University of Tasmania

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Optimising low-voltage transformer tap settings in distribution networks

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 14:29 authored by Joshua PaoliJoshua Paoli, Brinkmann, B, Michael NegnevitskyMichael Negnevitsky
In this paper, a practical method of determining the optimal tap setting of no-load distribution tap-changing transformers is proposed. The uptake of distributed energy resources impacts the risk of distribution systems violating voltage constraints. Setting no-load transformer tap settings appropriately can mitigate some of this risk, but changing these taps requires an outage to the customer and must be infrequent. Hence, the optimisation of these tap settings must consider loading for at least a whole year to account for seasonal variation. An evolution strategy is used to determine these settings based on an average loading case. The performance of this method is measured with a normalised objective function. Monte Carlo simulations are used to determine the probability that the network voltages on the secondary side of the transformer terminals violate the required voltage constraints once this optimal set of taps is established. This algorithm was tested on a real distribution feeder, and generates a sufficientlyoptimal set of taps without significant computation time. Furthermore, it can provide information about areas of a given distribution system that may require augmentation from a network planning perspective as more distributed resources are gradually introduced.


Publication title

Proceedings of the 29th Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference, AUPEC 2019






School of Engineering



Place of publication

New Jersey, United States

Event title

29th Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference, AUPEC 2019

Event Venue


Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright IEEE

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Industrial energy efficiency