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Chapter 1


Numerous advances have been made in developing intelligent systems, some

inspired by biological neural networks, fuzzy systems and combination of them.
Researchers from many scientific disciplines are designing Artificial Neural Network
(ANN) to solve a variety of problems in pattern recognition, prediction, optimization,
associative memory and control. Conventional approaches have been proposed for
solving these problems. Although successful applications can be found in certain well
constrained environments, none is flexible enough to perform well outside its domain.
Load forecasting is one of the most successful applications of ANN in power systems.
1.1 Objective and necessity
The main objective of the project is to forecast the load for the next 24 hours, as
well one week, considering one month of load data. Load forecasting is an important
problem in the operation and planning of electrical power generation. To minimize the
operating cost, electric supplier will use forecasted load to control the number of running
generator units. Short-term load forecasting (STLF) is for hour to hour forecasting and
important to daily maintaining of power plant. This work provides power system
dispatchers with an accurate and convenient short term load
forecasting (STLF) system, which helps to increase the power system
reliability and reduce the system operation cost. In the modern
electricity market, the energy trade and the spot price establishment
are based on a precise load forecasting result.
1.1.1 Purpose of load forecasting
Since in power systems the next days’ power generation must be
scheduled every day, day-ahead short-term load forecasting (STLF) is a
necessary daily task for power dispatch. Its accuracy affects the
economic operation and reliability of the system greatly. Under
prediction of STLF leads to insufficient reserve capacity preparation
and, in turn, increases the operating cost by using expensive peaking
units. On the other hand, overprediction of STLF leads to the
unnecessarily large reserve capacity, which is also related to high
operating cost.
With the recent development of new mathematical, data mining
and artificial intelligence tools, it is potentially possible to improve the
forecasting result.With the recent trend of deregulation of electricity
markets, STLF has gained more importance and greater challenges. In
the market environment, precise forecasting is the basis of electrical
energy trade and spot price establishment for the system to gain the
minimum electricity purchasing cost. In the real-time dispatch
operation, forecasting error causes more purchasing electricity cost or
breaking-contract penalty cost to keep the electricity supply and
consumption balance.
1.2 Literature survey
In this section, the literature of neural networks in load forecasting is surveyed.
This literature offers the background for the rest of the work. Although there are many
articles on the subject, and also many quite sophisticated solutions have been proposed,
the large variation in these and the lack of comparative studies make it impossible to use
them by themselves. The interest in applying neural networks to electric load forecasting
began in 1990. Most of the approaches reported since are based on the use of an MLP
network as an approximator of an unknown nonlinear relation. However, the number of
different ways to use this type of networks seems unlimited on the basis of the
articles.The system load is the sum of all the consumers’ load at the
same time. The aim of system STLF is to forecast the future system
load. Good understanding of the system characteristics helps to design
reasonable forecasting models and select appropriate models in
different situations.
Electricity is a kind of commodity. The economic situation also
influences the utilization of this commodity. Economic factors, such as
the degree of industrialization, price of electricity and load
management policy have significant impacts on the system load
growth/decline trend. With the development of modern electricity
markets, the relationship between electricity price and load profile is
even stronger. Although time-of-use pricing and demand-side
management had arrived before deregulation, the volatility of spot
markets and incentives for consumers to adjust loads are potentially of
a much greater magnitude. At low prices, elasticity is still negligible,
but at times of extreme conditions, price-induced rationing is a much
more likely scenario in a deregulated market compared to that under
central planning.
1.2.1 Basic ANN-Model
The literature about short-term load forecasting with ANN neural network models
can be roughly divided into three categories with regard to the forecasting target. These
different model types are intended for:
- forecasting daily peak, or total load.
- forecasting the whole daily load curve at one time.
- forecasting the load of the next hour.
The models of the first two categories are static in the sense that the forecasts are
not adapted during the day. The third model type is usually used recursively in order to
forecast further than just one hour ahead. The model is dynamic, since the forecast can be
updated every time new data arrives.
There are also many other factors that make the models different from each other.
These differences can be for example in:
- the use of the weather data.
- the other input variables.
- network architecture.
- training algorithm.
- selection of the training data.
1.3 Project overview
Electrical load forecasting plays a central role in the operation and planning of
electric power. The countrywide energy estimation, the planning of new plant, the routine
maintaining and scheduling of daily electrical generation are all depended on accurate
load forecasting in the future. Due to different aim of forecasting, the load-forecasting
problem can be classified in to some kinds.
Spatial forecasting is mainly about forecasting future load distribution in a
special region, such as a county, a state, or the whole country.
Temporal forecasting is dealing with forecasting load for a specific supplier or
collection of consumers in future hours, days, months, or even years. According to the
forecasting length, there are three different kinds of temporal forecasting-

1. Long-term load forecasting (LTLF): It is mainly for system planning, typically the
long term forecast covers a period of 10 to 20 years. Key factors in LTLF includes stock
of electricity-using equipment, level and type of economic activity, price of electricity,
price of substitute sources of energy, non economic factors such as marketing and
conservation campaigns, and weather conditions.
2. Medium-term load forecasting (MTLF): It is mainly for the scheduling of fuel
supplies and maintenance programmes. It usually covers a period of a few months.
3. Short-term load forecasting (STLF): It is for the day-to-day operation and scheduling
of the power system.
Our project, mainly talks about the STLF. The STLF forecaster calculates the
estimated load for each hours of the day, the daily peak load, or the daily or weekly
energy generation. STLF is important to clerical supplier because they can use the
forecasted load to control the number of generators in operation, to shut up some unit
when forecasted load is low and to start up of new unit when forecasted load is high. A
large variety of techniques have been investigated in STLF.
The statistical category includes multiple linear regression,
stochastic time series, general exponential smoothing, state space,
etc. Recently support vector regression, which is a very promising
statistical learning method, has also been applied to short-term load
forecasting and has shown good results. Usually statistical methods
can predict the load curve of ordinary days very well, but they lack the
ability to analyze the load property of holidays and other anomalous
days, due to the inflexibility of their structure. Expert system, artificial
neural network and fuzzy inference belong to the artificial intelligence
category. Artificial neural network doesn’t need the expression of the
human experience and aims to establish a network between the input
data set and the observed outputs. It is good at dealing with the
nonlinear relationship between the load and its relative factors, but the
shortcoming lies in over fitting and long training time.
1.3.1 Background
Load forecasting is one of the central functions in power systems operations. The
motivation for accurate forecasts lies in the nature of electricity as a commodity and
trading article; electricity can not be stored, which means that for an electric utility, the
estimate of the future demand is necessary in managing the production and purchasing in
an economically reasonable way.
Load forecasting methods can be divided into very short-, short-, mid- and long-
term models according to the time span. In very-short term forecasting the prediction
time can be as short as a few minutes, while in long-term forecasting it is from a few
years up to several decades. This work concentrates on short-term forecasting, where the
prediction time varies between a few hours and about one week. Short-term load
forecasting (STLF) has been lately a very commonly addressed problem in power
systems literature. One reason is that recent scientific innovations have brought in new
approaches to solve the problem. The development in computer technology has
broadened possibilities for these and other methods working in a real time environment.
Another reason may be that there is an international movement towards greater
competition in electricity markets. Even if many forecasting procedures have been tested
and proven successful, none has achieved a strong stature as a generally applied method.
A reason is that the circumstances and requirements of a particular situation have a
significant influence on choosing the appropriate model.
The results presented in the literature are usually not directly comparable to each
other. A majority of the recently reported approaches are based on neural network
techniques. Many researchers have presented good results. The attraction of the methods
lies in the assumption that neural networks are able to learn properties of the load, which
would otherwise require careful analysis to discover.
However, the development of the methods is not finished, and the lack of
comparative results on different model variations is a problem. Therefore, to make use of
the techniques in a real application, a comparative analysis of the properties of
differentmodel types seems necessary.
1.3.2 Purpose of the work
This work studies the applicability of different neural network models on short-
term load forecasting. The approach is comparative. The models are divided into two
classes: models forecasting the load for one whole day at a time, and models forecasting
ahead hour by hour. Testing is carried out on the real load data of a Delhi electric utility.
The objective is to accomplish suggestions on choosing the most appropriate model(s).
There is need to forecast the load accurately at all time spans, another goal is to study the
performance of the models for different lead-times. Intuitively, it seems possible that
different models should be preferred for different time spans even with in the short-term
forecasting range.
There are some properties, which are considered important:
- The model should be automatic and able to adapt quickly to changes in the load
- The model is intended for use in many different cases. This means that generality is
- Updating the forecast with new available data should be possible. The hours closest to
the forecasting time should always be forecast as accurately as possible.
- The model should be reliable. Even exceptional circumstances must not give rise to
unreasonable forecasts.
- Difficult weather conditions typical in Delhi, especially large variation of outdoor
temperature, should be taken care of.
- The model should be easily attachable to an energy management system. This work
does not study the forecasting for special days, such as religious and legal holidays.
Special days have different consumption profiles from ordinary days, which makes
forecasting very difficult for them. When implementing a real application, a means to
take these days into account has to be found. The most common approach, but not
necessarily the best one, is to treat them as Sundays.
Chapter 2

Electrical energy cannot be stored. It has to be generated when ever there is a

demand for it. It is therefore imperative for the electric power utilities that the load on
their systems should be estimated in advance. This estimation of load in advance is
commonly known as load forecasting.

Load forecasting methods can be divided into very short term, long term models
according to the time span . In very short term load forecasting the prediction time can be
as short as a few minutes, while in the long term forecasting it is from a few years up to
several decades. In this project, short term load forecast is presented which is important
for online control and security evaluation of a large system. A precise short term load
forecasting is essential for monitoring and controlling power system operation. The
hourly load forecast with a lead-time up to one week in advance is necessarily for online
solution of scheduling problem.
A fine short term prediction of future load is helpful in better operation of power
systems and its economical utilization. A number of algorithms have been suggested for
solving this problem. In this, STLF with neural networks is presented. Above method is
studied by considering a most effective weather component among all i.e. temperature.
Test results were obtained for actual load data obtained from Northern Power Grid, New
Delhi, INDIA for 24 hours ahead forecasting with weather information.
2.1 Types of load forecasting

Depending upon the period of forecast, the load forecast is of two types:

2.1.1 Long term Load forecast

2.1.2 Short-term load forecast.
The Long-term load forecast takes quite a long time to plan, install and additional
generating capacity. In this project we are presenting Short term Load forecast which is
important for online control and security evaluation of a large system.
2.1.1 Long term load forecasting

It takes quit a long time to plan, install and commission additional generating
capacity. Generally, system expansion planning starts with a forecast of anticipated future
load requirements. Proper long term forecasting is necessary for optimal generation
capacity expansion.
One method, used by many utilities, for long term, load forecasting is
extrapolation. This technique involves fitting trend curves to basic historical data,
adjusted to reflect the growth trend itself. Once the trend curve is known, the forecast is
found by evaluating the trend curve function at the desired future point.
Another technique for long term load forecasting is Correlation. This technique
relates system leads to various demographic and economic factors. Typical factors like:
population, employment, industrial licenses, appliance saturation, weather data etc. are
used in correlation techniques. However, the forecasting the demographic and economic
factors is rather difficult.

2.1.2 Short term load forecast

A precise short term load forecasting is essentially for monitoring and controlling
power system operation. The hourly load forecast with a lead-time up to one week in
advance is necessarily for online solution of scheduling problem. A 24-hour load forecast
is needed for successful operation of power plant. One hour forecast is important for
online time control and security evaluation of a large power system.
Short-term load forecasting techniques generally involve physical decomposition
of load into components. The load is decomposed into a daily pattern reflecting the
difference in activity level during the day. A weekly pattern representing the day of the
week effect on load. A trend component concerning the seasonal growth in load and a
weather sensitive component reflecting the deviations in load due to weather fluctuations.
The random errors can be statistically analysed to obtain a stochastic model for a error
estimation. Thus, the expected hourly load forecast is divided in to 5 components and can
be written as:

Y (i, j). =ADP (j)+AWP (k, j)+WSC (i, j)+TR (i)+SEC (i, j)..............................(2.1)
Y (i, j) =Load forecast for j th hour of i th day.
ADP (j) =Average daily load pattern at j th hour.
AWP (k, j) =Average weekly load pattern at j th hour and k th day of week.
WSC (i, j)=Weather sensitive component at j th hour of i th day.
SEC (i, j)=Stochastic error component which is assumed to be normally distributed.
TR (i)=Trend component of load on i th day.

The average daily pattern represents the hour of the day effect. It is an average of
the daily load pattern over an optimal number of past days. The average weekly pattern
reflects the day of week effect. It is calculate d as the average of the weekly cycles over a
certain number of past weeks.

The weather sensitive components represent the changes in customer

requirements according to variations in weather conditions. Generally temperature is
considered as the only weather variable since data banks for other weather variables like
wind, humidity etc. are usually not available.

The trend component includes three components: a long-term growth trend, a

short-term trend dependent on the economic cycle and a time of the year pattern. The
statistical error components represent error in estimate. The standard deviation and
variance are usually taken as error parameters.

Generally, the load of an electric utility is composed of very different

consumption units. A large part of the electricity is consumed by industrial activities.
Another part is of course used by private people in forms of heating, lighting, cooking,
laundry, etc. Also many services offered by society demand electricity, foe example street
lighting, railway traffic etc.

Factors affecting the load depend on the particular consumption unit. The
industrial load is usually mostly determined by the level of the production. The load is
often quite steady, and it is possible to estimate its dependency on different production
levels. However, from the point of view of the utility selling electricity, the industrial
units usually add uncertainty in the forecasts. The problem is the possibility of
unexpected events, like machine breakdowns or strikes, which can cause large
unpredictable disturbances in the load level.

In the case of private people, the factors determining the load are much more
difficult to define. Each person behaves in his own individual way, and human
psychology is involved in each consumption decision. Many social and behavioural
factors can be found. For example, big events, holidays, even TV-programs, affect the
load. The weather is the most important individual factor; the reason is largely being the
electric heating of houses, which becomes more intensive as the temperature drops.

As large part of the consumption is due to private people and other small
electricity customers, the usual approach in load forecasting is to concentrate on the
aggregate load of the whole utility. This reduces the number of factors that can be taken
into account.
In the short run, the meteorological conditions cause large variation in this
aggregated load. In addition to the temperature, also wind speed, cloud cover, and
humidity have an influence.
- In the long run, the economic and demographic factors play the most important role
in determining the evolution of the electricity demand.
- From the point of view of forecasting, the time factors are essential. By these,
- Various seasonal effects and cyclical behaviours (daily and weekly rhythms) as well
as occurrences of legal and religious holidays are meant.
The other factors causing disturbances can be classified as random factors. These are
usually small in the case of individual consumers, although large social events and
popular TV-programs add uncertainty in the forecasts. Industrial units, on other hand, can
cause relatively large disturbances.

Only Short Term Forecasting is dealt in this project, and the time span of the
forecasts will not range further than about one week ahead. Therefore, the economic and
demographic factors will not be discussed. The decision to combine all consumption
units into one aggregate load means that the forecasting rests largely on the past
behaviour of the load. Time factors play the key role in the analysis of this work.

2.2 Properties of load curve

In this work, the load curve to be forecasted consists of hourly load values,
which are in reality hourly averages. This means that the load curve can be seen as a time
series of real numbers, each being the average load of one hour.
Although, the number of the observations is restricted to 24 per day, the
models studied can be applied with slight modifications to cases where the interval
between observations is shorter. The hourly electric load demand of a Delhi electricity
utility is used throughout this work as the test case. The hourly temperature data from the
influential district is also available. The data of the month January 2001 is available, so
the length of the data set is one month. For a more thorough testing, load data of an even
longer time period would be preferred.
There are also shorter cyclical effects, which can be seen from the
autocorrelation function of the time series. This is shown in figure 2.1. The peaks in 24,
48, 72, …indicate the daily rhythm, and the peaks in the multiplies of 168 means that also
a weekly rhythm exists.

Figure: 2.1 The sample autocorrelation function of the weekly load.

The weekly rhythm originates from the working day – weekend rhythm obeyed
by most people. On working days social activities are at a higher level than on Saturdays
and Sundays, and therefore the load is also higher.
The daily rhythm on the other hand results from the synchronous behaviour of
people during the day. Most people sleep at night, and therefore the load is low at night
hours. Also during the day, many activities tend to be simultaneous for a majority of
people (working time, lunch hour, TV-watching etc.).
The daily rhythm changes throughout the year. Mondays and/or Fridays are
separated from other working days, because the closeness of the weekend can have a
slight effect on the load. A more difficult question is the classification of the special days
(for example legal and religious holidays). Sometimes they are classified in the same
category with Sundays. However, different special days have different load profiles.
The classifying of the special days is not examined. The load curve for different
months is different, in the winter the average load is about twice as high as in the
summer. The extent of this property is a special characteristic of Delhi’s load conditions,
and is due to great differences between the weather conditions of different seasons of the
year. The monthly load properties are shown in the figure. The weekly rhythm originates
from the working day - weekend rhythm obeyed by most people.
On working days social activities are at a higher level than on Saturdays and Sundays,
and therefore the load is also higher. The series begins with five quite similar patterns,
which are the load curves of Monday-Friday. Then two different patterns for Saturday and
Sunday follow. This same weekly pattern is then repeated.
Fig 2.2 load variation for one week
Fig 2.3 load variation for one complete month

2.3 Requirements of the STLF Process

In nearly all the energy management systems of the modern
control centres, there is a short-term load forecasting module. A good
STLF system should fulfill the requirement of accuracy, fast speed,
automatic bad data detection, friendly interface, automatic data
access and automatic forecasting result generation.
The most important requirement of STLF process is its prediction
accuracy. As mentioned before, good accuracy is the basis of economic
dispatch, system reliability and electricity markets. The main goal of
most STLF literatures and also of this thesis is to make the forecasting
result as accurate as possible.

\Fast Speed
Employment of the latest historical data and weather forecast
data helps to increase the accuracy. When the deadline of the
forecasted result is fixed, the longer the runtime of the STLF program
is, the earlier historical data and weather forecast data can be
employed by the program. Therefore the speed of the forecasting is a
basic requirement of the forecasting program. Programs with too long
training time should be abandoned and new techniques shortening the
training time should be employed. Normally the basic requirement of
24 hour (96 points) forecasting should be less than 20 minutes.

2.4 Short term load forecasting techniques

Load forecasting has been a central and an integral process in planning and
operation of electric utilities. Many techniques and approaches have been investigated to
tackle this problem in the last two decades. These are often different in nature and apply
different engineering considerations and economic analysis. Some of the short-term loads
forecasting techniques have been listed below.
1. Time- of- day models.
2. Multiple Linear regression.
3. Stochastic time series.
4. State space.
5. Knowledge based expert system.
6. ANN based load forecasting.
7. FL-ANN based load forecasting.