Research Fellow,
Smart Grids and Power Systems, University of Melbourne, Australia
“Advanced Modeling of Smart Distribution Network using OpenDSS”

“Increasing the PV hosting capacity of distribution network”

About the Speaker

Andreas T. Procopiou is a Research Fellow in Smart Grids at The University of Melbourne, Australia. He has significant experience in network integration and control of distributed energy resources and future distribution networks from both the academic and industry perspectives. His research led to a number of academic publications, technical reports and one patent (filed by The University of Melbourne). Prior to his current role, he worked as a Research Engineer at the largest R&D centre in Europe, Électricité de France R&D (France). Currently, he is one the lead researchers of industrial projects run in collaboration with EPRI, USA and AusNet Services, Australia. He holds a BEng (Hons) degree from Brunel University London (UK) and an MSc and PhD degree from the University of Manchester (UK). More information at

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About the Tutorial

Advanced Modeling of Smart Distribution Network using OpenDSS

The increasing and future adoption of small-to-medium scale low carbon technologies such as wind power, photovoltaic systems and electric vehicles is and will pose significant technical and economic challenges on distribution networks. Medium and low voltage circuits have been designed to have no or limited controllability and hence are largely unmonitored. However, it is likely that they will become one of the first bottlenecks towards the decarbonisation of our power systems. Therefore, it is important to understand the impacts and the potential solutions in the context of Smart Grids. For this purpose, it is crucial to use simulation tools designed specifically for distribution networks and flexible enough to carry out sophisticated studies.

This tutorial will give the attendees the opportunity to learn about the basic and advanced applications of OpenDSS, an open source state-of-the-art distribution network analysis software package developed by EPRI (USA), in the context of Smart Distribution Networks. The tutorial includes hands on aspects for a direct familiarisation with OpenDSS as well as details of the modelling frameworks needed to produce more advanced studies. To illustrate this three industrial Smart Grid projects in the UK and Australia are presented considering the interactions with other analysis and optimisation software packages (e.g., Python, Matlab and AIMMS).

Increasing the PV hosting capacity of distribution network

Many countries around the world are already experiencing the rapid uptake of residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. Australia, for instance, has currently the largest penetration: almost 1 in 5 houses have PV. As a result, Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are finding it challenging to allow customers to continue to install the technology as there are many unknowns around the grid’s ability to cope with the voltage and thermal impacts resulting from high PV penetrations. To remove barriers for the widespread adoption of residential PV, speed up connection times, and reduce costs, it is crucial for DNOs to increase the PV hosting capacity of their low voltage (LV) and medium voltage (MV) networks. Adequately exploiting the capabilities of Smart Inverters (found in most PV installations) and residential Battery Energy Storage systems will be key in this endeavour.

This tutorial will present and discuss different aspects required to assess the residential PV hosting capacity of distribution networks. Furthermore, the tutorial will explain and demonstrate the benefits but also the potential challenges from exploiting the capabilities of smart inverters (Volt-Watt, Volt-var, export limits) and residential storage systems to increase hosting capacity. Real case studies from Australia will be used to demonstrate the quantification of PV hosting capacity considering potential strategies to make the most of smart inverters and storage.