Optimal Power Flow Pursuit

Emiliano Dall-Anese, Andrea Simonetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

211 Scopus Citations


This paper considers distribution networks featuring inverter-interfaced distributed energy resources, and develops distributed feedback controllers that continuously drive the inverter output powers to solutions of AC optimal power flow (OPF) problems. Particularly, the controllers update the power setpoints based on voltage measurements as well as given (time-varying) OPF targets, and entail elementary operations implementable onto low-cost microcontrollers that accompany power-electronics interfaces of gateways and inverters. The design of the control framework is based on suitable linear approximations of the AC power-flow equations as well as Lagrangian regularization methods. Convergence and OPF-target tracking capabilities of the controllers are analytically established. Overall, the proposed method allows to bypass traditional hierarchical setups where feedback control and optimization operate at distinct time scales, and to enable real-time optimization of distribution systems.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)942-952
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-66464


  • distribution systems
  • optimal power flow
  • renewable integration
  • time-varying optimization
  • voltage regulation


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