An Efficient Homotopy Method for Solving the Post-Contingency Optimal Power Flow to Global Optimality

Publication Date: July 1, 2020

Park, Sangwoo & Glista, Elizabeth & Lavaei, Javad & Sojoudi, Somayeh. (2022). An Efficient Homotopy Method for Solving the Post-Contingency Optimal Power Flow to Global Optimality. IEEE Access. PP. 1-1. 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3224162.

Optimal power flow (OPF) is a fundamental problem in power systems analysis for determining the steady-state operating point of a power network that minimizes the generation cost. In anticipation of component failures, such as transmission line or generator outages, it is also important to find optimal corrective actions for the power flow distribution over the network. The problem of finding these post-contingency solutions to the OPF problem is challenging due to the nonconvexity of the power flow equations and the large number of contingency cases in practice. In this paper, we introduce a homotopy method to solve for the post-contingency actions, which involves a series of intermediate optimization problems that gradually transform the original OPF problem into each contingency-OPF problem. We show that given a global solution to the original OPF problem, a global solution to the contingency problem can be obtained using this homotopy method, under some conditions. With simulations on Polish and other European networks, we demonstrate that the effectiveness of the proposed homotopy method is dependent on the choice of the homotopy path and that homotopy yields an improved solution in many cases. For at least 5% of the test cases, bad local minima were identified, and the homotopy method yielded a solution that was significantly better than state-of-the-art interior point methods in terms of reducing the violation cost during a catastrophic contingency scenario.