Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering (Holcomb Dept. of)

Committee Chair/Advisor

Ganesh Kumar Venayagamoorthy

Committee Member

Johan Enslin

Committee Member

Rajendra Singh

Committee Member

Yongjia Song


The power distribution system is disorderly in design and implementation, chaotic in operation, large in scale, and complex in every way possible. Therefore, modeling, operating, and controlling the distribution system is incredibly challenging. It is required to find solutions to the multitude of challenges facing the distribution grid to transition towards a just and sustainable energy future for our society. The key to addressing distribution system challenges lies in unlocking the full potential of the distribution grid. The work in this dissertation is focused on finding methods to operate the distribution system in a reliable, cost-effective, and just manner.

In this PhD dissertation, a new data-driven distributed ($D^3M$) framework using cellular computational networks has been developed to model power distribution systems. Its performance is validated on an IEEE test case. The results indicate a significant enhancement in accuracy and performance compared to the state-of-the-art centralized modeling approach.

This dissertation also presents a new distributed and data-driven optimization method for volt-var control in power distribution systems. The framework is validated for voltage control on an IEEE test feeder. The results indicate that the system has improved performance compared to the state-of-the-art approach.

The PhD dissertation also presents a design for a real-time power distribution system testbed. A new data-in-the-loop (DIL) simulation method has been developed and integrated into the testbed. The DIL method has been used to enhance the quality of the real-time simulations. The assets combined with the testbed include data, control, and hardware-in-the-loop infrastructure. The testbed is used to validate the performance of a distribution system with significant penetration of distributed energy resources.

Author ORCID Identifier




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