NEPLAN | Improving Distribution Network Hosting Capacity

Abstract— The increasing penetration of Decentralized Generation (DG) among other factors rises the essential need to adapt and plan the distribution systems in an optimal way to achieve an appropriate cost-efficient development of networks to be prepared for the future grid development. This paper analyzes the impact to using higher nominal voltage levels in distribution networks to improve the hosting capacity of the network, its performance, and at the same time reducing network losses.
Through a repetitive process for different scenarios proposed, the benefits of the voltage level increase for an IEEE test network were determined. Three voltage levels (13.2kV, 20kV and 24,9kV) were analyzed starting with a base case and different variations to simulate practical cases respecting voltage limits and capacities of the elements. DG location, DG capacities, DG integration levels were also considered as part of the Hosting Capacity calculation.
Using equivalent grid characteristics, this work compares also the performances of overhead networks (OHL) and networks using underground cables for the various scenarios in order to analyze further improvements which are part of distribution networks in Europe.
Conclusions and recommendations for the planning stage of these improvements are also presented.