skip to main content

Title: An introduction to optimal power flow: Theory, formulation, and examples

The set of optimization problems in electric power systems engineering known collectively as Optimal Power Flow (OPF) is one of the most practically important and well-researched subfields of constrained nonlinear optimization. OPF has enjoyed a rich history of research, innovation, and publication since its debut five decades ago. Nevertheless, entry into OPF research is a daunting task for the uninitiated--both due to the sheer volume of literature and because OPF's ubiquity within the electric power systems community has led authors to assume a great deal of prior knowledge that readers unfamiliar with electric power systems may not possess. This article provides an introduction to OPF from an operations research perspective; it describes a complete and concise basis of knowledge for beginning OPF research. The discussion is tailored for the operations researcher who has experience with nonlinear optimization but little knowledge of electrical engineering. Topics covered include power systems modeling, the power flow equations, typical OPF formulations, and common OPF extensions.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0740-817X
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: IIE Transactions; Journal Volume: 48; Journal Issue: 12
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION power flow; optimal power flow; electric power systems analysis; electrical engineering; nonlinear programming; optimization; operations research