IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015 - 26

Utilities must retain the ability to detect and isolate
faults as well as provide service restoration to all customers
in a timely fashion.

a timely fashion. Additional DERs can affect the utility's
ability to perform these functions. Common impacts from
integration of DERs include: nuisance fuse blowing, misoperation of equipment, increased short-circuit current, unintentional islanding, and sympathetic tripping of the feeder.
Standard fault current analysis can be used to compare the
fault response with and without the DERs to evaluate the potential impact on system protection. Impact assessment includes
the examination of feeder fault current magnitudes that can
cause inadvertent or faulty operation of protection devices.

Energy
DER installations have the potential to reduce distribution
losses because the generation is provided closer to where the
energy is consumed. The extent to which DERs can reduce
distribution losses depends on the location of the resource
and the length of time for which the energy is provided to the
grid. Alternatively, a change in customer voltage may counteract some of the change in losses.
Time-series analysis captures the time-coincident nature,
or lack thereof, of the DER and load profiles so as to quantify
the energy benefits and impacts. Annual 8,760-hour simulation
analyses are conducted with sequential load flow analyses that
incorporate the varying load and generation profiles along with
the automatic control devices such as load tap changers.

Capacity
Distribution systems are designed to provide service to all customers, especially at peak load periods when assets are most

constrained. A potential benefit of integrating DERs into the
distribution system is their ability to reduce net feeder demand
and relieve capacity on existing distribution infrastructure,
potentially deferring distribution-capacity upgrades. For any
resource to potentially provide distribution-capacity relief, it
must be analyzed in terms of its ability to provide capacity
during peak load periods when assets are most constrained
and when feeder capacity is a limiting factor.
Capacity analysis requires specific information regarding
thermal characteristics, the associated load profile characteristics, and projected load growth. Hence, capacity is analyzed separately for each feeder and substation to identify
the potential benefits (in terms of asset investment deferral)
arising from power being generated locally, as well as any
adverse consequences of two-way power flows on feeder carrying capacity. Utilities have developed different approaches
to evaluating capacity, and therefore the specific metrics and
methods used to evaluate asset loading and loss of life are
taken into account.

Reliability
Reliability is a measure of the number and duration of interruptions of electrical service experienced by consumers.
DER installations have the potential to improve reliability,
but they must use dependable technologies and be sited in
locations on the distribution system where they can effectively deliver power during system failure events. As with
capacity, DER output must be available at the time of need to
improve distribution reliability.

Location √
Potential Benefit

Voltage
Capacit
y

Energy

Protection

Reliability

Location x
Potential Risk

Case by
Case Look
Needed

figure 5. Integrated approach to determining the optimal placement of DERs.
26

ieee power & energy magazine

march/april 2015



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015

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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015 - Cover3
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