Design of Distributed Controllers Seeking Optimal Power Flow Solutions under Communication Constraints: Preprint

Emiliano Dall-Anese, Andrea Simonetto, Saraj Dhople

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper focuses on power distribution networks featuring inverter-interfaced distributed energy resources (DERs), and develops feedback controllers that drive the DER output powers to solutions of time-varying AC optimal power flow (OPF) problems. Control synthesis is grounded on primal-dual-type methods for regularized Lagrangian functions, as well as linear approximations of the AC power-flow equations. Convergence and OPF-solution-tracking capabilities are established while acknowledging: i) communication-packet losses, and ii) partial updates of control signals. The latter case is particularly relevant since it enables asynchronous operation of the controllers where DER setpoints are updated at a fast time scale based on local voltage measurements, and information on the network state is utilized if and when available, based on communication constraints. As an application, the paper considers distribution systems with high photovoltaic integration, and demonstrates that the proposed framework provides fast voltage-regulation capabilities, while enabling the near real-time pursuit of solutions of AC OPF problems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2016
Event55th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control - Las Vegas, Nevada
Duration: 12 Dec 201614 Dec 2016


Conference55th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
CityLas Vegas, Nevada

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-66855


  • feedback control
  • online optimization
  • optimal power flow
  • renewable sources of energy
  • voltage regulation


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