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International Conference and Utility Exhibition 2014 on Green Energy for Sustainable Development (ICUE 2014)

Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort, Pattaya City, Thailand, 19-21 March 2014

A Multi-objective Network Reconfiguration of

Distribution Network with Solar and Wind
Distributed Generation using NSPSO
Subas Ratna Tuladhar, Jai Govind Singh, Member, IEEE and Weerakorn Ongsakul, Member, IEEE

Abstract In this paper, network reconfiguration of

distribution network with solar and wind generation is solved
using non-dominated sorting particle swarm optimization
(NSPSO). Three objective functions including system loss
minimization, minimization of maximum voltage deviation and
minimization of number of switching operations, are considered.
The proposed NSPSO based algorithm has been tested on IEEE
33-bus radial distribution system. A comparison of network
performance with respect to system loss and maximum voltage
deviation for the three cases i.e., without network
reconfiguration, with optimal but fixed network reconfiguration
and with optimal but dynamic/adaptive network reconfiguration
has been shown. The results indicate that better network
performance is achieved from dynamic/adaptive network
reconfiguration strategy than with other cases.
Index TermsDistributed generation, distribution network
reconfiguration, non-dominated particle swarm optimization.

vidk , xidk
c1 ,c2
max , min

r1 , r2

Total number of buses,

Bus voltage reference value,
Total number of switches
Switching state of jth switch at the current time
Switching state of jth switch in the previous
time interval
Active power injection at ith bus,
Reactive power injection at ith bus,
Voltage at ith bus,
Admittance between ith bus and jth bus,
Power angle at ith bus,
Total number of connected branches,
the velocity and position of particle i in
dimension d of k iteration.
the inertia weight of k iteration.
cognitive and social acceleration coefficients,
maximum and minimum value of inertia
random numbers between 0 to 1 with uniform

Subas Ratna Tuladhar (email: subasratna@gmail.con), Jai Govind Singh

(email: are with the Energy Field of Study in School of
Environment, Resources and Development at Asian Institute of Technology,

pbest idk

local best particle i in dimension d of iteration
global best particle i in dimension d of
iteration k,
Status of ith branchs switch

istribution networks usually have a radial configuration

with the provision of recloser and tie switches at different
locations. Distribution network reconfiguration (DNRC) is a
network-altering function performed by utilities through
opening and closing of sectionalizing and tie switches in the
distribution network for a number of purposes. With the
increased use of SCADA and distribution automation through
remote controlled equipment, the reconfiguration of
distribution network becomes more viable as a tool for
planning and control [1]. The change in network topology
affects the power flow of the network, thus affecting the power
losses, voltage drops, etc. Thus, by subjecting DNRC to
certain optimization objectives, a feasible network
configuration that gives the best performance is selected.
DNRC is a complex optimization problem which may be
subjected to one or many objectives as desired for the
optimum performance of the distribution system. The
optimization process is further complicated when the
variations in the load and the generation from DGs based on
renewables such as wind and solar DGs are considered.
Significant research work on optimal distribution system
reconfiguration has been done in the last four decades, with the
trend now shifting from single objective consisting of loss
minimization or voltage drop minimization to multiple
objective problem formulation [2]. Many studies, both for
single and multiple objectives have also been conducted for
distribution network with DGs or electric vehicle (EV)
charging load. In [3], a Genetic Algorithm (GA) based
optimization technique is presented for loss reduction in the
system consideration the effect of load variation and the
stochastic power generation of renewable DGs. In [4], an
adaptive MOPSO in conjunction with graph theory has been
used for multi-objective optimization of DNRC for distribution
network without DG.
This paper proposes a NSPSO based algorithm for dynamic

International Conference and Utility Exhibition 2014 on Green Energy for Sustainable Development (ICUE 2014)
Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort, Pattaya City, Thailand, 19-21 March 2014

reconfiguration of distribution network considering the short

duration and frequent changes in the daily load and the
generation from DG. Therefore, based on a day ahead
forecasted data, a switching schedule has been suggested
ahead for given number of time segments in the day in order to
have the optimal performance for the entire time period
considered. Though forecasted data for day ahead is not much
accurate, here it has been assumed that it is available without
further changes. Moreover, this methodology can be used for
any segment of period e.g., half hour, one hour, two hour etc.

1. Solar generation:
For this work, a typical daily solar PV generation curve for
a clear sky condition is considered for estimation of PV output
for a given day as shown in Fig. 2. It is assumed that the PVbased DG of 1.5 MW capacity is installed at bus 16 in the
IEEE 33-bus system.


For demonstrating the impact of reconfiguration, a typical
day with its 24 hour duration divided into 6 time frames is
considered. The best network configuration for each time
frame is evaluated from the optimization algorithm based on
the loading and the DG generation at that time frame. This is
done to avoid too many switching operations of the switches in
the network [5].
Fig. 2. Normalized PV generation curve [1]

2. Wind generation:
Likewise, a typical daily wind power generation curve is
considered as shown in Fig. 3. For practical purpose, such
curve may be derived from statistical analysis of the
historical data for average wind speed. Here, it is assumed
that a 0.8 MW wind powered DG is installed at bus 30.

Fig. 1. Typical demand curve [5]

A. Demand Evaluation
In this work, a typical average load profile is assumed
based on load forecast and the historical data for the daily
demand curve as shown in Fig. 1. The load at each of the six
time frames is considered to be constant and equal to the
maximum load at that time frame to consider the worst case
condition. Real time measurements may then be used to
forecast load and further approximate the load to the mostly
likely load value from the demand curve. At the beginning of
each period, the optimal configuration for the next period is
B. DG Profile
In this paper, it has been assumed that all DGs are of small
scale range connected to the system at medium voltage and
operated at unity power factor for economic reasons. Like in
the case of load profile, the DG profile is considered for a 24
hour duration, which is divided into the same six time frames.
The DG generation output for each time frame is considered to
be the average output for that time frame.

Fig. 3. Normalized wind generation curve [1]


A. Main Objective Functions
Three objectives have been considered in this paper for
performance improvement of the distribution system. They are
as follows.
1. Minimization of line loss
The first objective is to minimize the total line loss in the
network as formulated in (1)
Minimize f1(x) = PLoss =

N br

i =1

plossi =

N br

k .R . I
i =1



International Conference and Utility Exhibition 2014 on Green Energy for Sustainable Development (ICUE 2014)
Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort, Pattaya City, Thailand, 19-21 March 2014

i= 1, 2, Nbr
ki = 0, (if ith branch is open) and
ki = 1, (if ith branch is closed)
2. Minimization of voltage deviation
The second objective is to minimize the maximum voltage
deviation in any of the given bus after reconfiguration as
formulated in (2)
Minimize f2(x) = max V min {V } , V max {V }

i =1, 2 ,.., N bus

i =1, 2 ,.., N bus


3. Minimization of switching operations

The third objective is to minimize the total number of
switching operations between any two consecutive time
intervals so as to minimize the mechanical stress on the
switches as formulated in (3)
Minimize f3(x) =



S oj

A set of restrictions needs to be applied in the selection of

switches in order to maintain the radiality of the network and
to prevent islanding of any of the network components. Hence
the following reconfiguration constraints are applied to avoid
the selection of infeasible switch sets [6].
The total number of switches selected for each particle is
equal to the number of loops formed when all the tie
switches and sectionalizing switches are closed.

X i= [X i ,1 , X i , 2 , X i ,d X i , D ]


D = Total number of loops in the network,
Xi = vector of switch indices for ith particle


Sj = 0, (if jth switch is open) and
Sj = 1, (if jth switch is closed)
B. Technical Constraints
1. Power balance
N bus

Pi Vi . V j .Yij , cos( i j ij ) = 0


j =1

N bus

Qi Vi . V j .Yij sin( i j ij ) = 0


j =1

i= 1, 2, Nbus,
2. Bus voltage operating limit
All bus voltages should be within the specified operational
limit after reconfiguration in order to ensure stability and
power quality, as formulated in (6).

V min Vi V max

i= 1, 2, Nbus


3. Line current limit

All connected lines should be operated with current passing
through them maintained within their specified limit in order to
ensure system security, as formulated in (7)

ki . I i I


i= 1, 2, Ns


Satisfying (7) for all lines in the distribution network also

ensures that the distribution feeders operate within their
specified limit as well.
4. Radiality of distribution network
It is desired that even after reconfiguration, the network still
remains a radial one. In order to do so, the following
relationship has to be followed for the number of branches
connected in the system.
Nbr = Nbus - 1
5. Constraints for switch selection

Fig. 4. Sample network [6]

The dth element of the particle Xi must belong to the dth loop
or mesh.
Only one switch from a branch string or vector common to
any two loops can be opened. For instance, only one switch
from vector L12 or L13 can be opened at a time as in Fig. 4.
Likewise, only one switch from a continuous branch string
or vector between any two nodes can be opened. For
example, only one switch from vector L33 can be opened.
All branches intersecting on a common node cannot have
any open switch in them at the same time. For instance, L12,
L13 and L23 intersect at node c. Hence, at least one of the
vectors cannot have an open switch in it at any given time.

A. Non-dominated Sorting Particle Swarm Optimization

1. Introduction to NSPSO
NSPSO is a multi objective optimization technique based
on evolutionary theory and is a modification of the
conventional PSO technique that is designed to solve multi
objective optimization problems [7]. Instead of a single
comparison between a particles personal best and its offspring
as in the conventional single objective PSO, NSPSO compares
all particles personal bests and their offspring in the entire
population. This measure provides a better means to filter out
the best solution out of the entire population in order to drive

International Conference and Utility Exhibition 2014 on Green Energy for Sustainable Development (ICUE 2014)
Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort, Pattaya City, Thailand, 19-21 March 2014

the solution towards the true Pareto-optimal front.

The particle and velocity update approaches are the same as
that in the conventional single objective PSO.
V k +1 = wk V k + C1 r1 ( Pbest
, i Pi ) + C2 r2 ( Pg , i Pi )

w wmin
w k = wmax max
k max

C1,i C1, j
C1k = C1,i
k max

C 2 ,i C 2 , j
C 2k = C 2,i
k max

Pi k +1 = Pi k + Vi k +1


True Pareto


Fig. 5. Demonstration of a sample of particles of a swarm population of 10

classified into 4 successive non-dominated fronts


3. Calculation of crowding distance

After a number of iterations, the number of particles in the
fore-front may exceed the number of particles in use.
Likewise, it is also highly desired to have a diverse solution
spread uniformly around each front in order to obtain all the
solutions in the Pareto-optimal front. Therefore, a further
selection technique is incorporated for each iteration. Here,
crowding distance calculation technique is used for this
purpose, in which the crowding distance of a point i is taken as
the average distance of the two point i-1 and i+1 on either side
of this point i along each of the objectives. The crowding
distance value for particles at the extreme ends of each front is
assigned as infinity.


2. Non-dominated sorting method

In NSPSO, a non-dominated sorting concept is used which
is borrowed from NSGA-II, where the entire population is
sorted into various non-domination levels. This provides the
means for selecting the individuals in the better fronts, hence
providing the necessary selection pressure to push the
population towards Pareto-optimal front [7].
Instead of comparing solely on a particles personal best
with its potential offspring, the entire population of N
particles personal bests and N of these particles offspring are
first combined to form a temporary population of 2N particles.
After this, domination comparisons among all the 2N
individuals in this temporary population are carried out. This
combine-then-compare approach will ensure more nondominated solutions can be discovered through the domination
comparison operations. By comparing the combined 2N
particles for non-domination relationships, the entire
population is sorted out in different non-domination levels as
used in NSGA-II. At each iteration step, we choose only N
individuals out of the 2N to the next iteration step, based on
the non-domination levels. First the entire population is sorted
into two sets, the non-dominated set and the remaining
dominated set. This procedure continues until all particles in
the population are classified into different non-dominated front
levels [7].
A new particle population is created for the next iteration
step by selecting particles from fronts in ascending order, e.g.,
first from Front 1, then Front 2, etc, until N particles (or a
specified threshold) are selected. Since the particles in the first
few fronts get chosen first, this selection pressure will
effectively drive the particle population towards the best front
over many iteration steps [7]. Fig. 5 shows a demonstration of
the sorting arrangement used in NSPSO.

Thus, using crowding distance value, all particles in each

front are again sorted in descending order. In case of
repopulation of N particles from any front, the particles at the
top are selected first. Likewise, for the selection of global best
particle, a particle is randomly selected from the top of the
sorted population.
B. Implementation of NSPSO
The basic steps for implementation of NSPSO for network
reconfiguration are demonstrated by the flowchart in Fig. 6.
This algorithm is implemented just before each of the six time
frames in the 24 hour period considered after real time
measurements give an approximation of the load forecasted for
the upcoming time frame.
In this work, for avoiding the selection of unfeasible
switches, the following steps have been proposed:
Collect all switch indices for dth loop for the selection of dth
Find out any branch vectors in the dth loop that have already
been opened. Remove from the collection all the switch
indices belonging to the already opened branch vectors.
Find out all nodes connected to the dth loop that have more
than two branch vectors intersection. Find out the
intersection branch vectors which already have an open
switch in them. If all but one branch vector have open
switch, remove from the collection the switch indices to the
intersection branch vector that belongs to the dth loop.
Make sure that one of the switch indices from that collection
gets selected for the dth element.

International Conference and Utility Exhibition 2014 on Green Energy for Sustainable Development (ICUE 2014)
Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort, Pattaya City, Thailand, 19-21 March 2014

been shown. For the second case, it is assumed that only the tie
switches remain open throughout the considered time period.
For each of the six time frame scenarios, the best compromise
solution among the final non-dominated sets is selected for
comparison, with weight value of 5 to loss minimization and
voltage deviation minimization objectives each and weight
value of 1 to switching operation minimization objective.

Fig. 7. Single line diagram of IEEE 33-bus radial distribution system with

The parameter settings for NSPSO are set to max = 0.9,

min = 0.3 while acceleration coefficients c1 and c2 are at 2.
The population size and iteration are 50 and 50, respectively.
Fig. 6. Flowchart of the proposed method for implementation of NSPSO for
network reconfiguration

C. Back/forward sweep load flow

Due to the differences in several characteristics between
transmission system and distribution system, the conventional
load flow methods, like Newton-Raphson method or GaussSiedel method, which are used in transmission networks, may
not be applicable or accurate for load flow in distribution
network. Hence, an alternative load flow method suited for
distribution networks called backward/ forward sweep load
flow algorithm is used in this project. In this project, it is
assumed that the network has a balanced 3-phase system.
However, this method for load flow can be used for both
balanced and unbalanced 3-phase. The detail of the load flow
method is provided in [8].
A comparison of the network performance between the case of
implementation of network reconfiguration and that without it
has been shown. Fig. 7 shows the line diagram of the IEEE-33
bus radial network along with the DG connection. In addition,
the case of static network reconfiguration where the network is
reconfigured only once throughout the 24 hour period based
on the loading and generating condition at peak load time has

The list of switches selected for each time frame based on

best compromise solution from the non-dominated set is given
in Table I.
Number of switching
Opened switch combination
0:00 06:00


06:00 12:00


12:00 13:00


13:00 17:00


17:00 21:00


21:00 24:00


The comparison of the performance for each time frame with

and without reconfiguration is presented in Table II. For the
energy loss calculation, load flow is performed for the same
network configuration but with average load and average DG
output for the given time frame instead of the maximum load.

International Conference and Utility Exhibition 2014 on Green Energy for Sustainable Development (ICUE 2014)
Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort, Pattaya City, Thailand, 19-21 March 2014


Time Duration
0:00 06:00
06:00 12:00
12:00 13:00
13:00 17:00
17:00 21:00
21:00 24:00

Without configuration
Power Max. Voltage
Energy Loss
Total Loss

With static configuration

Max. Voltage
Energy Loss
Total Loss

From the result in Table II, it can be seen that the system
efficiency and voltage profile are improved for each time
frames after the implementation of both static and dynamic
network reconfiguration. Likewise, it is seen that the system
without reconfiguration cannot rectify the voltage violation at
time frame of 17:0021:00 hours, when the average DG output
drops significantly but the load remains fairly high. The
minimum bus voltage observed during this period is 0.9405
p.u. It is also seen that the network configuration according to
static reconfiguration strategy may contribute to reduction in
losses and voltage deviation as observed in each time frames.
The total energy loss reduction compared to the first case is
around 24%. However, the fixed configuration is not optimal
for all time periods, which results in slightly higher voltage
deviations and losses as observed in all time frames compared
to dynamic reconfiguration strategy. Likewise, this strategy
also fails to keep the voltage deviation within limits as
observed in the time frame of 17:00 - 21:00 hour, where the
minimum bus voltage is 0.9484 p.u. On the other hand, with
dynamic reconfiguration, the load flow in the network is
optimized to reduce the system loss and voltage deviation for
the entire 24 hour period. It is observed that there is no voltage
limit violation in any time periods with this strategy. A total
reduction of approximately 30% in the total energy loss is
observed in this case as compared to that without network
In this paper, an effective algorithm for DNCR considering
the variation of load and RES-based DG output has been
presented by using NSPSO and also network performance
results have been compared for the cases of with and without
DNCR implementation. Test results indicated that the network
performance has been improved with DNCR in terms of loss
reduction and voltage profile improvement. Thus, with proper
facilities for SCADA communication and real time
measurement in distribution automation, a switching schedule
for optimum network reconfiguration can be generated
considering the variation in load and DG output for the overall
improvement in network performance.

With dynamic configuration

Max. Voltage
Energy Loss
Total Loss







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Subas Ratna Tuladhar received the B.Eng. degree in electrical engineering
from Tribhuwan University, Nepal in 2008. He is currently a Masters student
in Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. His research interests
include power system optimization, power electronics, power system
integrated renewable energy, and smart grids.
Dr. Jai Govind Singh (M10) received his M. Tech. and Ph.D. degrees, all in
Electrical Engineering, from IIT Rookree and IIT Kanpur, respectively.
He is currently Assistant Professor in the energy field of study, Asian
Institute of Technology, Thailand. His research interests include power
system operation and control, FACTS, power sector deregulation and power
system planning, Smartgrid and Microgrid, integration of renewable energy
resources into power system and power distribution system.
Weerakorn Ongsakul (S89M95) received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in
electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, in 1991
and 1994, respectively.
He is an Associate Professor at Energy Field of Study, and former Dean of
School of Environmental, Resources, and Development, Asian Institute of
Technology (AIT), Thailand. His research interests are in parallel processing

International Conference and Utility Exhibition 2014 on Green Energy for Sustainable Development (ICUE 2014)
Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel and Resort, Pattaya City, Thailand, 19-21 March 2014

applications, AI applications to power systems, power system restructuring

and deregulation, and power system optimization.