Distributed Plug-and-Play Optimal Generator and Load Control for Power System Frequency Regulation

Changhong Zhao, Enrique Mallada, Steven Low, Janusz Bialek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus Citations


A distributed control scheme, which can be implemented on generators and controllable loads in a plug-and-play manner, is proposed for power system frequency regulation. The proposed scheme is based on local measurements, local computation, and neighborhood information exchanges over a communication network with an arbitrary (but connected) topology. In the event of a sudden change in generation or load, the proposed scheme can restore the nominal frequency and the reference inter-area power flows, while minimizing the total cost of control for participating generators and loads. Power network stability under the proposed control is proved with a relatively realistic model which includes nonlinear power flow and a generic (potentially nonlinear or high-order) turbine-governor model, and further with first- and second-order turbine-governor models as special cases. In simulations, the proposed control scheme shows a comparable performance to the existing automatic generation control (AGC) when implemented only on the generator side, and demonstrates better dynamic characteristics than AGC when each scheme is implemented on both generators and controllable loads. Simulation results also show robustness of the proposed scheme to communication link failure.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-71540


  • distributed control
  • frequency regulation


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