Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Graduate School


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Dan M. Ionel


There is significant opportunity for savings in energy and investment from improved performance of electric Power Distribution Systems (PDSs) through optimal planning and operation of conventional voltage-controlling devices. Novel multi-step model conversion and optimal capacitor planning (OCP) procedures are proposed for large-scale utility PDSs and are exemplified with an existing utility circuit of approximately 4,000 buses. Simulated optimal control and operation is achieved with a cluster-based approach that utilizes load-forecasting to minimize equipment degradation by intelligently dispersing device setting adjustments over time such that they remain most applicable. Improved performance may also be achieved through smart building technologies and Virtual Power Plant (VPP) control of increasingly more prevalent Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). The established simulation test bed for PDSs incorporates DERs to evaluate VPP implementations and an optimization process for control timing is proposed that minimizes targeted peak power and possible resulting increase in total daily energy. The advanced VPP controls incorporate the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) 2045 standard and EnergyStar performance characterizations to leverage HVAC systems as Generalized Energy Storage (GES) for load manipulation and to support the integration of demand-side generating DERs, such as local solar Photo-Voltaic (PV) systems.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

  • University of Kentucky, the L. Stanly Pigman Chair in Power Endowment from 2019 to 2023.
  • Department of Education’s (DoEd) Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship Program through the University of Kentucky Electrical and Computer Engineering Department from 2020 to 2023
  • Department of Energy (DOE) through the project DEEE000902 led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) from 2020 to 2023
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) through project Crosslayer Optimization through Unified Modeling of User Behavior and Storage (#1936131) from 2020 to 2023
  • Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities, part of the PPL Corporation family of companies from 2019 to 2023
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) from 2019 to 2021.