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QV and PV curves as a Planning Tool of Analysis

Pablo Guimarães, Ubaldo Fernandez Tito Ocariz

Administración Nacional de Eletricidad (ANDE)
Assunción, Paraguai
guimaraes_pablo@hotmail.com ubaldo_fernandez@ande.gov.py, tito_ocariz@ande.gov.py

Fritz W. Mohn A. C. Zambroni de Souza

Câmara dos Deputados Federal University at Itajubá
Brasilia – DF, Brazil Itajubá, MG – Brazil
Fritz.mohn@camara.gov.br zambroni@unifei.edu.br

Abstract- This paper deals with the problem of system bus where the problem is originated, or mostly related to, is
voltage security. In this sense, load margin, QV curve and important. These critical buses constitute the set of candidate
system loss reduction are focused. The idea is to use these buses for reinforcement against voltage collapse. In addition to
tools in the planning scenario to determine the best
these buses another set of buses of interest are the ones most
locations for installation of distributed generation . For
this purpose, from a base case, the system load margin and likely for loss reduction when reactive power compensation is
its losses are calculated. Besides that, the reactive power considered.
margin of each bus is obtained by using the QV curve,
such that all the necessary information may be collected. The effects of the reinforcement in the voltage stability may
In particular, the application of these techniques to the be assessed by the system load margin, obtained with the help
Paraguayan system is appealing, since this system contains of the continuation method. Such a method is based on a
a metropolitan system radially connected to a weak area, predictor and a corrector step and traces the bifurcation path
which raises some important issues associated with voltage from a base case. The load/generation increase direction may
consider different scenarios, so it may emulate interesting
Keywords: voltage stability, QV curve, loss reduction operating situations.

Another way of assessing the system voltage security is by the

means of loss reduction. This idea comes from the fact that
voltage collapse may be associated with high values of loss. In
Planning the expansion of a power system is a complex task this sense, reducing the loss may keep a system away from
that involves different issues like transient and voltage voltage collapse. As discussed in the literature, this is not
stability, reliability and protection schemes. The correct, since loss reduction and voltage collapse may be
computational tools developed may include dynamic and static different problems. However, reducing the loss in the system
aspects of the system, covering a wide range of likely studies. critical area may produce good results, and loss reduction
As for voltage stability studies, in general a voltage collapse should be considered during the voltage security studies.
point is associated with a singular Jacobian. At this singularity
point, known as saddle node bifurcation, the power flow Combining voltage stability and loss reduction studies provide
Jacobian matrix has a zero eigenvalue. No solution may be interesting results that may be evaluated by load margin
obtained beyond this critical point, which is the system calculation, so the system robustness is focused. Another way
maximum loadability point. Induced bifurcation may also of analyzing the system robustness is by using the QV curve
occur, due to sudden exhaustion of the reactive power sources. [1]. This curve provides the reactive power margin of each bus
and is obtained by transforming a PQ bus into a PV one and
Voltage collapse is a local or, at most, a regional phenomenon varying its voltage level. For each voltage level considered the
. Hence, identifying the system critical bus (or buses), i.e., the reactive power generated is stored, generating a plot

A C. Zambroni de Souza would like to thank CNPq, CAPES and

FAPEMIG for financial support.

978-1-4577-0365-2/11/$26.00 ©2011 IEEE 1601

representative of the bus robustness with respect to reactive where ||.|| stands for tangent vector norm. From this
power support. expression, the steeper the curve, the smaller the predictor
step, and vice versa. The method takes bigger steps as the
This paper proposes a strategy for planning scenario based on system is far from the bifurcation point, and smaller steps as
the theoretical tools described above. For this sake, the real the bifurcation is approached. The actual operating point is
obtained with the help of the corrector stage.
Paraguayan system is employed, with all its limits taken into
consideration. The results are obtained under real operating
possibilities and the effectiveness of the proposed actions is Corrector step
Corrector step is obtained by the inclusion of an extra
II- TECHNIQUES TO CALCULATE LOAD MARGIN AND LOSS equation. Such equation arises from the fact that the predictor
REDUCTION and corrector vectors are perpendicular to each other. An
alternative to this step is obtained when the new operating
point is obtained using the predictor step as the initial guess
This section describes how the continuation method works, for a load flow program. In general, it converges in few
and the importance of the tangent vector calculated during the iterations.
process. After presenting the continuation method, a
discussion about the system loss and the critical area takes III- LOSS SENSITIVITY BASED ON TANGENT VECTOR
place. The sensitivity technique used to identify the generators
to act in the redispatch is also presented, as well as the idea of Tangent vector calculated in equation (2) is used here
shunt compensation. as a new tool for system losses sensitivity. This novel
2.1. Continuation Method and Special Features approach is based on the information provided by tangent
vector, i.e., how state variables vary as a function of system
Continuation methods may be used to trace the path parameter. The total system active power losses are given by:
trodden by a power system from a stable equilibrium point up
to a bifurcation point [2], [3]. Such a methodology is based on nl
the system model Psystem = ∑V ik Vjk ( Gk ( cos( δ (ij)k ) + cos( δ (ji)k )) - Gk (Vik

f(x, λ) = 0 (1) k=1

+Vjk ) (8)
where x represents the state variables and λ is a system
parameter used to drive a system from one equilibrium point
to another. This type of model has been employed on
numerous voltage collapse studies, with λ being considered as nl is the number of transmission lines,
the system load/generation increase factor or the power
transfer level. Two steps move the system along the Vik and Vjk are the voltage level at ends (i) and (j) of
bifurcation path: predictor step and corrector step. transmission line k.

Predictor step Gk is the transmission line k susceptance.

Predictor step is used to indicate a direction to move. Tangent δ (ij)k represents the phase angle between buses i and j .
vector may be used for this purpose, and is given by
If equation (8) is derived in relation to system
⎡ Δθ ⎤ 1 -1
⎡ Po ⎤ parameter λ , it is obtained:
TV= ⎢ ⎥ =J ⎢ ⎥ (2)
⎣ΔV ⎦ Δλ ⎣Qo ⎦
d P system nl d V ik d V jk dA
where J is the load flow Jacobian, θ and V the state variables

= ∑
k =1

Vjk +

Vik ) A + Vik Vjk

(angle phase and voltage magnitude, respectively), and Po and
Qo are the net active and reactive powers connected to each d V ik d V jk
bus. TV is the shortage for tangent vector. The length of 2 Gk (Vik + Vjk ) (4)
dλ dλ
predictor step is then given by
Δλ = 1/||TV||

A = Gk ( cos( δ (ij)k ) + cos( δ (ji)k ) where:

k is a scalar value used to speed up or slow down the

dA/dλ = Gk (2 sin ( δ (ji)k ) (d δ (i)k /dλ − d δ (j)k /dλ))
Equation (4) shows how active power losses vary as a
||.|| denotes the tangent vector norm, and TVQ is calculated as:
function of system parameter. Notice that all the partial
derivatives of equation (4) consist on tangent vector (6)
components, known from equation (4). Therefore, computing TVQ = J −1Q1
equation (4) is not time consuming.
In equation (6), J is the power flow Jacobian. Q1 is a vector
Assume in equation (4) that the right-hand side is with all zeros except for the reactive power associated with the
slightly perturbed through a capacitor installation at a generic bus under study. It is important to mention that the reactive
load bus “l”. The new tangent vector may be obtained with no power limits for all other PV buses are taken into account.
need of calculating the new operating point. If equation (4) is
then calculated, the active power losses variation as a function Computing equation (5) provides the step length. The voltage
of parameter λ (capacitor installation at bus “l” ) is known. level at the PQ buses is updated as:
Taking “l” as all system load buses, one by one, computation
of equations (2) and 4) indicates the load bus, or buses, whose
ΔV = k * (7)
capacitor installation reduces at most the system active power TVQ
loss. Similarly, the right-hand side may be modified by
considering an active power injection at a bus “l”, simulating Calculating the step length in equation (5) and
the input of a generator into the system. Note that this updating the state variables by equation (7) cause no problem.
generator may also produce reactive power, enhancing the
system voltage profile. Notice that in this process, a power During the power flow convergence process, the bus under
flow program is executed only for the base case. study is considered as a PV bus. However, the step length
calculation and the voltage level correction are executed
IV. QV CURVE ANALYSIS considering this bus as a PQ bus. This happens regardless the
original type of the bus under study. The computational cost
The QV curve method [4],[5]has been used as a for obtaining the step length and the correction term is,
planning tool by many utilities, a practice that should often be however, very low since it is only executed after convergence
complemented by dynamic studies [6],[7] The QV curve of the Newton method. At this stage, the Jacobian matrix is
analysis should be performed in conjunction with PV curves. known, and has already been factorized. As a consequence,
Using the QV curve may help engineers to identify critical the computational load is slightly increased.
buses in the system as well as the reactive power injections
needed at those buses to ensure voltage security. The V. METHODOLOGY
possibility of reducing the computational cost associated with
the calculation of QV curves is analyzed here. As stressed for Because the Paraguayan system presents some weak areas
the PV curve, the whole curve is not the focus. Rather than with respect to voltage stability, the idea is to assess how the
that, the point of minimum is meant, yielding the reactive system responds when a small generation unit is installed.
power margin for the bus analyzed. For this purpose, a novel Distributed generation becomes a valid short-term solution of
approach, named QV continuation method is employed, as improving the system performance, while the transmission
described next reinforcements, expected to secure the load serving capacity
for such areas, overcome licensing and procurement problems.
QV Continuation Method
The effects in the system load margin (LM), system losses and
The idea is to trace the QV curve with the help of controlled reactive power margin (RPM) are evaluated. In this sense, the
steps until reaching the minimum. The step size is given by: following options buses are considered for installation:

Critical buses identified by tangent vector,

Δλ = (5)
TVQ Buses with the least and larger reactive power margin,
calculated by the QV curve,

Buses candidate for active power injection aiming the system 15 57 33 57 31 33 57
losses reduction.
20 57 32 53 53 53 30

The results obtained are compared, so a good planning 25 31 33 30 42 53 56

strategy is obtained.
30 31 33 53 53 42 33

IEEE Test Systems From Table I one can see that adopting the RPM as the
criterion of compensation, injection above 30 MW does not
The proposed methodologies have been firstly tested by using produce good results. If the other indices are used to identify
the IEEE test systems. Because the qualitative results obtained the best buses for active power injection, a better distribution
are similar for all the test systems, only the 57 bus system is of the injected MW is observed. This also happens for the
IEEE 14 and 30 bus systems, as depicted in Fig. 1.
discussed. The idea is to consider small generating units in the
Fig.1 depicts the results obtained when 30 MW are distributed
buses indicated by the following indices:
according to the proposed methodologies. Note that the largest
Tangent vector, base case (TVB): The bus with the largest increase in the LM as well as the largest loss reduction is
entry in the tangent vector calculated at the base case. obtained by the MixPV Group. These results are similar to the
ones obtained by the SLR and TVC groups. This flags an
Reactive Power Margin (RPM): Bus with the least reactive interesting signal for planners, since a reduced set of PV buses
power margin at the base case. is considered for control actions.

Sensitivity to loss reduction (SLR): Bus most sensitive with In order to assess the methodology proposed, the small
respect to loss reduction when an active power injection is units summing 30MW have been either randomly placed or
considered. located in some buses with low voltage levels. The results
Tangent vector at the voltage collapse point (TVC): The most
critical bus at the voltage collapse point indicated by the
tangent vector.

Mixing the techniques (Mix): A set of buses is obtained by

mixing the above techniques. This yields to a reduction in the
number of buses to be considered. The bus which produces the
higher global system RPM is chosen.,

Mixing the techniques for PV buses (MixPV): Just like the

previous index, but the gain in the RPM is focused only for the
PV buses.

Table I depicts the results obtained:

Fig. 1: Comparison of the results obtained (30 MW) for the IEEE 57 bus

and discussed above have a better performance, rendering the

TABLE 1: Location of Generators by the proposed techniques proposal as effective.
Bus location for Additional generator
Cumulative gen.

In general, for the IEEE test system, the best results are

Case 1: Case 2: Case Case 4: Case 5: Case 6: obtained when the MixPV, TVC and SLR groups are
TVB RPM 3: TVC MIXPV MIX considered to experiment the control actions.

5 33 33 31 33 31 33 Results for the ANDE System

10 33 32 33 57 57 31

This section presents the results obtained when the only described here for academic purposes, but has not been
Paraguayan Subsystem 1 (SS1) is employed. considered for planning scenarios.

Employing the continuation method from the base case yields It is important to mention that the two only reactive power
a small load margin about 5%, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, for sources of the Metropolitan Region present a negative RPM
some buses of 220 and 66 kV, respectively. since the base case. This may have some impact if
contingency analysis is carried out [8]. The ANDE system is
Convergence problems are observed when the load/generation dependent on these reactive power reserves, so if they reach
increase produces an operating point close to the bifurcation. their limits, the system becomes unstable.
This point is reached because bus SVC installed at SLO
As a function of this “strong dependence” of these
sources, an extra criterion has been proposed. It considers bus
candidates based on the impact of generation injection to the
system static var compensators (SVCs) performance. Figs 4 to
6 show that better results are obtained when the increase of the
RPM of these PV buses is the focus, alleviating the system
voltage control.

Fig. 2: PV Curves for buses of 220 kV

Fig. 4: RPM analysis of the SVCs

Fig. 5: LM increase of the ANDE system

Fig. 3: PV Curves for buses of 66 kV

substation reaches its limit of 150 MVAr. From this point on,
the only reactive power reserve for the Metropolitan Region is
the SVC installed at LIM Substation (250 MVAr). When this
source is depleted, the system voltage control is lost, reaching
an induced bifurcation point [9]-[11].

A saddle-node point may be reached, for this system, if the

reactive power limits are neglected and tap changers work in
order to control the voltage level. This unrealistic situation is

Fig. 6: Loss reduction in the ANDE system [11] R. A. Schlueter, “A Voltage Stability Security Assessment
Method”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 13, No. 4,
pp. 1423-1438, November 1998.

This paper proposed a planning tool based on some voltage

stability criteria. For this purpose, a combination of loss
reduction, reactive power margin and load margin increase are
focused. Small generation units are considered as control
actions aiming to analyze different operating scenarios and
some groups of buses are considered. First, the IEEE
academic systems have been tested and the encouraging
results stimulated to employ the proposed technique in the
Paraguayan system. This system has been chosen because of
its voltage security fragility, so the results could be better
assessed. Once again, good results have been obtained and
some characteristics not observed in the academic systems
could be explored in the Paraguayan system.
The methodology proposed here may be used for other
systems with no restriction, since different groups of buses are
identified and tested as candidates to host the proposed control
actions. Comparison with criteria currently used shows the
methodology as effective.


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