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Lagrangian Relaxation in Power Flow Problem applied to

Large Electrical Systems

Luiz Antonio Alves de Oliveira1

Javier Ruben Ojeta Soto2

CEPEL, Electric Energy Research Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, email:
CEPEL, Electric Energy Research Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, email:

1. Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to present the application of the Lagrangian Relaxation technique in resolution of Optimal Power
Flow Problems (OPF). Since formulated in the 1960s, various methods have been proposed for their resolutions: based on successive
linear programming, based on sequential quadratic programming, or presenting new complexity algorithms, and a variety of Interior
Point Methods. Today, linear and nonlinear method implementations have obtained a growing interest in network analysis and
applications to OPF. The computational implementation studied was done to solve the Optimal Power Flow using the Primal-Dual
Interior Point Method, considering various types of objective functions, controls and operating restrictions. The FLUPOT Program is
a software tool developed by CEPEL to solve the OPF problems of a large size system as the Brazilian Electric System. The
algorithm implemented has performed very robust numerically. In most cases the solution provides few interactions. However, in
cases when the electrical system has stress conditions, the program may not provide a satisfactory solution. This is the case of non-
convergent. When occurs FLUPOT will exceeded the maximum number of interactions. Generally, when not convergent the dual
variables of the OPF, also called Lagrange Multipliers, the critical variables of the problem are placarded by FLUPOT. These
multipliers have high values and a strategy for solution can affect a relaxation of these critical variables. This techniques is known as
Lagrangian Relaxation and has been implemented in FLUPOT program. Computational tests with large electrical systems are
presented and discussed, showing the new limits of the relaxed variables.

2.Keywords: Optimal Power Flow, Lagrangian Relaxation, Power System


The Optimal Power Flow (OPF) is a large nonlinear programming problem with hundreds to thousands of varibles and nonlinear
constraints. It was defined in the 1960s by Carpentier [1] and proved to be a difficult problem to solve. Since then various solution
methods have been proposed for their resolution: the Dommel-Tinney method based on Reduced Gradient; the method of Abadie-
Carpentier based on Gradient Reduced Generalized (GRG); the Differencial Injections method proposed by Carpentier; and the
method of Augmented Lagrangian proposed by Burchett based on Quadratic Programming. Successive Linear Programming
techniques were also applied to the OPF problem. Finally, due to the good performance of the Interior Point Method in large linear
programming and in Quadratic and Convex programming, has motivated its application to the OPF.

The OPF is the maximization or minimization of one or more linear or nonlinear objective functions, subject to a set of equality and
inequality constraints. The equality constraints represent the active and reactive power balance equations in the buses AC network
and/or functional restrictions. The inequality constraints represent the physical and operational constraints of the equipment. The
OPF problem solution is the operation point of the AC network on a permanent regime, satisfying the full set of restrictions and also
optimizes the objective function.

Mathematically the OPF problem is characterized as a non-linear programming problem (NLP) and can formulate it as follows:

OPF problem

Find x : optimal operating point of the AC network

(2) represent the active and reactive power balance equations and/or functional restrictions. are the limits of flow in the lines. It is also presented the mathematical development of Lagrangian Relaxation Methodology. g(x. The first formulation is characterized by an explicit solution way to u and x in Eq. the system is represented by a set of algebraic equations and inequalities.(8-9). 4. This approach is justified when the variations of the controls are sufficiently slow in time and that we can neglect the dynamic aspects of the problem.(1) is the objective function. h(x. In session 7 we will present numerical results of applying Lagrangian Relaxation technique in the case of the Brazilian Electric System.(3) represent the physical and operational constraints.u) are the constraints of functional restrictions. To introduce the concept of OPF is made a basic description of the power flow problem then will be given a brief history of the OPF and its basic modeling. active power and voltage of the machine. i. The Eq.u) are the constraints of equations of load flow. On this formulation. The Eq.(10-11) are based on Newton's method [2] and variants. Based on the treatment of u and x variables in Eq. due to the imposition of conservation of active and reactive power. the solving strategies use a linear approximation of φ(u) and a small subset of inequalities Eq.(7).u) is a function of several variables called the objective function. These equations are also called balance equations.Optimal Power Flow The Optimal Power Flow was initially formulated by Carpentier [1] in 1962. This conservation corresponds to the first law of Kirchoff establishing that the net power injected in each network node is equal to the sum of the powers of the internal components that have the specified node as one of its extremes. etc. the control variables (u) are treated differently from the state variables (x). the problem can be formulated as: Min f(x. the tension load buses. minimizing an objective function and satisfying one set of equality and inequality equations. In this case.u)<0 (7) xl<x<xu (8) ul<u<uu (9) f(x. For Min f(x) (1) Subject to g(x)=0 (2) h(x)<0 (3) l<x<u (4) The Eq. Efficient methods for solving the equations system Eq. The inequality constraints Eq.(6).u) (5) Subject to g(x. In Session 4 will be shown the optimal power flow problem. In Section 5 refers to the Lagrangian Relaxation Methodology.u)=0 (6) h(x. The traditional power flow in a power grid consists mainly in determining the state of the network and the distribution of flows. such as the decoupled method and fast decoupled method. Mathematically.(11) are formed by operational constraints and plumbing.(10) are formed by two equations for each bus. The general problem of power flow may be established through a set of algebraic equations and inequalities as follows: g(x)=0 (10) h(x)<0 (11) The basic equality constraints Eq. from Eq. basically those who are at or nearby. The Eq. x is a state variable with dimension n. security restrictions. The NLP associated with the OPF are presented. In the decoupled method [3] some terms of the Jacobian matrix associated with the coupling of .e. the OPF formulation can be classified in sparse (non-compact) and compact (non-sparse). The model is static. In session 6 will be presents the implementation of Lagrangian Relaxation technique applied to solving the OPF problem. x is defined as explicit function of u (x=φ(u)) and thus the problem is exclusively expressed in terms of control variables u.(5-9). The OPF can be defined as a non-linear programming problem that search itself an operation optimum point in a power system. generally.(4) represent the upper and lower limits of the control variables. u is a control variable with dimension m. In the second formulation.

these problems are solved using an active set strategy based on SQP formulation and descent direction is chosen using a Quasi-Newton algorithm. The control variables (Eq. (6) and Eq. The system also includes linearization of balance equations Eq. which are added to the objective . To solve the problem. This method considers a partition of the active set similarly to the reduced gradient Dommel-Tinney. The descent direction in the independent variables is obtained by Quasi-Newton method in the small space. Methods for solving the OPF based on sequential quadratic programming were equally successful. Due to excessive processing time. The algorithm solves every iteration on approximate problem where the objective function is increased Lagrangian and restrictions are linearized. has been successfully applied to linear problems and is a good alternative to the Simplex [12] in solving the OPF. The values of dependent variables are calculated by solving a corresponding linearized system of equations to equality constraints. because the density of the Hessian matrix. Carpentier proposed a specialization of the GRG. a quadratic approximation of the Lagrangian is minimized. The restrictions are classified into three categories: active and reactive power. At each iteration. solves itself a conventional power flow to solve the state variables.(6) are defined as the active power balance equations approximation by second order by Taylor's formula. its convergence is slow near the optimal solution. It uses a decomposition method which.(5) and functional restrictions Eq. The strategy is to consider three sets of indices that correspond to violated restrictions. In each step of the algorithm is selected a reduced set of functional constraints to be explicitly handled in the optimization. Examples of disadvantages of this method are the numerical instability due to inadequacy of the penalty factor and also the choice of the step size of the decrease direction. The disadvantage of these methods is that they may have slow convergence near the optimal point. (7) are linearly approximated. Following the initial formation of OPF [1] a number of methods have been proposed. (8) and Eq. the Augmented Lagrangian Method. Moreover. itself reduce significantly the problem. Each iteration is calculated considering the reduced gradient in the independent variables and solve a system to find the increase in the dependent variables. (9). the inequality constraints must be treated. Since the new point is only viable in the linearized constraints. This method corresponds to a sparse penalty formulation. together with all restrictions selected. such as to minimize losses. associated with each contingency. (8). basically those who are violated or who are close to their limits. In the case of OPF. The variables are divided into basic variables (dependent). active restrictions and viable restrictions however not active. has been proposed by Burchett [10] using Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP). etc. Carpentier also extended the OPF to the case with security restrictions [7]. The goal is to reach the feasible region by minimizing the sum of violated constraints. One of the first methods of efficient solution OPF problem was the Reduced Gradient Method of Dommel and Tinney [5] in 1968. The sparse formulation of OPF simultaneously solves the problem for all variables Eq. The variables are divided into dependent and independent.(6). Several proposals of successive linear programming [13] were used due to its strength and flexibility in consideration of various kinds of restrictions. This partition set of variables can be changed during the iterative process as some variables are fixed and other relaxed its limits. Thus. The limits on the controls are handled through a projected gradient. The algorithm is divided into two stages. the state variables are calculated by solving a conventional power flow. The descent direction is given by the reduced gradient of independent variables corresponding to the partial derivative of the and reactive power balance equations in bus are despised. Functional restrictions and plumbing constraints on the state variables are included in the objective function through external penalty. and after a few iterations. main variables) are explicitly addressed in the sub-problem. The treatment of restrictions Eq. the algorithm uses a device that is to introduce the objective function as an inequality constraint. taps. With this. (9). An important point is the treatment of violations in inequality constraints Eq. super-basic (independent) and non-basic (active constraints). The equality constraints Eq. and a linearization of active constraints is considered like an approximation of the feasible set. However.(5). a correction in the descent direction in the linear search is considered in such a way to enable the solution and ensure a decrease of objective function. to find an optimal solution. we define a reduced subproblem. In the next step. voltage generation bus. The gradient algorithm developed by Rosen [11] in 1960. In each iteration. (8) and independent variables Eq. This small sub-problem is solved by the Newton method alternately. The dependent variables or state variables are the angle voltage module in bus and the load bus voltage. called Differencial Injections Method [7] and [8]. the original problem is transformed into a sequence of quadratic problems. In the fast decoupled method [4] is considered an approximation of the Jacobian matrix that remains constant during the iterative process. Through a gradient projected onto the region determined by the active constraints and a linear search is changing the index and ensures the descent of the objective function. channeling the state variables and functional restrictions. alternately resolved. first with the balance ratio. These are added to the objective function Eq. The functional constraints Eq. The independent variables are the controls: active power generation. Once we found the independent variables then the dependent variables are obtained from the resolution of a conventional power flow by Newton's method. The second and third cases are treated through quadratic penalty functions. which is done efficiently. (9) is made by a quadratic penalty on violated constraints. The formulation based on linear programming has been widely used in OPF due to its simplicity and robustness. The method GRG (Generalized Reduced Gradient) was first proposed by Abadie-Carpentier [6]. In the first stage. (9) and constraints. There is also the method proposed by Burchett [9]. it is formulated as a reduced subproblem of the original problem where yourself get the descent direction from the control variables via the GRG method. Eq. (7). This process continues until to find a feasible solution. Following. the nonlinear nature of OPF can cause difficulties to these methods in some applications. where the variables are divided into dependent variables Eq. The model is presented in explicit compact format.

Illes and Terlaky [20] showed that the interior point methods are better than the Simplex for large and sparse In 1984. Latorre [29] and Granville [30] developed a new Primal-Dual Interior Point Method tha itself points to solve the OPF problem. controls. The Interior Point Methods are also applicable in the context of Quadratic Programming and also in convex programming. In the context of linear programming. The purpose of this paper is to present the Lagrangian relaxation technique aimed at better performance of the algorithm in [29]. The computational implementation [31] studied here was done to solve the Optimal Power Flow using the Primal-Dual Interior Points Method considering various types of objective functions. [21]. In Simplex. resulting in a wide variety of interior point methods. The Lagrangian Relaxation Method Consider the following nonlinear programming primal problem (NLP): Min f(z) (12) Subject to h(z)=0 (13) z-s1=l (z>l) (14) z+s2=u (z<u) (15) s1>0 (16) s2>0 (17) f(z) is a nonlinear function of several variables and also the objective function. The most attractive version for nonlinear problems is the primal-dual method [26] has been applied to dispatch great reactive power [27]. In this context. Karmarkar [15] presented a new polynomial complexity algorithm in the worst case for solving linear programming problems. The problem Eq. and z is the primal variable. The Interior Point Methods are applied in solving OPF problems. u are the lower and upper limits of the variable z. Thus. operating restrictions and plumbing that make up the general problem of OPF. For this reason. The algorithm afim dual Karmarkar has been successfully applied for planning reactive [25]. For the general case of non-linear programming. the characteristics of the electrical problem are explored to facilitate the resolution of the system of equations.(12-17) can be solved using the primal-dual interior point method. the feasible region is traversed by the vertices while in Karmarkar algorithm is covered by the interior of the feasible region. and also to a number of other objective functions [29]. Dantzig [12] presented the Simplex method in 1947. It justified the study of these algorithms. Its main advantages are the practical aspect of the reduced number of iterations to achieve optimal and its polynomial complexity in the theoretical aspect. even with exponential complexity in the worst case [14]. The Karmarkar [15] article presented strong theoretical arguments predicting the performance of the Interior Point Method. The main difference between the Simplex algorithm and the Karmarkar algorithm is how the feasible region is covered. [23] and [24].n log(s2 i ) (18) Subject to h(z)=0 (19) . Since then it has been widely used in solving practical linear programming problems. Another important aspect in the method is the identification strategies the active set.function. These methods are detailed by Gonzaga [16]. reactive compensation planning [28]. Later Monteiro and others [19] demonstrated its superiority compared to other interior point methods in linear programming context. the Karmarkar algorithm is called the Interior Point Method. Megiddo [17] and Kojima [18] developed a new method of primal-dual interior point. respectively. In the next sessions are presented the Relaxation Lagrangian Technique and also its implementation in the computer program FLUPOT [31]. l. This method has been shown to be robust and efficient for good class of problems. The h(z) are linear and/or nonlinear constraints. Today linear and non linear method implementations have obtained a growing interest in network analysis and applications to OPF [22]. highlights the interior point method proposed by Lasdon et.n log(s1i ) − µ ∑ i =1. we have the following wording: Min f ( z ) − µ ∑ i =1. 5.

π1. These critical variables are related to the limits that were imposed on the primal variables.s1-l =0 (25) ∇L π2 = z+ s2-u =0 (26) ∇L s1 = µe=S1 π1 (27) ∇L s2 = µe=-S2 π2 (28) ∇ f(z) is the gradient of objective function.s1. So we'll have to: (iii) If z=l. The Lagrangian function Eq. Thus the problem Eq. Eq.λt∇h(z) (iv) If z=u. are near their limits.(12-15) does not have solution [33]. In the optimality conditions of First Order of Karush-Kuhn-Tucker [33] there are Lagrange multipliers (dual variables) λ.λt∇h(z). is the barrier parameter and s1i and s2i are the components of vectors s1 and s2.µΣi=1.(23-28) is made by the method of Newton-Raphson. the dual problem and the primal problem Eq. z-s1-l=0 (20) z+s2-u=0 (21) Where µ. ∇ h(z) is the gradient of equality constraints. Consequently. When we µ → 0 then we have the solution of the problem.(18-21).π2=0 (23) ∇L λ =h(z)=0 (24) ∇Lπ1 = z.(14-15) of the primal problem. (22) has an optimal solution which generally coincides with the original problem Eq. π1 > 0 and π2 <0 such that the Lagrangian function associated with the problem Eq.π1. This primal-dual solution approach to the problem Eq. λ.(28) and (µ → 0) THEN π2 =0 From (i) and (ii) may be said that for each variable z that has impose minimum or maximum of only one multiplier is not null. π2 =0 then π1 =∇f(z). 6. The resolution of the equations Eq.λt∇h(z) This means that when.(13-15) are difficult solution to the classical methods. It can be expressed as follows: L(z. One technique for dealing with this situation is to identify the critical variables of the problem. This is the Lagrangian Relaxation Methodology. In the minimization problem of Eq. to obtain a solution in the primal variable. Eq.(12-17) and is also fundamental and strategic.π2. This is why the restrictions Eq. There are situations. π1 =0 then π2 =∇f(z). S1 is a diagonal matrix with values the vector components s1. λ.s2) is hard to find. the primal variables.(12-17).s1-l) . S2 is a diagonal matrix with values the vector components s2 and µ is the barrier parameter. Implementation of the Lagrangian Relaxation Method .π2.s1. It is possible that when the dual variable solution is not found their primal variable could be relaxed.π1 . From these restrictions two important observations can be made: (i) If z > l and by equation Eq.s1.(27) and (µ → 0) THEN π1 =0 (ii) If z < u and by equation Eq.(22). s2) satisfying: ∇Lz =∇f(z).π1.(25).λh(z).µΣi=1.(22) the dual variables or multipliers π1 and π2 are associated with restrictions Eq. where the stationary point (z.n log s1i .π1t(z. This may occur when the Lagrangian grows to infinity (unlimited great).(12-17) is transformed into the problem without constraint minimization of Eq. s2)=f(z). The basic idea of this formulation is to solve a series of problems without inequality constraints and parameterized by µ parameter.n log s2i.π2.λ. May be said that there was a non-convergence. When the algorithm cannot find a solution then the primal and the dual variable values grows. one solution of the dual variables must be found.(26).π2t(z+ s2-u) (22) and has stationary point (z.

(13) reaches an error tolerance then it will be automatically activated Variables Relaxation Performance in Active Part Limit (TRLP).This section presents the implementation of the Lagrangian methodology in FLUPOT program [31]. This number of variables (MILP) has a number whose default value is 1 (more details see the next section). (v) the CER Reactive Generation limits. For this particular formulation of Interior Points Methodology implemented in FLUPOT program. The controls that will be relaxed and related to Reactive Power Control are: (i) Voltage limits of PV Buses.(13) Part Reactive. according to the approach in section 5. Detail of Implementation The implementation of FLUPOT is based on Lagrangian relaxation technique as discussed in section 5. (12-17). Similarly there is the Active Power Controls: (i) Flow Limits circuits. the default is 100. Also the solution method implemented in FLUPOT program is based on the formulation Eq. the default is 100. due to the complexity of the Brazilian Electric System. The FLUPOT program is a software tool developed by CEPEL to solve the OPF problem. the following algorithm used in this implementation. The OPF problem resolution aims to find an optimal operating point in AC network minimizing (maximizing) an objective function and satisfying a set of equality and inequality equations. For the OPF is an important feature because. (ii) Voltage limits of PQ Buses. This number of variables (MILQ) has a default number whose value is 1 (more details see the next section).1. (vi) Shunt limits Switched Capacitive and (vii) Shunt Inductive limits Switched. Thus it is characterized for its sturdiness. As described in section 4. (iii) Voltage limits of CER buses. for certain controls values of the load flow equations cannot be solved [28]. So. They are not included in this implementation of the Power Factor and Secondary Control. (iv) Active Power Generation Limits and (v) limits of phase shifters Then. The Lagrangian relaxation techniques can be used to reverse these situations. when it is within an error tolerance then it will be automatically activated Variable of Relaxation Performance in Limit Part Reactive (TRLQ).00 MW. This difficulty increases when the controls are restricted or do not have sufficient resources to achieve convergence.Numerical Results . Then the program should check the multiplier of reactive controls of the problem are assets and every certain number of iterations is chosen to a number of variables with multipliers in descending value. characterized by its large size.(22) [29]. In the case of the Brazilian Electric System. the program returns to step (i) vi) When the program reaches its convergence produces a report with the quantities and limits relaxed 7. (ii) Series Capacitance limits. v) If the next three iterations of the case converges FOR otherwise. This procedure will be performed for the control variables of the active and reactive part if necessary. if there is a solution. above. the equality constraints are not necessarily satisfied in the intermediate iterations of the algorithm.(18-21) and Eq. i)To enable the relaxation of the limits of the variables in FLUPOT program should be used the RLGR option (Lagrangian) ii)When the actived part of the balance equations in Eq. (iii) exchange limits between areas. there are some operational situations where FLUPOT does not provide a satisfactory solution. Usually occurs when some control difficult the convergence. the problem can be defined as in Eq. and performed in automatic way through the Lagrangian multipliers of OPF problem [18]. a report with variables that were relaxed is provided.00 Mvar. At the end of execution. the FLUPOT can provide an optimal solution in a few iterations. In this case the relaxation will be done automatically by the program through the multiplier associated with the controls. These are only met in the optimal solution. Then the program checks the multipliers of the problem of controls that are active and to every number of iterations chose a number of variables with multipliers in descending value. iii)Also the above procedure is adopted for the balance equations in Eq. iv)The controls associated with the highest multipliers are identified and their respective limits relaxed. However. 6. (iv) Power Generation Limits Reactive. In such cases convergence can be facilitated through the relaxation of some problem of control variables. Note that this selection is independent to the active part and to the reactive part.

The same base case was submitted to the methodology of Lagrangian relaxation.In this section will be presented the numerical results to this improvement. In Figure (3). Specifically the case of heavy load corresponds to the months of April to September 2013. It's used a case of the Expansion Plan and Reinforcements (PAR) of the Brazilian Electric System in the 2012-2014 2012 period. Bottom of convergence report of the base case The following controls were used: (i)) GEN (Power Generation Reactive). It was used the objective function Least Cost Shunt Reactive installation (ASHN). Figure (1) shows the opening of the base case by ANAREDE program [34]. Figures (2) and (3) show the convergence report by FLUPOT. [3 ]. Base Case opening Figure 2. . This occurs when it was exceeded the maximum number of iterations. (iv)) CCER (Reactive Static Compensator) and (v) ( LTCP (CTL's wheels in parallel). Top of convergence report of the base case Figure 3. In figure (5) checks that the convergence of the base case. Convergence was achieved in 75 iterations. Figure 1. noteworthy using the Lagrangian methodology in FLUPOT program [31]. it appears the not convergence of the base case. (ii) VGEB (PV Voltage bus) b (iii) SHNC (Shunt Switchable). and also the interface of ANAREDE program [34]. Figures (4) and (5) present the convergence report of base case subject ct to Lagrangian relaxation.

case that was achieved in 45 iterations. this his new limits were included in the initial configuration file. The new convergence report is presented in figures igures (8) and (9). The he limits of 6 load buses and only one PV bus were modified. To verify that these new limits enable the convergence of the base case. ique. In figure (9). In the figure(7) (7) are shown the input data corresponding to DVLB set (voltage limits by bus)) where are specified the 6 buses with its new limits suggested by relaxation technique. Top of convergence report of the base case with Figure 5. Bottom of convergence report of the base case with Lagrangian Relaxation Lagrangian Relaxation In the figure (6) is shown the report of the modified limits due to Lagrangian technique. Limits Report modified by Lagrangian Relaxation . Figure 6. The FLUPOT runs again without the relaxation technique. there is the convergence of the base case.Figure 4.

Soc. J. PAS pp. 1449- 1456. So the Lagrangian Lagrang is a strategy solution. Hart.431–447. 2. (vi)) Shunt limits Switched Capacitive and (vii) ( ) Shunt Inductive limits Switched. 8. (iv) Powerr Generation limits Reactive.iterations the critical issue of the variables present Lagrange multipliers associated with high values.v. The purpose of this implementation was set in FLUPOT program a heuristic for cases of non-convergence non convergence that allows relax limits of active variables (variables in the limit). 1962. W. (iv) Active Power Generation Limits and (v)) limits l of phase shifters Generally when the execution of OPF resolution algorithm reaches the maximum number of iterations. (ii) Voltage limits of PQ Buses. that is. Bottom of convergence report of the base case with limits new limits 8.. . Carpentier. it relaxes to one or more variables which have elevated their multiplier values. This methodology allows that the dual variables (Lagrange multipliers) be harnessed to cases whose solution is only achieved with a relaxation of its primal variable of active control (variables in the limit). Tinney. Those associated with the active power is: (ii) Flow Limits circuits. (iii)) exchange limits between areas.References 1. the of using the primal and dual variables NLP problem associated with the Optimal Power Flow problem. pp. Power App. Francaise Electricians. The controls associated with the reactive power that can be relaxed and that have been implemented are: (i) ( Voltage Limits of PV buses.Conclusions The FLUPOT program is based on Primal rimal-Dual Interior Point Method. They are not included in this implementation the Power Factor and Secondary Control. IEEE Trans.. Bull. 1967.. Top of convergence report of the base case with new Figure 9.. (v) ( the CER Reactive Generation limits. “Power Flow Solution by Newton’s Method”. Vol. Figure 7. PAS-86. August. (ii) Series Capacitance limits. 9. Contribution a l’etude du dispatching economique. solutio In this case. E. F. C.. New DVLB Figure 8. (iiiiii) Voltage limits of CER buses. Syst.

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