Optimal Switching

Design Features

The Optimal Switching (OSW) application is designed to generate recommended switch plans to reconfigure a distribution system in order to meet a specified optimization objective with regards to operation.

Optimal Switching meets specified optimization objectives:

  • Minimum losses: minimize the network power loss for the current or a selected network loading condition by reconfiguring the available switch operations.
  • Minimum feeder voltage drops: achieve the flattest voltage profile while maintaining the lowest end-of-line voltage still within operating limits.
  • Phase balancing: provide a switching plan to switch individual phases in order to shift the normally open point per phase in order to balance the phases.
  • Load Balancing: provide a switching plan to balance the load equally between feeders within the area of analysis.

For each objective, the optimal solution is obtained while enforcing the following operational constraints:

  • Respect operating limits of feeder voltages.
  • Respect operating limits of branch device currents.
  • Operating limits of transformer voltages and currents.
  • No interruption of customer loads.
  • No loss of customer loads.
  • Minimum number of switch operations
  • Minimum number of ineffective switch operations
  • In-rush current for cold load pick up.

The available switching devices that are studied include feeder line switches, tie-switches, breakers as well as reclosers. The Optimal Switching application also advises the user of any possible loop conditions.