Exploring Operational Flexibility of Active Distribution Networks with Low Observability

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Power electronic interfaced devices progressively enable the increasing provision of flexible operational actions in distribution networks. The feasible flexibility these devices can effectively provide requires estimation and quantification so the network operators can plan operations close to real- time. Existing approaches estimating the distribution network flexibility require the full observability of the system, meaning topological and state knowledge. However, the assumption of full observability is unrealistic and represents a barrier to system operators' adaptation. This paper proposes a definition of the distribution network flexibility problem that considers the limited observability in real-time operation. A critical review and assessment of the most prominent approaches are done, based on the proposed definition. This assessment showcases the limitations and benefits of existing approaches for estimating flexibility with low observability. A case study on the CIGRE MV distribution system highlights the drawbacks brought by low observability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 IEEE Belgrade PowerTech
Place of PublicationPiscataway
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-8778-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-8779-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event2023 IEEE Belgrade PowerTech - Belgrade, Serbia
Duration: 25 Jun 202329 Jun 2023

Publication series

Name2023 IEEE Belgrade PowerTech, PowerTech 2023


Conference2023 IEEE Belgrade PowerTech

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • distribution network flexibility
  • network observability
  • network operators


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