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While the scientific community recognizes the benefits of DC power transfer, the distribution network operators point out the practical and economic constraints in refurbishing the existing AC network at a medium-voltage level. Some apprehensions like reliability, cost of ownership, and safety in adopting a universal DC distribution may merit considerable attention, particularly considering the long operational experience with the existing mature AC system. This paper introduces the novel concept of reconfigurable DC links as a flexible backbone integrated within the future AC distribution grids. Benefits such as hardware reconfiguration for a modular AC–DC cable operation to achieve fault redundancy, control reconfiguration for flexibility and grid-supporting ancillary services, network reconfiguration for system level distribution loss minimization and load redistribution, and fault reconfiguration for improving the grid availability are discussed. The vision, around which the concepts developed in this paper revolve around, is to present a viable way of gradual transition from AC to hybrid AC–DC to finally a universal DC system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1739-1746
Number of pages8
JournalElectric Power Components and Systems
Volume45
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • AC, DC, distribution, grids, reconfiguration, flexibility, restructure

ID: 37141894