Accuracies of Optimal Transmission Switching Heuristics Based on Exact and Approximate Power Flow Equations
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Optimal transmission switching (OTS) enables us to remove selected transmission lines from service as a cost reduction method. A mixed integer programming (MIP) model has been proposed to solve the OTS problem based on the direct current optimal power flow (DCOPF) approximation. Previous studies indicated computational issues regarding the OTS problem and the need for a more accurate model. In order to resolve computational issues, especially in large real systems, the MIP model has been followed by some heuristics to find good, near optimal, solutions in a reasonable time. The line removal recommendations based on DCOPF approximations may result in poor choices to remove from service. We assess the quality of line removal recommendations that rely on DCOPF-based heuristics, by estimating actual cost reduction with the exact alternating current optimal power flow (ACOPF) model, using the IEEE 118-bus test system. We also define an ACOPF-based line-ranking procedure and compare the quality of its recommendations to those of a previously published DCOPF-based procedure. For the 118-bus system, the DCOPF-based line ranking produces poor quality results, especially when demand and congestion are very high, while the ACOPF-based heuristic produces very good quality recommendations for line removals, at the expense of much longer computation times. There is a need for approximations to the ACOPF that are accurate enough to produce good results for OTS heuristics, but fast enough for practical use for OTS decisions.
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