First Advisor

Wu-chi Feng

Date of Publication

Fall 1-23-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science


Computer Science


Electric power distribution, Smart power grids, Electric power systems, Machine learning



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 92 pages)


The increasing demand for and prevalence of distributed energy resources (DER) such as solar power, electric vehicles, and energy storage, present a unique set of challenges for integration into a legacy power grid, and accurate models of the low-voltage distribution systems are critical for accurate simulations of DER. Accurate labeling of the phase connections for each customer in a utility model is one area of grid topology that is known to have errors and has implications for the safety, efficiency, and hosting capacity of a distribution system. This research presents a methodology for the phase identification of customers solely using the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) voltage timeseries. This thesis proposes to use Spectral Clustering, combined with a sliding window ensemble method for utilizing a long-term, time-series dataset that includes missing data, to group customers within a lateral by phase. These clustering phase predictions validate over 90% of the existing phase labels in the model and identify customers where the current phase labels are incorrect in this model. Within this dataset, this methodology produces consistent, high-quality results, verified by validating the clustering phase predictions with the underlying topology of the system, as well as selected examples verified using satellite and street view images publicly available in Google Earth. Further analysis of the results of the Spectral Clustering predictions are also shown to not only validate and improve the phase labels in the utility model, but also show potential in the detection of other types of errors in the topology of the model such as errors in the labeling of connections between customers and transformers, unlabeled residential solar power, unlabeled transformers, and locating customers with incomplete information in the model. These results indicate excellent potential for further development of this methodology as a tool for validating and improving existing utility models of the low-voltage side of the distribution system.

Persistent Identifier