Conservation Voltage Reduction
  • Distributed Energy Resources
  • Distributed Generation
  • Distribution System Analysis


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