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Review of Distribution Network Phase Imbalance: Scale, Consequences, Solutions, and Future Research Direction
  • Kang Ma ,
  • Lurui Fang ,
  • Wangwei Kong
Lurui Fang
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Wangwei Kong
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Phase imbalance is widespread in the distribution networks in the UK, continental Europe, US, China, and other countries. First, this paper reviews the mass scale of phase imbalance and its consequences. Three challenges arise from phase rebalancing: the scalability, data scarcity, and adaptability (towards changing imbalance over time) challenges. Solutions to address the challenges are: 1) using retrofit-able, maintenance-free, automatic solutions to overcome the scalability challenge; 2) using data analytics to overcome the data-scarcity challenge; and 3) using phase balancers or other online phase rebalancing solutions to overcome the adaptability challenge. This paper categorizes existing phase rebalancing solutions into three classes: 1) load/lateral re-phasing; 2) using phase balancers; 3) controlling energy storage, electric vehicles, distributed generation, and micro-grids for phase rebalancing. Their advantages and limitations are analyzed and ways to overcome the limitations are recommended. Finally, this paper suggests future research topics.