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An Improved Methodology for the Design of Power System Damping Controllers

Rodrigo A. Ramos, Member, IEEE, Andr C. P. Martins, and Newton G. Bretas, Senior Member, IEEE

AbstractThis paper presents a set of signicant improvements made over a previously developed methodology for the design of controllers to damp electromechanical oscillations in power systems. This previous methodology was able to fulll several practical requirements of the oscillation damping problem, related to robustness, decentralization, and output feedback structure. However, problems related to an adequate controller gain (to avoid interactions with unmodeled dynamics) and disturbance rejection (allowing the use of noisy input signals, such as the rotor speed measurements) were not treated in this previously reported methodology, and are now addressed in this work. Moreover, the requirement of zero gain in steady-state conditions is now met in a more efcient way. The results of the nonlinear simulations show the satisfactory performance of the designed controllers with respect to the mentioned practical requirements. Index TermsDamping controllers, electromechanical oscillations, linear matrix inequalities, power system stabilizers.


LECTROMECHANICAL oscillations in power systems are a problem that has been challenging engineers for decades. These oscillations may be very poorly damped in some cases, resulting in mechanical fatigue at the machines and unacceptable power variations across important transmission lines. For this reason, the use of controllers to provide better damping for these oscillations is of utmost importance. The most used type of controller for this purpose is known as a power system stabilizer (PSS), which consists of a classical phase compensator. Due to its simplicity and well-established commissioning procedures, the PSSs have been the preferred controllers to provide damping for electromechanical oscillations in many countries. Nevertheless, these controllers present some drawbacks that are inherent to their design procedure. One of these drawbacks comes from the fact that power systems experience signicant variations in their operating conditions. To deal with this problem, empirical adjustments of the PSS parameters are carried out, in a process usually known as tuning [1]. The tuning techniques have been signicantly improved over the past years, and have achieved good results in many cases ([2] is an example). However, due to their empirical nature, these techniques have some limitations. So, motivated by the perspective of obtaining more effective controllers, several researchers

have proposed the application of robust control techniques to the design of damping controllers for power systems ([3], [4] and [5] can be cited as recent examples). Following the same path, this work will be focused on the the design of robust PSS-type controllers. As in most other practical control problems, the task of electromechanical oscillation damping in power systems has a series of requirements that must be fullled by the designed controllers. When attempting to apply a control technique, the designer must be certain that the assumptions contained in the technique are physically implementable (with a cost-compatible technology), otherwise the obtained controllers will not reach the eld. Some of these practical requirements are the previously mentioned robustness, an output feedback decentralized structure and the guarantee of a minimum damping ratio for all modes of oscillation. These requirements were already successfully treated by a methodology proposed in [6]. This paper describes some important improvements made over the methodology presented in [6], aiming to enhance the controller performance with respect to disturbances in the input signal and to obtain controllers with adequate gains in the frequency range of interest. A good disturbance rejection is norm of the accomplished through a minimization of the controller, allowing the use of the rotor speed as an input signal. The adequate controller gains are sought with a reformulation of the design procedure, which is recast as an LQR problem (aiming to minimize the controller effort), and help to avoid the interference of the controller with unmodeled dynamics of the plant. Both improvements can be viewed as additional practical requirements, not treated in [6]. The structure of this paper is as follows: Section II reviews the fundamentals of the methodology proposed in [6], which composes the basis of the design procedure; Section III brings a detailed explanation of the improvements focused on this paper, and the complete design algorithm is given in Section IV; some tests of the design procedure, as well as an analysis of their results, are reported in Sections V, and concluding remarks are made in Section VI.


Manuscript received March 7, 2005; revised June 9, 2005. Paper no. TPWRS00138-2005. The authors are with the Escola de Engenharia de So Carlos/USPSo Carlos, So PauloBrazil (e-mail:;; Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TPWRS.2005.857280

The methodology presented in [6] was developed to fulll several practical requirements of the oscillation damping problem in power systems. In this section, these requirements are presented and the mathematical fundamentals of the treatment given to them in [6] are briey depicted.

0885-8950/$20.00 2005 IEEE



A. Output Feedback Control Structure and Controller Coordination Considering the major difculties for implementing state feedback damping controllers in power systems (mainly related to the measurement of the rotor angles within the same reference frame), the output feedback structure is usually preferable. This subsection presents a formulation for the closed-loop system with this type of controllers. The linearization of the power system model around an operating condition provides a set of equations in the form (1) (2) where is the state vector, is the control input for the system and is the measured output of the system. The matrices in (1)(2) and the other matrices in appearing in this paper have matching dimensions with their respective multiplying vectors or matrices. For more details on the nonlinear model of the power system used in this work, see [6]. A linear dynamic output feedback controller for the system (1)(2) may have the structure (3) (4) where is the state vector of the controller. The closedloop system formed by the feedback connection of (1)(2) and (3)(4) can be represented by (5) where (6) is a vector containing the states of both the system and and the controller. The problem of stabilizing the system (1)(2) by the output feedback controller (3)(4) can then be solved if , , and are found, such that [7]: matrices (7) It is important to remark that the use of the multimachine model directly in the design formulation provides a natural coordination for the designed controllers, which is another interesting feature of the proposed methodology. B. Stability Robustness In order to fulll the robustness requirements, a technique called polytopic modeling was applied in [6]. Some of the propositions for the design of robust damping controllers for power systems represent the variations in the operating conditions as uncertainties over a nominal model ([8] is an example). In contrast, the polytopic model is composed by a set of typical operating points (which can be taken, for example, from , the load curves of the system) in the form (representing the closed-loop connections between the system

Fig. 1. Minimum damping criterion for pole placement.

and controller models). These models constitute the vertices of the polytopic set, and the methodology will then search for , , and such that matrices (8) As a benet, given by the convex structure of the polytopic , , and will set, the controller described by matrices stabilize all the linear models contained in this set (which may correspond to intermediate operating points of the power system, not considered in the design). C. Performance Robustness The most used index to evaluate the small-signal stability of a power system is the minimum damping ratio among all modes of oscillation [9]. The nal performance evaluation of the controllers in such systems is carried out by inspection of their effects over this minimum damping, calculated for a number of operating conditions [10]. However, in the classical PSS design, there is no guarantee that a certain overall damping will be achieved. If this criterion is not met, the controllers must be redesigned and rechecked, in a trial-and-error process that incorporates some heuristics from the experience of the designer (the tuning process). One of the great advantages of the methodology in [6] over the classical PSS design is the possibility to include an overall minimum damping ratio as a design objective, so the designed controllers can automatically guarantee a satisfactory small-signal stability index for the system (although the selection of controller parameters for this methodology could also involve a trial-and error process as well). In the cited methodology, the performance criteria are dened based on the concept of D-stability [11]. According to this conis D-stable if all of its eigenvalues are concept, a matrix tained in a convex region of the left half of the complex plane, usually called region D. This region can be shaped in a variety of manners, but the region shown in Fig. 1 (which contains all , where stands for the damping ratio and modes with is a predened minimum value for this ratio) is particularly well-suited for the problem under study, for the reasons mencan be tioned above. In this case, D-stability of the matrix , satisfying assured by the existence of a matrix (9) where is the angle shown in Fig. 1.

D. Decentralization The technological difculties for implementing centralized damping controllers in power systems are still signicant, and



therefore the decentralized structure is preferable in most cases. Decentralization constraints can be easily handled in formulation (9) with the imposition of block diagonal structures of ap, and . These block propriate dimensions for matrices diagonal structures will ensure that the controller of a particular generator will be based only on its own input and output. However, to save space, the presentation of the approach for handling decentralization will be based on (7) rather than (9). The extension of the presented formulation to (9) can be seen in [6]. To obtain this new formulation from (7), it is necessary to dene the following partitions: (10) New variables are also dened (11) (12) It is possible to show [12] that, with these new variables, (7) can be rewritten in the equivalent form (13) where indicates that the respective term is implicitly dened due to the symmetry of (13). Matrix is given by , where is calculated a priori by , with and given by [6] (14) This approach has several advantages, both with respect to the fulllment of practical requirements of the problem and to the reduction of the computational burden of the methodology (more details can be obtained in [6]). III. IMPROVED METHODOLOGY In the previous section, the mathematical treatment that ensures the fullling of the considered practical requirements was presented. This treatment can be summarized in inequality (9), appropriately rewritten in the form of (14) and (13). The restrictions expressed by (9) dene the set of possible triplets ( , , ) that stabilize (5) meeting the desired performance and robustness criteria. In other words, this inequality denes the set of all stabilizing controllers for all the considered operating conditions and satisfying a predened minimum damping requirement. The methodology proposed in [6] formulated the problem of nding the triplet ( , , ) as a feasibility problem, which implies that any controller satisfying (14) and (13) could be considered as a solution of the problem. However, nding a feasible solution for (9) does not automatically provide a physically implementable controller. Controllers with excessively high gains or unacceptable noise rejection characteristics, for example, may be contained in this set (and therefore may be provided by the application of the methodology in [6]). The main purpose of this paper is to avoid these two undesirable features

by reformulating the previous design procedure. Instead of only searching for a feasible solution, each stage of the design now performs the minimization of a suitable objective function. The following subsections explain why these two features must be considered as practical requirements of the oscillation damping problem in power systems and how they were treated in this improved methodology. A. Searching for Appropriate Gains in the Frequency Range of Interest The power system equations used in the analysis of low frequency oscillations and design of damping controllers often have a series of simplications to reduce the complexity and dimension of the model. Dynamical phenomena of less importance for the problem in question are often neglected. However, care must be taken to avoid interaction of the designed controller with these unmodeled dynamics, and it is commonly accepted that controllers with high gains have a bigger probability of interacting with these dynamics (specially with respect to interplant modes). For this reason, acceptable gains are a practical requirement for power system damping controllers. A careful look at Section II-A reveals some insights about the structure of the controller. Equations (3) and (4) show that, and dene the dynamical part of the conwhile matrices acts as a feedback gain, generating the controller, matrix troller output from its states. As the system and controller states converge to zero, these two state vectors approach each other. In can be viewed as a kind of state feedback this sense, matrix matrix, and therefore designed as such, as can be seen in (14). The well-known LQR theory provides an approach to reduce the state feedback controller effort by minimizing a quadratic performance index associated to the weighted square of the controller output. This approach can be used in the search of controllers with lower gains, since minimizing controller effort can have a direct impact on its gain. The controller effort can be reduced by minimizing the performance index [7]

(15) Obviously, with no restrictions on this minimization, the an. However, if the restrictions given swer to this problem is by (9) are coupled to this minimization, the resulting procedure then searches for the controller which will meet the desired practical requirements with the least controller effort. One additional problem of this approach is that the minimization of (15) deof the system [13], which is highly pends on the initial state unpredictable. Fortunately, it is possible to nd an upper bound is known to belong to certain for the quadratic cost (15) if particular bounded regions, such as a polytope or an ellipsoid, represent deviations from an for example. Reminding that initial operating point, it is possible to estimate a region which will contain the maximum allowable values for these deviations. In this work, this region is expressed in the form of an ellipsoid , given by (16)



, then an upper bound for (15) is given by (where stands for the maximum eigenvalue of the matrix), provided that [13]


(17) It can be seen that the inequalities (17) and (14) are very is positive semi-denite, similar. In fact, since the term (17) implies (14). A low-effort state feedback controller for all the initial conditions within the ellipsoid can be obtained by the minimization of this upper bound, subject to the restriction (17). With the application of the Schur complement formula, the problem can be rewritten [13] as the minimization of subject to (18) and (19) Coupling (18) and (19) to the inequalities related to the other practical requirements (presented in Section II) and performing the minimization, it is possible to transform the rst stage of the methodology in [6] (originally posed as a feasibility problem) that fullls the into a search for a state feedback gain matrix desired requirements (including the one related to low gain). is then used to build matrix , This matrix which will be used in the second stage of the design. alone does not comIt is important to remark that matrix pletely dene the controller gain. This gain will be affected also and . Howby the dynamic part of the controller, given by is an imever, the minimization of the state feedback matrix portant step toward gain reduction. Moreover, matrix must be appropriately dened to adequately shape the ellipsoid of initial conditions, which represent deviations from the initial operating point. Since these maximum deviations are hard to determine, conservative estimates may be used, but the process can introduce a trial-and-error of choosing the appropriate process in the methodology. B. Rejecting Noise in the Speed Signals Another important practical requirement to be met by power system damping controllers is a good disturbance rejection characteristic. This is particularly true for controllers that use rotor speed measurements as input signals. For several reasons, the speed signal obtained by a tachometric process has a signicant noise content that, if not appropriately treated, may severely degrade the controller performance. The common approach to deal with this problem is the substitution of the speed signal obtained via tachometric process by a different signal, often referred to as the integral of the accelerating power [14]. However, the simple exchange of the rotor speed signal for the integral of accelerating power signal in [6], to deal with the noise problems, would increase the size of the

power system model, generating difculties from the computational point of view. control theory provides a suitable framework for the The norm of a treatment of such problem. By looking at the system, it is possible to evaluate the sensitivity of its output to a disturbance (or class of disturbances) in its input. To apply the theory to the methodology in [6], the closed-loop model (5) is redened as (20) (21) In (20), is a vector with the disturbances in the speed signals. These disturbances are modeled as normally distributed random signals with zero mean and variance given by , representing the noises. In (21), is a vector with the closed-loop system outputs, which also repreframework, it is sent the speed signals (in a way that, in the possible to evaluate the effect produced in the rotor speeds by the noise in the speed measurements). With these denitions, matrix remains in the form (6), while matrices and are given by (22) With the extended closed-loop model (20)(21), it is possible to calculate the output variance by the quadratic stochastic cost [7] (23) where by is the observability Grammian of the system, given

(24) The quadratic cost (23) is, in fact, equal to the norm of system (20)(21). However, the presentation of this denition norm allows a better comprehension of the meaning for the of this norm in the context of the proposed improved methodology. The objective is to reduce the effects of noise in the speed measurements by minimizing the variance of the system output (in this case, the rotor speeds themselves) when the noise is modeled in the closed-loop connection between the system and the controller. An upper bound for the cost (23) can be obtained by a convex programming algorithm using the following formulation: minisubject to mize (25) Applying the Schur complement formula, this problem can subject to also be rewritten as follows [12]: minimize (26)



and (27) The formulation given by (26)(27) can be used to modify the second stage of the methodology in [6]. Again, instead of using a feasibility approach, the procedure can be driven to search for controllers with a satisfactory noise rejection characteristic. C. Ensuring Zero Gain in Steady-State Conditions If the gain of the controller (3)(4) is not equal to zero when the system is operating in steady state, the equilibrium points of the closed-loop system (5) may be different from those of the open-loop system (1)(2). In order to achieve the desired zero gain during steady state, it is sufcient to ensure the existence of a zero at the origin of the -plane (i.e., at ) in the controller transfer function. So, with the inclusion of a pure derivative term in the plant (1)(2) prior to the design, this practical requirement is also fullled by the methodology. In the state-space formulation, the proposed inclusion of this derivative term only involves the replacement of equation (2) in the power system model by [15] (28) At rst, the inclusion of a pure derivative term may seem to implicate difculties from the implementation point of view. However, this term can be implemented in a washout-like block, when combined to another term in the denominator of the controller transfer function, with no additional difculty from the implementation viewpoint. In other words, the nal controller transfer functions can be implemented in the form

Step 4: Build the computational representation of the matrix variables and (with appropriate block diagonal structures) and of the LMIs (30) (31) (32)


for . Step 5: By applying an LMI solver to minimize subject to (30)(33), nd and and then calculate . B. Stage 2 and , appropriately Step 1: Choose matrices dening the noise signal variances, and matrix , dening the closed-loop system output (rotor speeds in this case). and for Step 2: Calculate . Step 3: Build the computational representation of matrix variables , , , (with appropriate block diagonal structures) and and of the LMIs


(29) where is the order of . (35)

IV. CONTROLLER DESIGN ALGORITHM When all the fundamentals of the methodology in [6] and the proposed modications are combined, the following design algorithm is produced. A. Stage 1 Step 1: Choose typical operating points and linearize the system equations around these points, obtaining the , and which jacobian matrices , will form the open-loop vertex systems. appropriately dening the Step 2: Choose matrix bounds on the allowable deviations for the initial conditions. Step 3: Dene the minimum damping ratio required and . calculate where




Fig. 2.

One-line diagram of the two-area test system.


Fig. 3. Closed-loop modes for the two-area test system with RDCs, in various operating conditions.

Step 4: By applying an LMI solver to minimize ject to (34)(36), nd , , and . Step 5: Calculate and . and Step 6: Calculate


V. CONTROLLER TESTS AND EVALUATION OF RESULTS To save space, the presented tests are made over the same systems used in [6], under the same conditions of operation and with the same perturbation sequences for the nonlinear simulations. Only the most signicant data related to the systems and perturbations will be given, and other details (including the power system equations used in the design) can be obtained from [6] and [16]. The rst system to which the design procedure was applied is described in Fig. 2. At the rst stage of the design, ve different operating conditions were chosen in Step 1. These conditions are summarized in Table I. The same data provided in [16] were used, except for generator 3. To provide an angular reference for the system, this generator was considered as an innite bus. For this reason, the system is not perfectly symmetrical and some differences between the modes reported in [16] and in Table I are observed. Thyristor exciters with high transient gains (shown in [16]) were used. was built by choosing appropriate In Step 2, matrix bounds for the maximum deviations allowed for each of the state variables in all the considered operating points. These bounds are given by (37) (38) was chosen in Step A minimum damping ratio of 3, and the other steps of Stage 1 were automatically carried out

by a computer program, which used the available solvers in the LMI Control Toolbox for MATLAB [17]. In Step 1 of Stage 2, the noises in all generator speed measurements were assumed to have a normal distribution with zero mean and standard deviation of 0.0015 p.u. From and were built according to this data, matrices the following rule: When is the row associated with the speed equation of the th generator and is the column associated with the noise signal in the -th generator, we have . For all other values of and , . The remaining steps of Stage 2 were also automatically performed by the computer program. For this 12-state variable model, the whole design process, carried out on a computer equipped with a 2.4-GHz Pentium IV processor and 1 GB of RAM, took approximately 2 min and 30 s to be completed. The efciency of proposed Robust Damping Controllers (denoted by RDCs in the remaining of the text), with respect to robustness and to the minimum damping requirements can be seen in Fig. 3. This gure shows the oscillation modes for the closed-loop vertex systems, as well as 12 other intermediate op, , and erating conditions, generated by variations of in the base case load levels. The RDC transfer functions are given by (39)(41), and it can be seen that, as a result of , these conthe size chosen for the diagonal blocks of matrix trollers have order four. A. Controller Transfer Functions RDC of generator 1:

(39) RDC of generator 2:




Fig. 4. Bode diagrams of the RDC, ORDC and PSS controllers for generator 1.

Fig. 6.

Oscillations damped by the RDCs in off-nominal conditions.

Fig. 5.

Comparison of noise rejection in the test system with RDCs and PSSs.

RDC of generator 4:

(41) The RDCs designed by this improved methodology were compared with those presented in [6]. Fig. 4 presents a Bode diagram for this comparison, where the controller designed in [6] is referred to as ORDC. The frequency response of the conventional PSS presented in [6] is also included in the gure. It can be seen that the gain prole of the RDC is lower than the gain for the ORDC, but is higher than the gain of the conventional PSS. However, as seen in Fig. 3, the RDC is designed to fulll a minimum damping requirement for several operating conditions. On the other hand, the conventional PSS provides this minimum damping guarantee only for the operating points considered in the tuning process. A series of nonlinear simulations were carried out to evaluate the performance of the proposed RDCs with respect to noise rejection. An equal noise signal was used for each of the generators in the system, with a normal distribution having zero mean and 0.0015 p.u. of standard deviation. This noise signal was applied to the rotor speed measurements used as controller inputs. Fig. 5 shows the rotor speed response (of generator 1) to the

effects of the noise in the speed measurements, when the system is controlled by the designed RDCs or by the PSSs given in Fig. 4. It can be seen that the response of the system with RDCs and PSSs is quite similar (as expected from the Bode plots in Fig. 4). The same noise signals of Fig. 5 were applied in the simulation of Fig. 6. In this simulation, a short-circuit of 32 ms was . After that, the protection schemes applied to bus 8 in , the fault is eliminated open lines 78 and 89. In and the lines are reconnected. It is possible to see that the RDCs provide adequate damping for the oscillation modes, even in the presence of noise in the speed measurements. Tests were also carried out over the New England system, as in [6], to evaluate the performance of the methodology when applied to larger sized systems. To save space, the result of these tests will be omitted. The whole design process for this system was completed in approximately 27 min. It is worth remarking that model reduction techniques (such as [18], for example) can be used in conjunction with this improved methodology to design controllers for larger-sized systems. Full-sized power system models would probably impose a prohibitive computational burden on the LMI solvers, and therefore the application of this methodology is only recommended if a reduced-order model is available. In this sense, an interesting area of new work would be the development of LMI solvers capable of exploring sparsity of the matrix variables. Other interesting feature veried in the tests is the fact that all the RDCs were minimum phase and internally stable controllers, although no special treatment to obtain this feature was included in the methodology. VI. CONCLUSIONS This paper presented an improved methodology for the design of controllers to damp electromechanical oscillations in power systems. Two major improvements were made over a previously presented approach, consisting of suitable modications in the algorithm inequalities to allow the formulation of the controller design in terms of an optimization problem (rather than a feasibility problem). The search for the controller is now guided by



an objective function, and it is possible to obtain a better control over the achieved solution. The proposed methodology has a series of advantages with respect to the conventional approaches for PSS design. One of the main advantages is the fact that, once a controller is found, there is no need for a trial-and-error process (typical of PSS tuning), because controller robustness is already guaranteed by the quadratic stability approach (although some trial-and-error could be involved in the process of choosing the adequate design parameters). The use of the polytopic model also presents some advantages over other robust control methodologies proposed in the literature. By representing the system in a number of typical operating conditions (rather than by uncertainties over a nominal operating condition), the polytopic model presents a more comprehensive physical meaning when compared to other types of uncertainty representation. A drawback of the polytopic approach is that all the system models must have the same dimension, which does not allow the representation of those conditions where some generators go ofine (although it may be possible to represent such conditions by descriptor systems contained in the polytope). Another shortcoming of the proposed methodology is the requirement that the controller must have the same dimension of the plant model. Work is in progress to address the problem of designing robust low order controllers with an output feedback structure, but it still remains as an open problem. An extension of the proposed procedure to allow the design of supplementary stabilizing controllers for FACTS devices is currently under development. Moreover, a detailed investigation on the geometric features of the polytopic model, to allow the construction of better suited descriptions of the power system, is prioritized among the proposals for future research on this topic. REFERENCES
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Rodrigo A. Ramos (S97M03) received the B.Sc. degree in 1997, the M.Sc. degree in 1999, and the Ph.D. degree in 2002 from Escola de Engenharia de So CarlosUniversity of So Paulo (EESC/USP), So Paulo, Brazil. He is currently an Assistant Professor at EESC/USP. His research interests are in the elds of power system operation, small-signal stability, and robust control.

Andr C. P. Martins received the B.Sc. degree in 1998, the M.Sc. degree in 2000, and the Ph.D. degree in 2005 from Escola de Engenharia de So CarlosUniversity of So Paulo (EESC/USP), So Paulo, Brazil. His research interests include nonlinear systems and power system stability.

Newton G. Bretas (M76SM89) received the Ph.D. degree from University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1981. He became a Full Professor with Escola de Engenharia de So CarlosUniversity of So Paulo (EESC/USP), So Paulo, Brazil (EESC/USP) in 1989. His work has been primarily concerned with power system transient stability using direct methods, small-signal stability analysis and control, as well as voltage collapse.