Detailed Primary and Secondary Distribution System Model Enhancement Using AMI Data

Karen Montano-Martinez, Sushrut Thakar, Shanshan Ma, Zahra Soltani, Vijay Vittal, Mojdeh Khorsand, Rajapandian Ayyanar, Cynthia Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Reliable and accurate distribution system modeling, including the secondary network, is essential in examining distribution system performance with high penetration of distributed energy resources (DERs). This paper presents a highly automated, novel method to enhance the accuracy of utility distribution feeder models to capture their performance by matching simulation results with corresponding field measurements. The method is demonstrated using an actual feeder from an electrical utility with high penetration of DERs. The method proposed uses advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) voltage and derived active power measurements at the customer level, and data acquisition systems (DAS) measurements at the feeder-head, in conjunction with an AC optimal power flow (ACOPF) to estimate customer active and reactive power consumption over a time horizon, while accounting for unmetered loads. The ACOPF uses the measured voltage magnitudes, derived active power measurements, and the feeder head measurements to obtain a complete active power and reactive power capture of the feeder loads. Additionally, the method proposed estimates both voltage magnitude and angle for each phase at the unbalanced distribution substation. The accuracy of the method developed is verified in two stages: by comparing the time-series power flow results obtained from the enhancement algorithm with OpenDSS results and with the field measurements available. The proposed approach seamlessly manages the data available from the optimization procedure through the final model verification automatically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-15
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy
StatePublished - 2022


  • AC optimal power flow (ACOPF)
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Distribution system
  • Load modeling
  • Power system measurements
  • Power system modeling
  • Smart grids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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