Decentralized optimal control of inter-area oscillations in bulk power systems

Xiaofan Wu, Florian Dörfler, Mihailo R. Jovanović

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


In bulk power systems, spectral analysis of poorly damped modes is commonly used for identifying local and inter-area oscillations. Conventionally, these oscillations are mitigated by carefully tuned decentralized controllers. In this paper, we depart from the modal perspective and employ non-modal tools to analyze and control inter-area oscillations. Our input-output analysis examines power spectral density and variance amplification of stochastically forced systems and offers new insights relative to modal approaches. To improve upon the limitations of conventional wide-area control strategies, we also study the problem of signal selection and optimal design of sparse and block-sparse wide-area controllers. In our approach, we preserve rotational symmetry of the power network by allowing only relative angle measurements in the distributed controllers. We examine performance tradeoffs and robustness of sparse and block-sparse control architectures by studying the NETS-NYPS test system, and show that optimal retuning of fully-decentralized controllers can effectively guard against local and inter-area oscillations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,CDC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781479978861
StatePublished - Feb 8 2015
Event54th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2015 - Osaka, Japan
Duration: Dec 15 2015Dec 18 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
Volume54rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,CDC 2015
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Other54th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.


  • Decentralized control
  • input-output analysis
  • inter-area oscillations
  • power systems
  • sparsity-promoting optimal control
  • synchronization
  • wide-area control


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