Improved computational approaches to classical electric energy problems
Wallace, Ian Patrick
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This thesis considers three separate but connected problems regarding energy networks: the load flow problem, the optimal power flow problem, and the islanding problem. All three problems are non-convex non linear problems, and so have the potential of returning local solutions. The goal of this thesis is to find solution methods to each of these problems that will minimize the chances of returning a local solution. The thesis first considers the load ow problem and looks into a novel approach to solving load flows, the Holomorphic Embedding Load Flow Method (HELM). The current literature does not provide any HELM models that can accurately handle general power networks containing PV and PQ buses of realistic sizes. This thesis expands upon previous work to present models of HELM capable of solving general networks efficiently, with computational results for the standard IEEE test cases provided for comparison. The thesis next considers the optimal power flow problem, and creates a framework for a load flow-based OPF solver. The OPF solver is designed with incorporating HELM as the load flow solver in mind, and is tested on IEEE test cases to compare it with other available OPF solvers. The OPF solvers are also tested with modified test cases known to have local solutions to show how a LF-OPF solver using HELM is more likely to find the global optimal solution than the other available OPF solvers. The thesis finally investigates solving a full AC-islanding problem, which can be considered as an extension of the transmission switching problem, using a standard MINLP solver and comparing the results to solutions obtained from approximations to the AC problem. Analysing in detail the results of the AC-islanding problem, alterations are made to the standard MINLP solver to allow better results to be obtained, all the while considering the trade-off between results and elapsed time.