Robust Decentralized Secondary Frequency Control in Power Systems: Merits and Trade-Offs

Changhong Zhao, Erik Weitenberg, Yan Jiang, Enrique Mallada, Claudio Persis, Florian Dorfler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus Citations


Frequency restoration in power systems is conven- tionally performed by broadcasting a centralized signal to local controllers. As a result of the energy transition, technological advances, and the scientific interest in distributed control and optimization methods, a plethora of distributed frequency control strategies have been proposed recently that rely on communication amongst local controllers. In this paper we propose a fully decentralized leaky integral controller for frequency restoration that is derived from a classic lag element. We study steady-state, asymptotic optimality, nominal stability, input-to-state stability, noise rejection, transient performance, and robustness properties of this controller in closed loop with a nonlinear and multivariable power system model. We demonstrate that the leaky integral controller can strike an acceptable trade-off between performance and robustness as well as between asymptotic disturbance rejection and transient convergence rate by tuning its DC gain and time constant. We compare our findings to conventional decentralized integral control and distributed- averaging-based integral control in theory and simulations.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3967-3982
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-71122


  • decentralized control
  • frequency control


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