Fast local voltage control under limited reactive power: Optimality and stability analysis

Hao Zhu, Hao Jan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High penetration of distributed energy resources presents several challenges and opportunities for voltage regulation in power distribution systems. A local reactive power (VAR) control framework will be developed that can fast respond to voltage mismatch and address the robustness issues of (de-)centralized approaches against communication delays and noises. Using local bus voltage measurements, the proposed gradient-projection based schemes explicitly account for the VAR limit of every bus, and are proven convergent to a surrogate centralized problem with proper parameter choices. This optimality result quantifies the capability of local VAR control without requiring any real-time communications. The proposed framework and analysis generalize earlier results on the droop VAR control design, which may suffer from under-utilization of VAR resources in order to ensure stability. Numerical tests have demonstrated the validity of our analytical results and the effectiveness of proposed approaches implemented on realistic three-phase systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7361761
Pages (from-to)3794-3803
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Volt/VAR control
  • Voltage regulation
  • dynamic system stability
  • gradient-projection methods
  • power distribution systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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