Input-Output Analysis and Decentralized Optimal Control of Inter-Area Oscillations in Power Systems

Xiaofan Wu, Florian Dorfler, Mihailo Jovanovic

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68 Scopus citations


Local and inter-area oscillations in bulk power systems are typically identified using spatial profiles of poorly damped modes, and they are mitigated via carefully tuned decentralized controllers. In this paper, we 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 design, we preserve rotational symmetry of the power system by allowing only relative angle measurements in the distributed controllers. For the IEEE 39 New England model, we examine performance tradeoffs and robustness of different control architectures and show that optimal retuning of fully-decentralized control strategies can effectively guard against local and inter-area oscillations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7177132
Pages (from-to)2434-2444
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.


  • Input-output analysis
  • Wide-area control
  • inter-area oscillations
  • sparsity-promoting optimal control


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