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This paper presents optimal placement of voltage compensating devices in a smart distribution network by deploying the loss sensitivity factor approach. The aim is to improve on voltage profile of the distribution network, and hence mitigate problems associated with poor voltage profiles. The Guinness 15MVA, 33/11kV injection substation and its associated feeders, Benin City was used as a case study. For simplicity, the capacitor is chosen as the compensating device, the method presented in this work can however be adapted for optimal placement of the other compensating devices in a smart distribution network. Load readings taken from each 11/0.415kV substation and other relevant data collected from the system operator was used to model the network for load flow analysis using the Electrical Transient Analyser (ETAP 7.0) software. Results show that the network has poor voltage profile, with the highest voltage drop of 14.8% occurring at Ikhueniro 2 feeder, with active and reactive power losses as high as 1.573MW and 5088MVar respectively. The loss sensitivity factor approach was deployed in identifying bus 64 and 44 in the network as the candidate busses for placement of compensating devices, and a rerun of the power flow with compensating devices placed on these busses show that these are indeed the optimal locations for capacitor placement as there was a significant improvement in the voltage profile of the network (from 90.5% to 98.1%) and subsequent reduction in the power losses.
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