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A Comparative Analysis on Reactive Power

Optimization Using Various Techniques in

Deregulated Power System
Rekha R, PG Scholar

Kannan G, Associate Professor

Power System Engineering, EEE department

Sri Muthukumaran Institute of Technology
Chennai, India

Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Sri Muthukumaran Institute of Technology
Chennai, India

Abstract The power transmission capability available from a

transmission line design is limited by technological and
economical constraints. Therefore, in order to maximize the
amount of real power, reactive power flows must be minimized.
Consequently, sufficient reactive power should be provided
locally in the system to keep the bus voltages within nominal
ranges in order to satisfy customers equipments voltage ratings.
In this paper, a mathematical model of reactive power
optimization and its algorithm are set up and studied, and
algorithms like GA and PSO are proposed for reactive power
optimization in deregulated electricity market. Gauss-seidel
method for the power is used in conjunction with PSO to obtain
the optimal value of reactive power. To enhance the voltage
profile of the overall power system, FACTS devices are used. The
effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated on an IEEE
30-bus benchmark system in MATLAB. Results are also
compared with those value obtained using GA.
Keywords Genetic Algorithm; Particle Swarm Optimization;
Deregulation; Ancillary services; Reactive power cost.



Reactive power optimization is one of the difficult

optimization problems in power system. Reactive power plays
an important role in supporting the real power transfer by
maintaining voltage stability and system reliability. Power
system operators/planners are always faced with the problem
of how to minimize the transmission losses. The optimal
reactive power dispatch problem is a nonlinear optimization
problem with several constraints.
To improve the voltage profile and to decrease the
active power losses along the transmission lines under various
operating conditions, power system operator can select a
number of control tools such as switching reactive power
sources, charging generator voltages and adjusting transformer
tap settings.
The application of PSO in the reactive power optimization
is carried out in an IEEE-6 Bus system [8]. The optimal
reactive power along with the voltage stability enhancement for

978-1-4673-6150-7/13/$31.00 2013 IEEE

an IEEE-14 bus system was carried out by Sakthivel in

2010[10]. The reactive power minimization in deregulation
scenario for a test bus system was done by Syamasree Biswas
in 2011[13]. The model for opportunity cost was explained in
[7] & [11]. The best control setting of the system is determined
in order to minimize the reactive power and to improve the
voltage profile through optimal adjustment of reactive source
from generators. It is a reactive power optimization problem.
The reactive power minimization is carried out along with the
improvement of bus voltages using Genetic Algorithm
technique. The proposed methodology is tested on the IEEE
30- bus systems [5].


In recent years, with further deregulation of the power

industry, the problem of establishing an equitable and
effective reactive power market had become urgent for power
system operators and researchers. It proposed two kinds of
reactive power pricing structure, with compensation of
generators capability for reactive power support taken in to
account. In depth discussion on applying marginal cost
concept for real time reactive power pricing, detailed cost
models of reactive compensators were incorporated in the
objective function of the OPF problem.
This proposal, while relying on the basic concepts of
opportunity cost and reactive compensators remunerations,
addresses the problem of reactive power support optimization
along with the power market systems. The primary promise of
deregulation of electric power is that it will promote greater
economic efficiency in electricity generation, transmission,
distribution, and use than will occur under a regulated
environment. Deregulation aims are to enable competition in
electricity market, to lower the consumer prices, to maintain
system reliability, to disable monopoly control, to disable
market imperfections, to use interconnected transmission and
generation system efficiently.
A. Ancillary Services
Ancillary services are those functions performed by
electrical generating, transmission, system-control, and


distribution- system equipment and people to support the basic

services of generating capacity, energy supply, and power
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC
1995) defined ancillary services as those services necessary
to support the transmission of electric power from seller to
purchaser given the obligations of control areas and
transmitting utilities within those control areas to maintain
reliable operations of the interconnected transmission system.
FERC identified six ancillary services: reactive power and
voltage control, loss compensation, scheduling and dispatch,
load following, system protection, and energy imbalance.

better solutions. The new population is then used in the next

iteration of the algorithm.
Commonly, the algorithm terminates when either a
maximum number of generations has been produced, or a
satisfactory fitness level has been reached for the population. If
the algorithm has terminated due to a maximum number of
generations, a satisfactory solution may or may not have been
reached. Genetic algorithms find application in bioinformatics,
phylogenetics, computational science, engineering, economics,
chemistry, manufacturing, mathematics, physics and other

B. Reactive Power as an Ancillary Service

In vertically integrated electricity system, reactive power
support was part of the system operators activities and the
expenses incurred in providing for such services were
included within the electricity tariff charged to customers.
Among the ancillary services, the reactive power support is
essential for the system operator to maintain an acceptable
system voltage profile by setting the voltage magnitudes at the
controllable buses so as to keep the voltage magnitudes at the
other buses within the ranges. Since it is not desirable to
transport reactive power over the network, procurement of
reactive power services should be done taking into account the
perceived demand conditions and availability of reactive
power resources.


Fig2. GA flowchart for reactive power optimization

Fig1. Evolutionary cycle of GA

A genetic algorithm (GA) is a search heuristic that

mimics the process of natural evolution. This heuristic is
routinely used to generate useful solutions to optimization and
search problems. Genetic algorithms belong to the larger class
of evolutionary algorithms (EA), which generate solutions to
optimization problems using techniques inspired by natural
evolution, such as inheritance, mutation, selection, and
In a genetic algorithm, a population of strings (called
chromosomes or the genotype of the genome), which encode
candidate solutions (called individuals, creatures, or
phenotypes) to an optimization problem, is evolved toward

A. Initialization of Population
The strategy used to determine the initial population
consists of randomly generating non-dominated feasible
solutions only. This strategy produced better results when
compared with strategies that randomly generate solutions of
any type (feasible or non-feasible) or feasible solutions
(dominated or non-dominated) only.
B. Genetic Operators
The genetic operators are section, crossover and mutation.
The operator selection involves the process of selecting best
population of individuals for new generation. During each
successive generation, a proportion of the existing population
is selected to breed a new generation.
In the crossover, the values are going to change according
to the objective function by comparing two successive values.
Two-point crossover has been used, because it produced better
results than one-point and uniform crossover. The mutation
indicates the self changing of values to solve the problem.


This represents the self changing of value to the optimal value

based on the objective function. This is an important operator
in Genetic Algorithm.


Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is a population based

stochastic optimization technique developed by Dr. Eberhart
and Dr. Kennedy in 1995, inspired by social behavior of bird
flocking or fish schooling. PSO shares many similarities with
evolutionary computation techniques such as Genetic
Algorithms (GA).
The system is initialized with a population of random
solutions and searches for optima by updating generations.
However, unlike GA, PSO has no evolution operators such as
crossover and mutation. In PSO, the potential solutions, called
particles, fly through the problem space by following the
current optimum particles.
Each particle represents a potential solution to the
numerical problem. The best previously visited position of
particle i is noted as its individual best position Pi = (Pi1, Pi2,. . .
, Pin ). The position of the best individual of the whole swarm
is noted as the global best position. V(t+1) i from equation
(given below) is used to calculate the velocity of particle
according to its previous velocity and to the distance of its
current position and from both its own best historical position
and the best position of entire population or its neighborhood.
Let us define search space S is n-dimension and the swarm
consists of N particles. Each particle i, has its position defined

X ti = ( x1i , x2i .....xni )

Vt i= Velocity of particle i at generation t

Xt i= Position of particle i at generation t
A. Selection of PSO Parameters
Suitable selection of weight factor w i.e. Inertia weight
helps in quick convergence. A large weight factor facilitates
global exploration (i.e. Searching of new area) while small
weight factor facilitate local exploration. The w adjusts the
PSO dynamic behavior during searching procedures, where
w= 1 guaranties the PSO to converge by iterations.
High values of w put particles to fly over the local minima,
however, low values allow particles to intensify searching
local areas.
Generally, the w decreases linearly from about 0.9 to 0.4
during the run, according to the following equation. Therefore
it is wiser to choose large weight factor for initial iterations
and gradually reduce weight factor in successive iterations as

w = wmax

wmax wmin

where Wmax is 0.9, Wmin is 0.4 and itermax is maximum

iteration number.
With no restriction on the maximum velocity of the
particles, velocity may increase to infinity. If V max is very
low particle may not explore sufficiently and if V max is very
high it may oscillate about optimal solution. Velocity
clamping effect has been introduced to avoid the phenomenon
of "swarm explosion". In the proposed, method the velocity is
controlled within a band as:


And a velocity defined in variable space by

Vmax,t = Vmax

Vt i = (v1i , v2i .....vni )

Position and velocity of each particle change with time.
Velocity and position of each particle in the next generation
(time step) can be calculated as:

V(it+1) =w*Vti +c1*rand(pbesti Xti )+c2 *rand(gbest Xti )

X (it +1) = X ti + V(it +1)
N = Number of particle in the swarm
w = Inertia weight of the particle
t = Generation number
C1, C2= Acceleration Constant
Rand (), Rand () uniform random value in the range [0, 1]



Vmax Vmin


Acceleration constant C1 is the cognitive parameter pulls

each particle towards local best position whereas constant C2
(social parameter) pulls the particle towards global best
Usually C1 equals to
values allow particles to
before being tugged back.
result in abrupt movement
the target regions.

C2 and ranges from 0 to 4. Low

roam far from the target regions
On the other hand, the high values
towards, or, backwards, away from

PSO utilizes several searching points like Genetic

Algorithm (GA) and the searching points gradually get close
to the global optimal point using its pbest and gbest.
The flow chart of PSO technique for the reactive power
optimization which explains the algorithm is given as follows


The total reactive power cost is given as the summation of

reactive cost of generator and reactive cost of compensators
provided for the reactive power optimization.
A. Reactive Cost of Generator
Generators provide reactive support by producing or
consuming reactive power when operating at lagging or
leading power factors respectively. Unlike fuel costs that
represent the operating cost of active power production, there
is only a small operating cost in the case of reactive power
production and this can be ignored. Hence in the proposed
work, the opportunity cost of generator reactive power
production is considered.
The opportunity cost of using a resource for certain
purpose is defined as the benefit lost by not using it in an
alternative way. For example, a generator has to decrease
active power production because of capacity constraints which
will in turn reduce the opportunity of obtaining profits from
the active power market.

Fig3. PSO Algorithm



The reactive power generation limits are given by generator

capability curve considering real and reactive power
relationship. Capability curve is derived by the generating
Operating limits in terms of PQ relationship under constant
voltage V. This is called capability curve. Qbase is the reactive
power required by the generator for its auxiliary equipment. if
the operating point lies inside the limiting curves, say
at(Pa,Qbase),then the unit can increase reactive power
generation from Qbase to Qa without requiring re-adjustment of
Path is will however, result in increased losses in the windings
and hence increase the cost of loss.
If the generator is operating on the limiting curve, any
increase in Q will require a decrease in P so as to adhere to the
winding heating limits. Consider the operating point A on
the curve defined by (Pa,Qa).If more reactive power is required
from the unit, say Qb, the operating point requires shifting
back along the curve to point B (Pb,Qb),where Pb<Pa.
This signifies that the unit has to reduce its real power
output to adhere to field heating limits when higher reactive
power is demanded. The continuous reactive power output
capability is limited by three considerations, namely Armature
current limit, Field current limit and End region limit as given
in the figure below.

The profit of decreased active power production is

modeled as the reactive power opportunity cost. The following
simple model for opportunity cost is considered.

Cgqi (Qgi ) =[Cgpi(Sgimax) Cgpi( Sgimax2 Qgi2 )]kgi


where Qgi is the reactive power output of generator gi,

Sgi,max is the apparent power of generator gi, Cgpi is the active
power cost which is modeled as a quadratic function.
C gpi ( Pgpi ) = aPgpi
+ bPgpi + c


where Pgpi is the active power output of gi, kgi is an

assumed profit rate for active power generation at buses i.
B. Reactive Cost of Compensator
The cost of the reactive power compensator can be
calculated by using the formula given below
C shj (Qshj ) = rshj Qshj
where rshj is the price of the reactive power per MVAr,
which depends on different factors, such as capital investment
of the compensator, its period of lifetime and average
utilization factor. For example, STATCOM, a FACTS device
with an investment cost of $48,000/MVAr, a lifetime of 30
years and an average use of 2/3, has its rshj as

rsh j =

30 365 24

= 0 .2 7 3 9


Fig4. Generator capability curve




A. Nomenclature
Nb- Set of numbers of total buses
Nt- Set of numbers of tap-setting transformer
Nc- Set of numbers of possible reactive power source
installation buses.
Npv- Set of numbers of PV buses
No- the swing bus
Pgi- ith bus real power supply
Qgi- ith bus reactive power supply
Pdi- ith bus real power load
Qdi- ith bus reactive power load
Vi- ith bus voltage magnitude
i- ith bus voltage phase angle
ij- Phase angle difference between bus i and j
Gij- mutual conductance between bus i and j
Bij- mutual susceptance between bus i and j
Gii- ith bus self conductance
Bii- ith bus self susceptance
Qci- reactive power source
Tk- Transformer k taps


In this section, the reactive power is simulated using IEEE30 bus test system and the results obtained for optimal reactive
power are presented. The performance of reactive power is
studied for two different techniques. In the first case, Genetic
Algorithm is used to optimize the reactive power. In the
second case, Particle Swarm Optimization technique is used to
optimize the reactive power. The co-efficient for the cost
function to calculate the reactive power cost are given in the
table below
TABLE1. Coefficient Factors of Equation (8)


V j ]}

j =1

Error in voltage is given as

V erro r ( i ) =


(1 .0 V m ( i ))

Ti-min Ti Ti-max, i NT

B. Objective Function
The objective function is to minimize the reactive power
which is given as follows:

Q i = i {V i * [ V i Y i i +

Transformer Tap position constraint


a($/ MW2)









A. Base Case Result

The base case given by American Electric Power does not
contain any compensators. First the load flow result is
obtained then the STATCOM is connected for the weak buses
which are identified based on their voltage profile. The GA
and PSO are implemented to reduce the reactive power by
some value. The load flow is performed for the given IEEE-30
system. The voltage comparison of all buses is given as

i =1

Voltage equation can be updated in Gauss-Seidel method as


Vk , acc ( h +1) = Vkh + Vk( h +1) Vkh

Where - Acceleration factor

Fig5. Voltage comparison chart for all buses

C. Equality Constraint

Real power constraint

Pi (V , ) =

V V (G


j =1

cos ij + Bij sin ij )


Reactive power constraint

Q i (V , ) =

V V (G

j =1


sin ij + B ij cos ij )

D. Inequality Constraints

Bus Voltage magnitude constraint

Generator bus reactive power constraint

Reactive power source capacity constraint

Vi-min Vi Vi-max, iN
QGi-min QGi QGi-max, i {N pv, No}
qci-min qci qci-max, iNc


The voltage values of 26th and 30th buses are obtained as

0.9813 and 0.9785p.u respectively. Therefore the buses 26 and
30 are considered as weak buses.
From the load flow analysis using Gauss Seidel method,
the value of reactive power is obtained before optimization as
24.862 MVAR. And the Opportunity cost is obtained for all
generators as $9.996.
B. Result Obtained After Optimization
The GA and PSO are implemented to reduce the reactive
power. Reactive power obtained after optimization using
Genetic Algorithm is 23.641MVAR. The Opportunity cost
value is $7.0320. The bus voltages of 26th and 30th buses are
improved to 1.062 and 1.053p.u. Reactive cost of compensator


is obtained as $4.8417. Total cost of reactive power is

obtained as $11.8737.
Reactive power obtained after optimization using PSO is
23.106 MVAR. The Opportunity cost is calculated as
$7.05063. The bus voltages of 26th and 30th buses are
improved to 1.069 and 1.055p.u. Reactive cost of compensator
is obtained as $4.646. The total cost of reactive power is given
as $11.6966.
C. Q Loss Comparison
The chart shown here gives the Q loss comparison for the
base case based on the reactive power values before and after

[4] Chao-Lung Chiang, "Improved Genetic Algorithm for Power

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Calculation of IEEE-30 Bus System", 2009, Second ICETET-09,

Fig6 Q loss comparison for base case

From the chart, it is clear that the reactive power has a

reduction of 4.9% after optimization using GA and has a
reduction of 7.1% after optimization using PSO for the base
Here the IEEE-30 bus system is taken as the test system.
The weak buses for the system are identified based on the
particular bus voltages. The STATCOM, FACTS devices are
given for the weak buses in order to improve the bus voltages.
GA and PSO are implemented to reduce the reactive power in
Deregulated electricity market. The fitness value for the
individuals are selected and based on that, the problem has
solved which has the objective function of minimization of
reactive power subjected to several constraints. On comparing
both the techniques, Particle Swarm Optimization gives more
optimized values over Genetic Algorithm technique.

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