Computer Aided Chemical Engineering
In power grid operation, optimal power flow (OPF) problems are solved several times per day to find economically optimal generator setpoints that balance given load demands. Ideally, we seek an optimal solution that is also “N-1 secure”, meaning the system can absorb contingency events such as transmission line or generator failure without loss of service. Current practice is to solve the OPF problem and then check a subset of contingencies against heuristic values, resulting in, at best, suboptimal solutions. Unfortunately, online solution of the OPF problem including the full N-1 contingencies (i.e., two-stage stochastic programming formulation) is intractable for even modest sized electrical grids. To address this challenge, this work presents an efficient method to embed N-1 security constraints into the solution of the OPF by using Neural Network (NN) models to represent the security boundary. Our approach introduces a novel sampling technique, as well as a tuneable parameter to allow operators to balance the conservativeness of the security model within the OPF problem. Our results show that we are able to solve contingency formulations of larger size grids than reported in literature using non-linear programming (NLP) formulations with embedded NN models to local optimality. Solutions found with the NN constraint have marginally increased computational time but are more secure to contingency events.