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PowerModelsDistribution.jl: An Open-Source Framework for Exploring Distribution Power Flow Formulations

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In this work we introduce PowerModelsDistribution, a free, open-source toolkit for distribution power network optimization, whose primary focus is establishing a baseline implementation of steady-state multi-conductor unbalanced distribution network optimization problems, which includes implementations of Power Flow and Optimal Power Flow problem types. Currently implemented power flow formulations for these problem types include AC (polar and rectangular), a second-order conic relaxation of the Branch Flow Model (BFM) and Bus Injection Model (BIM), a semi-definite relaxation of BFM, and several linear approximations, such as the simplified unbalanced BFM. The results of AC power flow have been validated against OpenDSS, an open-source “electric power distribution system simulator”, using IEEE distribution test feeders (13, 34, 123 bus and LVTestCase), all parsed using a built-in OpenDSS parser. This includes support for standard distribution system components as well as novel resource models such as generic energy storage (multi-period) and photovoltaic systems, with the intention to add support for additional components in the future.


David Fobes    
Los Alamos National Laboratory
United States

Sander Claeys    
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)

Frederik Geth    
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Carleton Coffrin    
Los Alamos National Laboratory
United States


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