Buildings-to-distribution-network integration for coordinated voltage regulation and building energy management via distributed resource flexibility

Hannah Fontenot, Krishna Sandeep Ayyagari, Bing Dong, Nikolaos Gatsis, Ahmad Taha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Electricity demand for building-related activities is steadily increasing due to urbanization. Combined with the increasing penetration of renewable energy, this trend brings new challenges to distribution network operators in maintaining nodal voltage and minimizing active power losses. At the same time, building operators require more effective methods of reducing building operational costs. Therefore, as a critical step towards smart cities, it is imperative to optimally manage and coordinate the resources across building and power distribution networks to improve the overall system's efficiency and reliability. To this end, this paper develops a novel framework for Buildings-to-Distribution-Network (B2DN) integration. The framework couples commercial, residential buildings, and DERs, including photovoltaic (PV) generation and battery energy storage systems (BESS), with the power distribution network, enabling buildings and the distribution networks to be optimized simultaneously while respecting both building and distribution network constraints. The proposed B2DN framework is implemented in a receding horizon manner by solving a quadratically constrained quadratic programming (QCQP) problem. The framework's capabilities are demonstrated on the IEEE 13-, 33-, and SB 129-node distribution networks integrated with 90, 192, and 481 buildings and DERs. The simulation results reveal that the B2DN controller successfully minimizes distribution network active power losses and enhances voltage regulation while at the same time minimizing building energy costs and maintaining occupant's comfort in comparison with decoupled designs, where buildings and distribution networks are independently managed. Finally, uncertainty analysis shows a minimal decrease in the B2DN controller's performance in the presence of randomness in weather variables, building internal heat gains, and distribution network nodal base demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102832
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Buildings-to-distribution network integration
  • Distributed energy resources
  • HVAC systems
  • Model predictive control
  • Optimal power flow
  • Reactive power control
  • Voltage regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation


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