Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Advisor

Said Ahmed-Zaid, Ph.D.


Thaddeus Welch, Ph.D.


Nader Rafla, Ph.D.


Power distribution systems are experiencing a fast transformation from simple one-way radial feeders to complex systems with multiple sources and bidirectional power flows. The rapid increase of Distributed Generation (DG) connected to the distribution system over the last decade, especially solar photovoltaic (PV), has been the key element to this transformation.

The variable nature of PV-based DG has increased the complexity of voltage regulation in distribution systems. Electric Utilities are facing an increasing number of voltage issues in distribution systems with high penetration of DGs, leading customers to experience voltage levels outside of range A of the ANSI C84.1 standard. Electric Utilities have to expend resources, both human and economic, to mitigate the voltage issues caused by the interconnection of DG. The economic impact of voltage issues can be considerable in some cases.

Conventional methods to mitigate voltage issues in distribution systems, such as the addition of voltage regulators and capacitor banks, could be ineffective in mitigating localized voltage issues caused by high levels of DG penetration. Other mitigation options, such as increasing the conductor size and the operating voltage of the feeder, are expensive.

There is a clear need in the industry to locally solve voltage issues economically. In this dissertation, a new device, a Residential Static Volt-Ampere Reactive Compensator (RSVC), is proposed. The RSVC is used to mitigate low and high voltage issues by deploying them in a feeder with a high DG penetration level.

This dissertation will investigate the interaction between solar inverters, voltage regulators and capacitor banks with the proposed RSVC. In order to reduce the number of buses to be analysed, the use of loss sensitivity factors will determine the candidate buses to host a RSVC.

The results of this dissertation show that the use of RSVCs is able to mitigate low and high voltage conditions. Simulation results show that the RSVCs are able to control the voltage by absorbing and injecting reactive power according to the voltage seen at their terminals. Similar commercially available devices are not able to handle the injection and absorption of reactive power and are limited to handle either injection of reactive power or absorption of reactive power. The most common devices provide the capability of injecting reactive power.