CVR Implementation on Distribution Feeders

Determining Characteristics, Methodologies and Effects of CVRs

Conservation of voltage reduction (CVR) is a cost effective technique for power/energy conservation that has been in use since 1970’s by many utilities. CVR is based on the idea that by reducing the supply voltage at the head of a distribution “feeder” circuit, will reduce energy used by loads on that circuit while maintaining acceptable quality of the delivered power. This technique has been frequently used during the emergency or peak periods.

A year round implementation of CVR as a means of reduction in energy consumption has not been fully investigated, and many in the industry question whether significant savings can be achieved while maintaining adequate voltage throughout the entire feeder. However, there has been a recent surge in interest in the subject, and many utilities have implemented pilot projects in order to investigate the feasibility of CVR implementation on their system and its impacts on energy consumption, peak power, system losses etc.

These pilot projects have shown varying results depending on the type of distribution feeder, feeder load composition, season, methods used for CVR implementation etc. The utility industry needs an analytic tool to determine the impacts of CVR on their system. To meet this need, the Illinois Center for a Smarter Electric Grid (ICSEG) has joined with Ameren Illinois in order to explore the key characteristics of distribution feeders that determine their response to CVR.

The aim of the project is to develop a software tool that would help utilities to (1) determine the distribution feeders in their system which are good candidates for CVR implementation, (2) quantify the savings in energy consumption, peak power, system losses etc. for different feeders and (3) determine the best CVR implementation methodology for a particular feeder. This research will not only help utilities to improve the operating efficiency of the distribution system, but also to reach their energy reduction goals.