Distributed ADMM* strategy for optimal control of DERs and OLTCs in a radial distribution grid

*ADMM -alternating direction method of multipliers

Challenge and objective

  • To harness the potential from Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), appropriate control strategies and architecture are required in the distribution system to seamlessly control and cooperate the DERs with other voltage regulatory devices.

Work performed

  • In this work, a centralized, a local, and a distributed control system have been designed with an emphasis on the distributed controllers.
  • In this work, an ADMM-based distributed control strategy is developed that is able to control both continuous and binary variables in a distribution grid.

Significant results

  • The three control strategies give very similar results when designed appropriately, demonstrating that near-optimal control can be achieved in multiple ways.
  • Other aspects such as ICT infrastructure, resilience towards cyberattacks, and scalability should probably be of bigger concern when designing control systems for power systems.

Impact for distribution system innovation

  • Reduced infrastructure investment by using flexibility resources for voltage regulation.
  • Improved voltage quality and reduced losses.
  • Potentially increased resilience towards mis use cases with appropriate control structure.
Left: The average voltages together with their maximum and minimum voltages when using the local, centralized (central), and distributed (ADMM) control architectures. The blue area shows the maximum and minimum voltages when the network is left uncontrolled (NoCtrl), with the black dashed line being the desired voltage reference for the network. Right: The active power losses when using the local, centralized (central), and distributed (ADMM) control architectures.

Oddbjørn Gjerde

WP2 Lead
+47 99 730 027
Oddbjørn Gjerde
WP2 Lead


Reference in CINELDI