Adaptive Control of Distributed Energy Resources for Distribution Grid Voltage Stability

Daniel Arnold, Shammya Shananda Saha, Sy Toan Ngo, Ciaran Roberts, Anna Scaglione, Nathan G. Johnson, Sean Peisert, David Pinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Volt-VAR and Volt-Watt functionality in photovoltaic (PV) smart inverters provide mechanisms to ensure system voltage magnitudes and power factors remain within acceptable limits. However, these control functions can become unstable, introducing oscillations in system voltages when not appropriately configured or maliciously altered during a cyberattack. In the event that Volt-VAR and Volt-Watt control functions in a portion of PV smart inverters in a distribution grid are unstable, the proposed adaptation scheme utilizes the remaining and stably-behaving PV smart inverters and other Distributed Energy Resources to mitigate the effect of the instability. The adaptation mechanism is entirely decentralized, model-free, communication-free, and requires virtually no external configuration. We provide a derivation of the adaptive control approach and validate the algorithm in experiments on the IEEE 37 and 8500 node test feeders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Adaptation models
  • Adaptive control
  • Adaptive Control
  • Cyber Security
  • Distributed Energy Resources
  • Inverters
  • Oscillators
  • Reactive power
  • Smart Inverter
  • Voltage control
  • Voltage measurement
  • Voltage Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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