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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS 1

Determination of Transient Stability Constrained Interface Real Power Flow Limit Using Trajectory Sensitivity Approach
Guanji Hou, Student Member, IEEE, and Vijay Vittal, Fellow, IEEE
Abstract—Fast determination of the transient stability constrained interface power transfer limit is a critical problem in power system real time operation. Conventional methods normally require repeated time domain simulations to determine this interface transfer limit; therefore, they are computationally burdensome and time consuming. This paper presents an application of the trajectory sensitivity method to determine the transient stability constrained interface transfer limit. For a specified contingency, the trajectory sensitivity method is used to determine the stability constrained maximum output of the key generators that affect the power flow of the interface. Then using the power transfer distribution factors (PTDFs) of those key generators on the tie-lines constituting the interface, the maximum interface transfer increment can be determined. The advantage of this method is that it requires much less computation compared to the conventional methods while having the same level of accuracy. An application of the proposed method to the WECC test system is presented in detail. The results obtained demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of the proposed method. Index Terms—Interface transfer limit, power transfer distribution factor (PTDF), total transfer capability (TTC), trajectory sensitivity.

I. INTRODUCTION

PERATION of a power system requires that all security constraints established by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) be met for all possible operating conditions. Generally these constraints include static constraints such as thermal limits, and dynamic constraints such as voltage limits, transient stability limits [1] and small signal stability limits [2]. A critical component of successful electric power market operation is the determination of the associated total transfer capability (TTC) representing the transmission capacity available for trading. NERC rules require that the TTC values be posted and updated on a public domain website at regular intervals,
Manuscript received October 19, 2011; revised January 18, 2012, May 23, 2012, and September 01, 2012; accepted September 29, 2012. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under the Grant NSF EEC-9908690 at the Power System Engineering Research Center. Paper no. TPWRS-00985-2011. The authors are with the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, AZ, USA (e-mail: guanji.hou@asu.edu; vijay.vittal@asu.edu). Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRS.2012.2222942

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e.g., the ISO-NE updates and publishes the TTC for every interface in its system every hour during the day on their website [3]. Hence, the underlying method for this TTC calculation should be fast with acceptable accuracy [1]–[5]. TTC is generally determined by the minimum value of certain limits, including thermal limits, voltage limits, small signal and transient stability limits [1]. Among these limits, the determination and calculation of the transient stability limit is the most complicated and time consuming task. This paper aims at developing a fast and accurate method to determine the transient stability constrained interface real power flow limit. Conventional methods to calculate this transient stability constrained interface transfer limit can be summarized into two broad categories: deterministic methods and probabilistic methods. As for the deterministic methods, one widely used method is the transient stability constrained optimal power flow (TSCOPF) [6]–[11]. However, the calculation burden is very heavy for this method especially when dealing with a large system. Another widely used deterministic method is the energy function based methods. However, the drawback of these methods is the modeling restrictions [12]–[14]. The other deterministic method consists of running repeated time domain simulations while gradually increasing the interface power flow. As for the probabilistic methods, the most widely used ones are the Monte Carlo based probabilistic approaches [15], [16]. The drawback of these methods is that they are very time consuming and normally performed off-line. From the above literature survey it is known that these methods are unable to meet either the accuracy or the computational time requirements, especially when the system is large. Therefore, there is a need to develop a method that is computationally fast and accurate. It is observed that an interface flow limit is primarily determined by the generation at certain key generators in the exporting area. In other words, these key generators are the main sources that control the real power flow on the tie lines that constitute the specific interface. If the stability constrained maximum generation increment of these key generators can be determined, then with the use of power transfer distribution factors (PTDFs) of these key generators on the interface, the transfer limit of the interface can be accordingly determined [17]. The idea of using the sensitivity analysis in conjunction with PTDFs to calculate the interface flow limit was first developed in [17] 20 years ago. In [17], the authors utilized the sensitivities of energy margin with respect to active generation changes to calculate the generation output limits of the key generators

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Reference [23] introduces a trajectory sensitivity based model predictive control (MPC) method for real-time voltage stability emergency control. this paper adopts the analytical method to calculate various types of parameter sensitivities. Reference [21] introduces a method using the trajectory sensitivity to reschedule power generation to ensure system stability for a set of pre-selected contingencies while satisfying economic constraints. excitation control and governor. The steps that are needed to account for this change and suitably set up (3) and (4) under this condition are introduced in [28].. vector of network variables. The set of equations (3) and (4) are called sensitivity equations. The trajectory sensitivity approach is proposed here for this purpose. This method can avoid repeated time domain simulations. Parameter sensitivities can be calculated numerically or analytically. the Jacobian matrices that are needed to solve the trajectory sensitivity equations (3) and (4) are by-products of the process of solving (1) and (2) [19]. [20]. Analytical Basis The analytical basis for dynamic trajectory sensitivity is detailed in [27]. Reference [22] adopts trajectory sensitivity to determine the best locations and also the amount of VAr compensation to avoid voltage collapse in a stressed large power system. is a variable characterizing parameter changes.r. These parameter changes will affect the operational security boundary imposed by dynamic constraints. the system equations (1) and (2) will have to be augmented with a set of sensitivity equations corresponding to (3) and (4). generation.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. transmission line impedance or generator bus initial voltage set-point. The basis for the trajectory sensitivity procedure is introduced in Section II.r. (1) which is a set of nonlinear differential equations and (2) which is a set of nonlinear algebraic equations are augmented with the following set of linear equations (3) and (4): (3) (4) where vector of the partial derivatives of with respect to (w. Research efforts have shown that the trajectory sensitivity approach can effectively complement time domain simulation and provide valuable insights in evaluating limits and account for changes in operating conditions and system parameters [19]–[26]. Details will be introduced in the following paragraphs. Only sensitivities for smooth dynamics are considered in this paper. The method was developed based on the transient energy function (TEF) method. When implicit integration methods such as the trapezoidal method are used to solve the system of DAEs (1) and (2). The most critical issue in this approach is to determine the stability constrained maximum generation increments or decrements of those key generators in an efficient manner. the proposed method is presented in detail in Section III. The trajectory sensitivity approach is good alternative to this problem. However. vector of the partial derivatives of w. vector of parameters that are subject to change. determination of the security boundary requires repeated time domain simulations for the changed operating condition. the analytical approach is preferable in terms of computational efficiency. including the difficulties in the construction of a suitable Lyapunov function [18] and the modeling restrictions for various dynamic components [12]–[14] have limited the extensive applicability of the method. Then generator distribution factors were used to calculate the interface flow increment/decrement to determine the interface flow limit. . includes machine (generator and induction motor) dynamic states such as rotor angle. a power system is represented by the following set of differential-algebraic equations (DAEs): (1) (2) where vector of state variables. would include network variables such as bus voltage magnitudes and angles [19]. A parallel computing cluster has been adapted for this purpose. The disadvantage is that it requires an additional full time domain simulation besides the base case simulation to obtain the sensitivity with respect to each parameter. thus minimizing the computational effort required for solving these additional equations. Therefore. as well as states associated with controllers of a machine. velocity and appropriate flux linkages. e. respectively. Methods to calculate sensitivities when dynamic behavior is influenced by discrete events are detailed in [19].g. The advantage of the numerical method is that it requires no additional programming efforts.t) .. the limitations of the TEF method. TRAJECTORY SENSITIVITY A. The numerical method consists of making a finite change to each selected parameter and running a simulation for the changed condition.g. For every parameter which changes. The organization of the paper is as follows. this paper applies the approach to time domain simulation using the trajectory sensitivity method to calculate the required sensitivity information. which is time consuming. To account for the shortcomings of the TEF method. In a conventional time domain transient stability analysis package. For all simulation-based approaches. with the exception of pagination. Details about this method are given in [22]. e. Compared to the numerical method. Content is final as presented. To account for these changes on the operational security boundary. It is noted that when the parameter change is made to the pre-fault condition. This part of work was introduced by the authors in another paper [29]. 2 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS constituting the interface. load. Moreover. it will also change the pre-fault stable equilibrium. the independent nature of the sensitivity equations for different parameter changes facilitates a parallel computing approach to further enhance the computational efficiency. Application of the proposed method to the WECC test system and the results are shown in Section IV and the conclusions are given in Section V. II.t .

historical data or network topology analysis. First. in this study the critical case is obtained by gradually increasing the interface flow and running repeated time domain simulations for the changed conditions until the system has lost stability. The source generators that impact the interface flow are the key generators. the direct method is used for contingency ranking and screening to identify the critical contingencies. with the exception of pagination. the manipulation of the parameters sensitivities to approximate the system response for the changed operating condition is conducted numerically based on the first order linearization. multiple time domain simulations are performed to determine the transfer limit. evaluated sensitivity trajectory. the new values of the system variables can be linearly approximated based on the base case value by applying the following equation [20]: (5) where approximated variable trajectory. This step can be skipped if the user is familiar with the system and knows this critical value based on experience. III. Equation (5) characterizes the approach to apply the trajectory sensitivity method to evaluate the effect of changes in system parameters as time evolves. 3) Determine a suitable base case. The flowchart of the proposed method is shown in Fig. Though the contingency screening significantly reduces the computational burden. The detailed mechanism for this adjustment varies. when the maximum relative rotor angle is close to . Trajectory Approximation It is seen from (3)–(4) that various parameter sensitivities are determined analytically along with the typical system differential algebraic equations (1)–(2). The principle of determining a base case is that this case should be close to its stability limit so that the linear approximation (5) can be applied. Then a constrained optimization problem can be formulated to calculate the maximum real power flow through an interface of interest. In order to provide a more general guideline. This proposed method requires the knowledge of the stability limit of the system in terms of the maximum relative rotor angle when the system is about to lose stability. Flow chart of the proposed method. one can adjust the generation and load according to a set of scaling factors. Methods to identify the key generators associated with the interface under consideration vary. When a system parameter change occurs. To tackle these problems. They can be determined according to the operators’ experience. multiple time domain simulations are still required to determine the transfer limit without violating stability constraints for each contingency considered. The critical relative rotor angle is determined in step 2. The maximum relative rotor angle under this critical case is denoted as . HOU AND VITTAL: DETERMINATION OF TRANSIENT STABILITY CONSTRAINED INTERFACE REAL POWER FLOW LIMIT 3 B. 2) Determine the stability limit of the system being studied. 1. For example. The feature of this proposed method is that it utilizes the trajectory sensitivity analysis method to ascertain that the generation increment at each key generator will not result in the system being unstable. perturbation size of the changed parameter. . they are identified by analyzing the power flow of the base case and identifying the sources that affect the flows on the interface under consideration. this case can be identified as the base case. Normally. It is observed that this interface limit can be even maximized when the generation changes are distributed based on their sensitivities. For example. Another disadvantage of these methods is that the maximum interface MW flow limit is normally not optimal since the generation changes are based on a certain pre-determined scaling. Then for each of those critical contingencies. PROCEDURES FOR THE PROPOSED METHOD Present methods that are widely used by various independent system operators (ISOs) for the determination of the transient stability constrained interface flow limit are based on the combination of the direct method and time domain simulation [30]. 1) Pre-determine an interface that is of interest and identify the key generators and transmission lines across this cut set.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. a new method based on trajectory sensitivity analysis is proposed and presented as follows. These methods basically monitor the system transient stability while increasing or decreasing the transfer across the interface which is simulated by adjusting the generation and load in the exporting and importing areas. Content is final as presented. However. 1 and the detailed procedure for this method is as follows: Fig. base case variable trajectory. for an operating point.

6) Calculate the maximum interface real power flow. can be larger. The third constraint equation in (7) ascertains that the total generation increment is equal to the total load increment.. a limit should be put on the size of each changing parameter. The set should not only contain the most advanced generator. but also include those advanced generators whose rotor angle is close to stability limit for the reason that the any generation increment might result in the second. the validity of this requires further examination since (7) is based on first order linearization. For interface flow limit calculation. Solve the following constrained optimization equations to obtain the maximum increment or decrement of the real power flow through the interface. 4 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS 4) Calculate the PTDFs of those key generators on those transmission lines that constitute the interface. The choice of depends on the discrepancy between the actual perturbed value and the predicted value. is the number of transmission lines constituting the interface. For this case. The first few. This determination can be based on historical data or operational experience. respectively. In the importing area. is the active load change at load bus . and if the mismatch is small. (6) (7) is the increment or decrement of the real power flow where through the interface. and are the sensitivity of with respect to active generation change at generator and active load change at load bus at .This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal.. If the comparison shows that the accuracy is acceptable. is the generation change of the th generator obtained from the previous solution of (6)–(7). 80–90%. the assessment of the validity of is performed using simulation. is the PTDF of generator on line . is the number of load buses whose active load changes are taken into account. Therefore. For example (9) is a scaling factor to create a limit on the size of the where th parameter change. 5) Identify a set of load buses whose active loads are most likely to change. is the generator rotor angle difference between the th generator in and least advanced generator at time instant . is the active generation of generator for the . 50%. The rotor angle difference obtained previously in step 2 is the criteria used to determine rotor angle stability/instability.g. it is the time instant at which the most advanced generator reaches the maximum relative rotor angle. two types of sensitivities are needed: one is the sensitivities of the generator rotor angles with respect to active generation change at those key generators. then this is valid and satisfactory. in (7). Solution of (6)–(7) yields and then based on (6) is obtained. If the accuracy assessment shows that is too large to obtain an acceptable linearization accuracy. is determined by observing the angle plots of all the generators for the base case. the other one is the sensitivities of generator rotor angles with respect to active load change in the importing area. a set of load buses whose active loads are very likely to change and affect the interface flow needs to be pre-determined. In order to solve this optimization problem. The second constraint equation in (7) ascertains that the generation increment at each of the key generators will be within its output limit. Otherwise. is recommended to be smaller. Calculate the sensitivities of interest simultaneously using the computational cluster. Then the stability constrained maximum interface real power flow can be determined as (10) where is the interface real power flow for the base case. is the time instant of interest. is the active generation change at generator . are selected in this set. for example 5 or 10 generators depending on how close they are to the stability criterion . it is assumed that the active loads of those load buses change proportionally based on some weighting factors as follows: (8) is the load increase weighting factor for load bus . third or fourth advanced generator becoming unstable. The first constraint equation in (7) ascertains that the total generation increment at all the key generators will not result in system instability. base case. is a set of the most advanced generators. A simulation for the case with the changed applied to the base case is run and the plots of variables for the actual changed case are obtained and then compared with the approximated plots obtained by using the first order linearization (5). is the number of key generators in the interface. In this paper. If the mismatch is large. is the value of for the base case. However. and are the upper and lower output limit of generator . e. Content is final as presented. then (10) needs to be added as a constraint in the solution of (6)–(7). e. which requires the perturbation size to be small. with the exception of pagination. this constraint ascertains all the advanced generators are stable when there are generation changes made in the system. In calculating the PTDF the slack bus used in the base case power flow is retained as the slack bus. This process is repeated until the solution is validated to be within a certain acceptable accuracy range. where and is the total load increment at all the load buses.g.

APPLICATIONS AND RESULTS The 2009 summer peak load case of the WECC system is used in the paper to test the performance of the proposed method. all the critical contingencies at this operating point will not result in system instability. Therefore. the flow limit under each analysis can be determined using the proposed method. A PTDFs calculation routine has been implemented by the authors in PSAT [31]. 2. Actually. In an online setting contingency analysis is performed regularly. the proposed method can be adopted to directly determine the interface flow limit instead of using a trial and error method which is the commonly used method in the industry for now. with the exception of pagination. The minimum value among these calculated flow limits can then selected as the maximum interface MW flow limit. A software package implementing the trajectory sensitivity calculation has been developed. A computing cluster is used to perform multiple sensitivities evaluations in parallel. Base Case and Interface Descriptions An interface of interest on the WECC system is selected as shown in Fig. 2. By doing so.06 s by removing this faulted line. this part of burden can be significantly relieved by the parallel computing technique. The total active generation is 165 129 MW. The advantage of the proposed method is that once this base case is found. There are two major power plants of interest: P1 and P2. exciter and PSS. 44 and 45 are the most advanced generators. respectively. For other contingencies. The relative rotor . #43. The result obtained by solving (6)–(7) under one specific fault consideration is only applicable for this particular case. Therefore. is the active generation change at generator . this proposed method is efficient in reducing the computational burden. which was introduced in [29]. compared to the conventional methods. The fault occurs at s and is cleared after 0. Content is final as presented. Therefore. IV. 2. it is found that Gens. The implementation is based on an open-source Matlab based power system analysis software package called power system analysis toolbox (PSAT) [31]. A detailed description of this cluster was presented by the authors in another paper [29]. #320 is the least advanced generator. HOU AND VITTAL: DETERMINATION OF TRANSIENT STABILITY CONSTRAINED INTERFACE REAL POWER FLOW LIMIT 5 TABLE I SYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WECC SYSTEM It can be seen from the above description that the computations required in this method include some repeated time domain simulations to determine the stability limit for the system analyzed and some repeated time domain simulation for the determination of the base case. the dimension of this optimization problem is usually very low even in a large power network. The real power flows on these lines for the base case are listed in Table IV. Another component that contributes to the computation burden of this proposed method is the multiple sensitivity calculations. The system characteristics are shown in Table I. The PTDF is defined as follows: (11) where is the PTDF of generator on line . normally only the generators with the highest sensitivities will be participating in this calculation. Regarding the solution to the linear programming problem (6)–(7). Base Case Performance The critical contingency considered is a 3-phase fault on line #4 as depicted in Fig. It is also identified that Gen. these three generators are selected to constitute the set of advanced generators defined in (7). TABLE II CONFIGURATION OF THE POWER PLANT P1 TABLE III CONFIGURATION OF THE POWER PLANT P2 TABLE IV REAL POWER FLOWS THROUGH THE INTERFACE FOR THE BASE CASE lines in this interface. B. There are four transmission Fig. is the real power flow change on line .This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. All the generators are equipped with a turbine governor. Description of the selected interface. the same procedure should be run to obtain the flow limit accordingly. depending on the number of key generators and load buses taken into consideration. After running the time domain simulation for the base case. Each of these plants contains several generators with high capacity. To obtain the safest interface MW flow limit. The configurations of these two plants are listed in Tables II and III. The results are listed as follows in Table V. A.

Solution to the Optimization Problem In order to solve the linear programming problem (6)–(7). angles between these key generators and Gen. 6 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS TABLE V PTDFS OF EACH KEY GENERATOR ON THE INTERFACE TABLE VI SENSITIVITY TO ACTIVE GENERATION CHANGE AT S TABLE VII SENSITIVITY TO ACTIVE LOAD CHANGE AT S Fig. It can be seen that this system operating point is very close to its stability limit. These sensitivities are calculated using the parallel computing platform described in [29]. with the exception of pagination. From this comparison it can be seen that the results obtained from these two methods are almost identical. 3 that the maximum relative rotor angle occurs at time instant s. in order to evaluate each numerical sensitivity the required change is made and the simulation re-run to calculate the difference between the base case and the change case. it is assumed that the load increments are distributed equally among the 17 load buses. Relative rotor angles with respect to Gen. However. It can be seen from Fig. which occurs at s.” denotes the numerical method. therefore the sensitivities at this time instant are of interest and they are listed in Tables VI and VII. This indicates that all the key generators are increasing their output • In (8). after running 4 time domain simulations. #320. Calculation of Trajectory Sensitivities To solve the optimization problem (6)–(7). The computational efficiency of the time domain simulation is improved by using an early stopping criterion for either very stable cases or unstable cases developed in [32]. At the . it is assumed that is positive. • Sensitivities of rotor angles of generators in the set with respect to active load change at the 17 load buses. the following assumptions are made: • In (8). Solution to (6)–(7) yields MW. They are: • Sensitivities of rotor angles of generators in the set with respect to active generation change at those key generators depicted in Tables II and III. “Analy. #320 are plotted in Fig.” denotes the analytical method and “Numer. These 17 load buses are directly supplied by the four tie lines. two types of sensitivities are required. the critical relative rotor angles is determined to be approximately 180 . The Matlab built-in solver for linear programming problems “linprog” is used to solve the linear programming problem (6)–(7). 3. By using the method stated in Section III step 2. The sensitivities can also be computed numerically as follows: (12) The results of the sensitivity calculations using this numerical method are also listed in Tables VI and VII for comparison with the analytical method. Content is final as presented. C.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. The maximum relative rotor angle for this base case is 165. In these two tables. 3.1 . D. 17 load buses whose active loads are considered to change and affect the interface flow are determined.

#320 at verified and listed in Table IX. it can be concluded that the system is close to stability limit. HOU AND VITTAL: DETERMINATION OF TRANSIENT STABILITY CONSTRAINED INTERFACE REAL POWER FLOW LIMIT 7 TABLE VIII KEY GENERATOR OUTPUT INCREMENT TABLE X COMPARISON OF THE REAL POWER FLOWS THROUGH THE INTERFACE Fig. The results in the row “From time domain simulation for changed case” are the results obtained from running time domain simulation for the changed condition. 5. F. the interface real power flow limit can be calculated as MW. The sensitivity calculation routine will then be activated to compute the sensitivity trajectories for this base case. only the first-swing instability problem is considered. another time domain simulation is conducted for the change case with the changes listed in Table VIII applied to the pre-fault power flow case. . E. which is 180 for this study case.This article has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of this journal. #43. the maximum relative rotor angle will be monitored. #320 for the changed case. which indicates that the system is unstable. Thus the results verify the accuracy of the proposed method. V. S TABLE IX COMPARISON OF THE RELATIVE GENERATOR ROTOR ANGLES AT solution. Gen. Then the interface real power flow is increased slightly higher than the amount obtained from the sensitivity analysis in the previous section by 10 MW to 2176. the real power flows in the four tie lines are verified and they are listed in Table X. Compared to current methods. #45 are swinging away from the rest of the generators. It is also seen from Tables IX and X that the results from the solution to (6)–(7) are very close to the actual results from time domain simulation for the changed case. a fast and accurate method based on time domain simulation for the determination of the transient stability constrained interface real power transfer limit is proposed. CONCLUSION In this paper. Then from (10). which require many off-line transient stability studies [30] for different operating conditions. However. the results in the row “From linear programming solution” are the results obtained by solving the linear programming problem (6)–(7). Discussions of the Test Case In this test case. During the time domain simulation for the base case. It is seen from the Fig. Also. Result Verification To verify the results obtained above. #44 and Gen. The change in the time instant at which the maximum relative angle occurs will not affect the procedure since the method is dealing with the determination of the maximum pre-fault interface real power flow. the relative generator rotor angles between the three s are most advanced generator and Gen. the generation increment of each key generator is listed in Table VIII. 4. Fig. the proposed method is applicable to the second-swing stability problem since the same procedure as introduced in the paper can be applied. Content is final as presented. The relative rotor angle plots between the most advanced generators and Gen #320 are shown in Fig. 5 that Gen. 4. #320—with interface flow MW. with the exception of pagination. 4 that the relative rotor angles at s are very close to . Relative rotor angles with respect to Gen. 5. Relative rotor angles with respect to Gen.97 MW. As long as the relative rotor angle approaches a certain threshold. Also. In the table. It can be seen from Fig. the relative angle plots are shown in Fig.

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