Distributed Energy Resources Topology Identification via Graphical Modeling

Yang Weng, Yizheng Liao, Ram Rajagopal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Distributed energy resources (DERs), such as photovoltaic, wind, and gas generators, are connected to the grid more than ever before, which introduces tremendous changes in the distribution grid. Due to these changes, it is important to understand where these DERs are connected in order to sustainably operate the distribution grid. But the exact distribution system topology is difficult to obtain due to frequent distribution grid reconfigurations and insufficient knowledge about new components. In this paper, we propose a methodology that utilizes new data from sensor-equipped DER devices to obtain the distribution grid topology. Specifically, a graphical model is presented to describe the probabilistic relationship among different voltage measurements. With power flow analysis, a mutual information-based identification algorithm is proposed to deal with tree and partially meshed networks. Simulation results show highly accurate connectivity identification in the IEEE standard distribution test systems and Electric Power Research Institute test systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7744625
Pages (from-to)2682-2694
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Distributed energy resources
  • distribution grids
  • graphical model
  • mutual information
  • topology identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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