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Sparsity-Promoting Optimal Wide-Area Control of Power Networks


F. Dörfler, M.R. Jovanovic, M. Chertkov

IEEE Transactions on Power Systems

Inter-area oscillations in bulk power systems are typically poorly controllable by means of local decentralized control. Recent research efforts have been aimed at developing widearea control strategies that involve communication of remote signals. In conventional wide-area control, the control structure is fixed a priori typically based on modal criteria. In contrast, here we employ the recently-introduced paradigm of sparsitypromoting optimal control to simultaneously identify the optimal control structure and optimize the closed-loop performance. To induce a sparse control architecture, we regularize the standard quadratic performance index with an `1-penalty on the feedback matrix. The quadratic objective functions are inspired by the classic slow coherency theory and are aimed at imitating homogeneous networks without inter-area oscillations. We use the New England power grid model to demonstrate that the proposed combination of the sparsity-promoting control design with the slow coherency objectives performs almost as well as the optimal centralized control while only making use of a single wide-area communication link. In addition to this nominal performance, we also demonstrate that our control strategy yields favorable robustness margins and that it can be used to identify a sparse control architecture for control design via alternative means.


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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@Article { D_rJov:2014:IFA_4876,
    author={F. D{\"o}rfler and M.R. Jovanovic and M. Chertkov},
    title={{Sparsity-Promoting Optimal Wide-Area Control of Power
    journal={IEEE Transactions on Power Systems},
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