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IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 11, No. 3, August 1996


M. La Scala Member IEEE Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica Universit; di Napoli, Italy ABSTRACT In this paper, a neural network-based method is proposed for monitoring on-line voltage security of electric power systems. Using a dynamic model of the system, voltage stability is measured totally, considering a suitable stability index for the whole system, and locally, by defining appropriate voltagemargins for detecting the area of the system where the instability phenomenon arises. A three-layer feedforward neural network is trained to give, as outputs to a pre-defied set of input variables, the expected values of the above defined indices. The neural network is designed by using a fast learning strategy that allows the optimal number of hidden neurons to be easily determined. Moreover, it is shown that, in the operation mode, the system power-margin and the bus power-margins can be easily evaluated using the value of the voltage stability index given by the designed NN. The effectiveness of the proposed approach has been demostrated on the IEEE 118-bus test system. Kevwords: Voltage stability monitoring and assessment, Neural Networks, Fast learning algorithms.

M. Trovato F. Torelli Member IEEE Dipartimento di Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica Politecnico di Bari, Italy
types of voltage instability, but the on-line implementation of these techniques is hampered by their heavy computational burden. In recent times, Neural Networks (NNs), a kind of artificial intelligence, has attracted a widespread interest in different fields of research as candidates for novel computational systems [8]. NNs have been recently applied to power systems [9-111 and the results have shown their potential in off-line and on-line applications. In this paper, a NN-based methodology is proposed for monitoring on-line the voltage stability of a power system. On the basis of a suitable dynamic model of the system, a general procedure is illustrated for assessing voltage security. For a given operating condition, the measure of the distance of the overall system from the voltage stability limit is defined using an index which depends on the maximum critical real power that can be delivered without causing voltage instability. In addition, for selected load buses, a voltage-based index is defined which measures the distance of the actual value of the bus voltage magnitude from its critical value. A systematic procedure is suggested for implementing a Layered Feedforward Neural Network (LFNN) which gives the above mentioned indices, as outputs to a pre-defined set of input variables which are known to influence mostly voltage stability. In order to train the NN, a fast learning algorithm, based on a least-squares approach, is proposed. This algorithm allows the optimal number of hidden neurons to be easily determined, assuring, just in the training phase, an acceptable generalization level. Furthermore, using the outputs of the NN in the operation mode, the power margin of the system, i.e. the maximum amount of total real demand which can be increased without causing voltage instability, is easily evaluated. Finally, the bus powermagins, for selected load buses, are obtained as a function of the system power-margin. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is demonstrated on the IEEE 118-bus power system.

1. INTRODUCTION Voltage instability is a type of system instability that occurs when the power system is unable to maintain an acceptable voltage profile under an increasing load demand and/or configuration changes. In the last decade, a considerable effort has been made to classify voltage problems in electric power systems [ 1-41. Moreover, the physical characteristics of the the power system that affect voltage stability have been identified [5,6]. At present, one of the major goals is to develop computer-aided procedures for use in an on-line environment to evaluate Voltage Security of the system. In particular, two important functions should be implemented: the voltage stability monitoring and the voltage stability assessment. Using appropriate indicators, computed by on-line data from the state estimator, the monitoring function evaluates the status of voltage stability for the present power system. The assessment function predicts the voltage stability of a near future power system condition and involves the ability to analyze hundreds of contingencies every 10 to 20 minutes. In [7], an implementation of these functions in a control centre is illustrated. The approach uses the P-V curves and is based on the singularity of the load flow Jacobian matrix. However, the power system can experience other types of voltage instability, as iIlustrated in [1,2]. Several methods, based on eigenvalues analysis or time domain simulation, are available to detect these

2 . VOLTAGE SECURITY ASSESSMENT The aim of this Section is to illustrate a comprehensive procedure for the voltage stability analysis and to define voltagecollapse proximity indicators suitable for voltage security assessment.
2.1 Voltage stability tests Voltage stability has long been studied using nonlinear and linearized load flow and transient/mid-term stability models. In recent times, interesting results have been obtained by applying the bifurcation theory to the power-system model described by a proper set of differential-algebraic equations [3,4]. Here, the main results of this approach are illustrated synthetically. By linearizing the system equations around an operating point, the following representation of the power system is obtained:

95 SM 530-6 PWRS A paper recommended and approved by the IEEE Power System Engineering Committee of the IEEE Power Engineering Society f o r presentation at the 1995 IEEE/PES Summer Meeting, July 23-27, 1995, Portland, OR. Manuscript submitted August 1 , 1994; made available f o r printing April 28, 1995.

where A z is the m-dimensional state vector which may include several dynamic components of the system, such as synchronous 0885-8950/96/$05.00 0 1995 IEEE

1333 generators and their control systems, dynamic loads, under-load tap-changers and static var systems, AV is the 2N-dimensional vector of the deviations of bus-voltage components and Ar is the vector of reference signals. Voltage instability problems, associated to generic bifurcations, correspond to the two ways the system, expressed by the eqns. (l), can reach a critical state, that is: a real eigenvalue becomes zero (static or saddle-node bifurcation) or a pair of complex eigenvalues cross the imaginary axis (dynamic or Hopf bifurcation). Thus, static bifurcations can be revealed by testing the singularity of the equivalent static/algebraic Jacobian matrix

A ~ = M -LA-^ (2) whereas dynamic bifurcations occur when the state matrix of the system A,,=A- CM-~L (3) has a pair of pure imaginary eigenvalues [3].
2.2 Voltage stability indicators and Starting from a given operating stable condition of the system, suppose that the total real power demand PL is increased stepwise and the real power demand Pj at each load bus increases with a power factor cosQj and a participation factor a , = P ~ / P L , j=1,2, ...,n, where n is the number of load buses. The onset of voltage instability is revealed when one of the tests defined in Subsection 2.1 is satisfied. Accordingly, the value of the maximum critical real power P r , delivered to the system, is evaluated. Then, for a given load condition P L ~ P the ~ measure , of the closeness of the power system to the voltage stability limit can be given by the following index:

.. . .

3. NEURAL NETWORK DESIGN PROCEDURE Layered Feedforward Neural Networks (LFNNs) are the most widely used model among the various types of NNs considered for applications in power systems. Detailed information on structure and properties of these NNs can be found in 181. In this Section a design procedure is suggested for a LFNN. The main feature of the proposed approach is to find, quite rapidly, the number of hidden neurons that guarantees a good approximation of the outputs contained in the training set and assures at the same time, a satisfactory accuracy in the operational stage. To this purpose, we consider three-layer feedforward NN with nu input neurons, nh hidden neurons and no output neurons. Moreover, we indicate by W and G the matrices of input-to-hidden and hidden-to-output weights, of dimensions (nhxn,) and (Qxnh), respectively. Input values are fed directly to the input layer which simply distributes them through different connections to the hidden layer. The activation ap (p=1,2 ....,nh) of each hidden neuron is assumed to be the weighted sum of all the inputs and the corresponding output is computed by applying an appropriate sigmoid function q(a$ [8]. The outputs of the NN are assumed to be the linear combinahon of the outputs of the hidden neurons. Under these assumptions, the following training set is considered:

~ = ( ~ u , , y , ~ : u , ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ "...., ~ n,} , y ~(11) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ " ~ , i = where (ui,y,) is the i-th pair of the total number nt of training examples. When the stimulus U; is applied to the untrained NN, errors are produced between the actual output vector Ti and the expected output vector yi. The goal of the training is to minimize the square error, i.e. the output deviation function

(4) Analogously, the following power-margin for the overall system can be defined ML= P y - PL (51 Moreover, for the j-th load bus of the power system the following power-margin can be considered
JL = ( P y - P L ) / P r

D=C (Yi - yi)T ( Y i - Ti)

where and
i =1


(12) (13)

y j = G h,

~~=pf"ax-p. (j=1.2, ..., n) J


(6) (7)

pf"ax = aJP y x

Under the previous assumptions, from the eqns.(4)-(7) the following expressions are obtained, after simple manipulations: and

ML= (pL JL)/(~ - JL) Mj = aJ ML

(j=1,2, ...,n)



Finally, together with the bus power-margins, it would be desirable to present to the system operators a set of indicators that measure the distatlce from the voltage collapse directly in terms of voltage magnitude deviations. To this purpose, for the j-th load bus, the following voltage-margin is defined

(14) hi = q ( ( W U i ) hi being the nh-dimensional column vector of the outputs of the hidden neurons. Training algorithms based on the gradient descent approach, such as the Error Back Propagation (EBP) method [8], solve the problem of minimizing the function (12) by determining a pair (W,G) which ideally should be a global minimum of this function. Unfortunately, these algorithms are very time-consuming and may require hundreds of iterations to converge, depending on the size of the NN. An alternative approach can be to search for 'suboptimal' solutions of this problem. To this purpose, let the elements of the matrix W be assigned stochastically from a zero mean probability normal distribution [12]. Then, the eqn.(l2) reduces to the form



Ynt ]

(15) ~ (16) (17)

= [ y p y2 ,...., Y i ,.....

M VJ. = V J


cj=1,2 ,...,n)


H = [ h l , h2 ,...., h,,...., hnt

Vj being the current value of the voltage magnitude and critical value reached when PL=




and 11.11 denotes the Euclidean norm of the matrix Y -GH. Provided that the matrix H has full rank, the least-squares solution to the problem of minimizing the error function (15) is given by [13]:

The above defined indicators allow, potentially, an on-line implementation of Voltage Security functions for the power system. Unfortunately, a heavy computational task is required to determine these quantities. In Section 5, it is shown that these difficulties can be avoided using a suitable NN-based approach.

G=YH+ (18) "=HT (HHT)-' being the pseudoinverse of the matrix H. After completing the training phase, the "-configuration (nu, nh, no, W , G ) has to be tested for validation. To this purpose, the following validation set is considered:

(19) where the pair (v.,x.) is a pattern not learnt by the designed NN. J J Then, the generalization level of the NN can be assessed by evaluating the error function: D,=IlX-GEII 2 (20) with (21) x = [XI, xz ,...., xj ,...., x

{ (vj,xj) : vj E Su ,x,

S o , j=1,2



SECURITY MONITORING As previously described, the on-line monitoring of the voltage stability in a power system is a very hard task, particularly when dynamic methods, such as the procedure illustrated in Section 2, are adopted. To solve this problem, a "-approach, based on the procedure developed in Section 3, is suggested in this Section. To this purpose, we consider the LFNN-architecture shown in Fig.1. The input layer feeds two distinct hidden layers, H 1 and H2, through which signals propagates, separately, to the output layers

(22) H = [ h l , h2 ,...., hj ,...., hn" where hi is the output vector of the hidden layer when the input vector vj is applied to the NN. The previous considerations suggest the following design procedure for finding the optimal NN-configuration capable to learn successfully the information contained in the trsining set, assuring, contemporaneously, an acceptable generalization level: 1) Initialization: -form the data sets T and V and the matrices Y and X, -set k=nx, -assign randomly the elements of the (kxn,) matrix Wk. Evaluate the (kxnt) matrix Hk using eqn. (14). Solve for the (n,,xk) matrix Gk the equation
(23) By using the "-configuration (nu,k,no,Wk,Gk), compute the -k (kxn,) matrix W and evaluate the square error

- -

n" 1 -



Fig.1 NN architecture for voltage security monitoring

0 1 and 02, which respectively give, as outputs, the voltage stability index JL and the voltage-margins Mv, (j=1,2, ...,n). In particular, the input layer receives the input vector
where P,Q,V of dimensions (nxl) and PG, QG,VG of dimensions ( w x l ) are the vectors of real powers, reactive powers and voltage magnitudes at the n load buses and nG generating buses, respectively. The input subvector


@=I/X-GH If k=ng go to step 7



If Ilk-' assume the configuration (nu,k-l,no,Wk-',Gk~') and STOP -set k=k+l -update the matrix W by choosing stochastically the elements of the k-th row -go to step 2. At the stage 1, a given number nR of hidden neurons is assumed and a stochastic choice of the weights of the input-to-hidden interconnects is made. This matrix is updated at the stage 7 by randomly choosing its k-th new row only, and preserving the previously assigned k-1 rows. As a consequence, at the stage 2, only the k-th row of the matrix Nk needs to be computed. Then, at the stage 3, the task of computing the matrix G k is remarkably relieved if a recursive technique for the computation of the pseudoinverse of a partitioned-by-rows matrix is adopted [13]. At the stage 4, the generalization level of the current NNconfiguration (nU,k,no,Wk,Gk) is tested by evaluating the square error fi.It can be observed that, unlike the square error on the training set
~k = 11 Y - ~ k 112 ~ k (25) which monotonously decreases by adding hidden neurons and becomes zero when k=nt, the error fi reduces to a minimum value and rapidly increases when further neurons are added This trend will be shown iri the course of the numerical example. It can be noted that an analogous trend is observed when using EBP algorithm for the design of LFNNs by adding neurons [8]. If the number of hidden neurons is too small, no choice of weights may approximate the given input-output patterns. Thus, the NN fails in the learning phase. If the number of hidden neurons is too large, many different solutions minimizing the function (12) will exist, most of which will not result in the ability of generalizing correctly for new input data. In this case, the network learns very well the input-output patterns of the training set, but it will fail in the operational stage.


I, =[11,1 2,...,Iv,..., (27) takes into account contingencies that may directly influence the voltage stability limit, for a given operating condition. The set of contingencies may include loss of generating units, lines and transformer banks. In particular, the imput signal IV (v=1,2, ...,C) represents the status of the v-th component in the set of the defined contingencies and is assumed to be 1 if the component is in service, or otherwise is set to 0. Note that the proposed "-architecture consists really of two distinct NNs sharing only the same input layer. Then, the training phase, for each NN, can be carried out separately. This architecture proves more efficient than a unique NN, since the nature and the different range of selected outputs are adequately taken into account. The illustrated approach can be helpful for monitoring on-line the voltage stability of the power system. In particular, the onset of the voltage instability can be revealed, for the whole system, from the value of the stability index JL. The area most influenced by the phenomenon can be identified searching the load buses which experiment the lowest values of the voltage-margins M,j. Further information can be obtained using the value of JL, given by the NN, to evaluate the system power-margin ML and the bus power-margins Mj. through the eqns.(8) and (9), respectively. It should be observed that a good matching beetwen the response of the NN and the actual condition of the power system, from the voltage stability viewpoint, will be obtained if a faithful model of the power system is used to prepare an appropriate training set for the NN. However, the proposed NN-based approach for the voltage stability monitoring leaves out of consideration of the adopted power system model, because, in the operational stage, the NN receives, only the values of the real


1335 power, reactive power and voltage magnitude at each bus of the system. We have implicitly supposed that the proposed NN-approach can be applicable to the power system, quite independently of its dimension. Some observations are needed on this topic. We have intentionally chosen a "-strategy that includes a potentially large number of inputs and outputs to investigate the ability of the NN to successfully deal with large data bases, when an adequate learning algorithm is available. At the same time, a preliminary investigation on load buses, whose demands affect significantly the voltage stability limit, could reduce considerably the dimensions of the input and output vectors. Analogous investigations are necessary when forming the set of contingencies. In the authors' opinion, the application of the proposed NN-approach to a large scale power system is possible if the task of monitoring voltage stability is shared among several NNs [ 141, each one supervising, contemporaneously, a defined load area of the system. This approach appears suitable, since real cases of voltage collapse have shown that voltage instability problems can arise in a load area without affecting in the short period the remainder of the system. Finally, other applications in an on-line dynamic security assessment perspective might be possible. The designed NN could be used as a tool able to verify timely the validity of selected, preventive control actions, in order to move the power system to an acceptable post-contingency state. In this case, the input vector U is formed by the results of a load flow analysis. In fact, since the NN receives, as inputs, the real and reactive powers injected to selected buses, the effect of tuning defined reactive sources or shedding prescribed amounts of load could be verified immediately, without the necessity of eigenvalues analysis or extensive time domain simulations. Although further investigations are essential on this topic, some preliminary results are reported in Section 5. Table 1: Main design data
available patterns from o f f - h e simulauons assumed Dower factor range for load buses

I patterns for which JT.=O -

training-patterns validation-patterns Input neurons Output neurons: layer 0 1 (voltage stability index JL ) laver 0 2 (voltaee-mareins M.,:)

3955 0.8-0.9 390 500 3455 550 1 99

number of hidden neurons Fig.2 Values of the square errors D k and calculated by increasing the number of neurons in the hidden layer H1



5 . TESTRESULTS The IEEE 118-bus test system has been considered to test the suggested NN-approach for voltage security monitoring. For each generator, a fourth-order model based on Parks equations has been adopted to represent rotor and flux decay dynamics. Each machine has been considered equipped with a type A excitation system and a type G turbine-governor system, as referred to in [15]. Machine and control systems data have been properly chosen from [15]. Without lak of generality, a constant power model has been assumed for loads, although the code used in the simulation studies for generating input-output patterns could handle exponential models for loads. All p.u. values are on 100 MVA base. The power system includes 99 load buses, 19 generating buses and 177 lines. Using the procedure illustrated in Section 2, simulations studies have been carried out to form appropriate training and validation sets. In this phase, several network configurations have been considered, with different sets of load partecipation factors. For each configuration of the system, selected input-output patterns have been stored, corresponding to different values of the load demand of the system and including the pattern relative to the maximum critical real power P c a x , for which JL=O. Following the approach proposed in Section 4, input and output variables of the NN shown in Fig.1 have been identified. In Table 1, the essential design data are reported. Three input neurons are considered for each load and generating bus. In order to take into account generator and line outages, 19 and 177 input neurons are included, respectively. The procedure developed in Section 3 has been applied to design the proposed NNarchitecture. Figs. 2 and 3 show the square errors Dk and D'",, computed by increasing stepwise the number k of neurons in the hidden layers Hland H2, respectively. In particular, the error & reaches a minimum when 220 and 389 neurons are selected for the

number of hidden neurons Fig.3 Values of the square errors D k and D", calculated by increasing the number of neurons in the hidden layer H2. hidden layers H1 and H2, respectively. The main results of the design procedure are illustrated in Table 2. In particular, for the output layers 0 1 and 0 2 , the maximum absolute error, the mean square error and the standard deviation, evaluated using all the patterns of the validation set, are reported. These results prove the effectiveness of the proposed learning algorithm. 'able 2: Results of the NN design procedure
optvnal number of hidden neurons: layer H1 (stability index JL) layer H2 (voltage-margins Mv.) voltage stability index JL (validation set): max absolute error mean square error standard deviation voltage-margins (validation set): max absolute error mean square error standard deviation

220 389 0.008 8.35E-6 4.91E-4 0.0031 5.07E-7 2.96E-4

Using the values of the index JL given by the designed NN, the system power-margin ML and the bus power-margins M, (j=1,2,...,99) have been evaluated from the eqns.(8) and (9). The correspondent values have been compared with the values obtained from off-line simulations for each pattern of the initial data set. In Fig.4, the distribution of the absolute error in predicting ML is reported for all the available input-output patterns. In particular, the mean square error and the standard deviation are 7.98E-4 p.u. and 0.023 p.u., respectively. It has been observed that the largest error on ML were relative to large values of the system power-margin, which corresponded to reduced values of the load demand. Analogous results have been obtained for the bus power-margins Mj.


4 .


2 1.0

0 -0.2




absolute errm (pa.)





Fig.4 Distribution of the absolute error Moreover, numerical comparisons are reported in Table 3 for two sets of load demands. In this Table, the desired values and the actual values of JL, ML. MI and Mvl are shown. In particular, two network configurations are considered, with differenE values (43.02 p.u. and 38.13 P.u.) of the critical load demand. Table 3: Comparison between desired and actual values of the NN

The initial value of the voltage stability index JL was 0.36, corresponding to a load demand of 27.53 P.u.,with the standard network configuration. During the simulation, the load demand was increased stepwise at 25 load buses of the system. In addition, the line 8-9 was tripped at t = 46s. In Fig.5, the plot of the voltage magnitude at the bus #55 is shown. Voltage instability reveals by growing oscillations of the voltage magnitude after approximately 300s. It can be observed that the index JL vanishes exactly when voltage instability occurs. The illustrated timedomain simulation confirms the potentials of using the suggested NN-architecture for on-line voltage stability monitoring. To test the ability of the designed NN in performing the voltage stability assessment function, a single-line outage contingency analysis was carried out. The standard network configuration was assumed for the system, with a load demand of 35 p.u.. The assessment of each contingency involved a preliminary load flow analysis, necessary to form the set of inputs for the NN.By using a VAX station 4000/60, for each contingency, CPU times of about 0.04s and 0.02s were respectively needed for the execution of a fast decoupled load flow and the computation of voltage stability index through the NN. The total CPU time was 10.62s. The results are shown in Fig.6. For purpose of comparison, the values of the system powermargin, corresponding to the standard configuration of the network, are represented with a dashed line. It can be observed that only 7 line outages prove severe for the system, if a security power-margin of 400 MW is assumed.

The previously illustrated results show that, for each operating point, both total and local information are provided with a good accuracy, helping system operators in monitoring voltage stability . In order to test how the NN could perform in a control center, being fed by signals coming from the power system, a voltage collapse scenario was simulated. At regular intervals of time, the NN received the necessary set of inputs from a time domain simulation, obtained using the nonlinear model of the system. Since in the nonlinear time domain simulation the effect of all the control systems of the generating units, with their limiters, were taken into account, the NN received sets of inputs never seen in the training phase.


60 90 120 number of contingencies

Contingency analysis.



In order to determine a suitable, preventive control action, several candidates were tested using the designed NN. The control actions consisted in tuning appropriately the reactive power sources at selected load buses. In Table 4, the values of the system power-margin predicted from the NN are compared with the values








3. 0

time (s)
Fig.5 Time domain simulation of a voltage instability scenario.

Table 4: Effects of the preventive control action. line system power-margin contingency (MW) without preventive control with preventive action control action predicted 1 expected I predicted I expected [4] F. Alvarado, I. Dobson and Y. Hu, "Computation of Closest Bifurcations in Power Systems", IEEE PES Summer Meeting, paper 93SM484-6 PWRS Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July, 1993. IEEE Special Publication, 90TH0358-2PWR, "Voltage Stability of Power Systems: Concepts, Analytical Tools and Industry Experience", 1990 CIGRE Task Force 38-01-03, Modeling of Voltage Collapse Including Dynamic Phenomena", 1993 M. Suzuki, S . Wada, M. Sato, T. Asano and Y. Kudo, "Newly developed voltage security monitoring", IEEE Trans on Power Systems, vo1.7, n.3, 1992. B. Muller and J. Reinhardt, Neural Networks - An Introduction, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1991. H. Mori, Y. Tamaru and S . Tsuzuki, "An Artificial Neural-Net Based Technique for Power System Dynamic Stability with the Kohonen Model", Proceedings o f PICA, Baltimore, May 7-10, 1991. S. Weerasooriya, M.A. El-Sharkawi, M.J. Damborg and R.J. Marks, "Towards static-security assessment of a large-scale power system using neural networks", Proc. IEE C, Gen. Trans. & Distrib., ~01.139,n.1.1992. G. Cauley, A.B.R. Kumar, V. Brandwajn and A. Ipakchi, "Artificial intelligence applications in on-line dynamic security assessment", Proc. of I l t h . Power Systems Computation Conference (PSCC), Avignon, France, Aug.30Sept.3, 1993. R.J. Marks 11, L.E. Atlas, L.E., and S . Oh, "The effects of stochastic interconnects in artificial neural networks", Proc. of the IEEE Int. Con& on Neural Networks, San Diego, USA, July 24-27, 1988. A.J. Ben-Israel and T.N.E. Greville, "Generalized Inverses: Theory and Applications", Wiley, New York, 1974. Discussion on "Preliminary Results on Using Artificial Neural Networks For Security Assessment", IEEE Trans. on Power Systems, voI.6, n.3, 1991. P.M. Anderson and A.A. Fouad, Power system control and stability, The Iowa State University Press, USA, 1977.


[6] [7] determined through voltage stability studies, for each contingency. For completeness, the values of the power margin, before implementing the preventive control action, are also shown. A larger difference between predicted and expected values of the power-margin, when the preventive control action is implemented, is due to the fact that the suggested control strategy involves the achievement of high values of the power factors that were not considered in the training phase for the selected load n buses. These results show the potentials of the designed NN i performing the voltage stability assessment function for the power system. 6. CONCLUSIONS In this paper a neural network-based method is proposed for monitoring on-line voltage security of electric power systems. Using a dynamic model of the system, voltage stability has been measured totally, by a suitable stability index, and locally, by defining appropriate voltage-margins for detecting the buses of the system where the instability phenomenon arises. A layered feedforward "-architecture has been suggested as voltage stability monitoring system. The NN has been trained to give, as outputs to a pre-defined set of input variables, the expected values of the defined voltage-security indicators. To this purpose, a fast learning strategy has been proposed to train the NN. The training procedure, based on a least-squares technique, allows the optimal number of neurons in the hidden layer to be easily determined. At the same time, the generalization level of the NN can be tested during the training phase. Moreover, it has been shown that, using the value of the voltage stability index given by the NN, the total power-margin of the system and the power-margin at each load bus can be easily evaluated. Then, further useful information can be available for the power system operators for assessing voltage stability. The effectiveness of the proposed approach has been demonstrated on the IEEE 118-bus power system. Test results proved the ability of the designed NN in performing on-line the voltage security monitoring function. The extension of the proposed procedure to multi-area power systems is under investigation. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors wish to thank the Italian Ministry of the University and of the Scientific and Technological Research for supporting this research through its grant MURST 40%-1993. 7. REFERENCES [l] N. Yorino, H. Sasaki, Y. Masuda, Y. Tamura, M. Kitagawa and A. Oshimo, "An investigation on voltage stability problems", IEEE Trans. on Power Systems, vol. 7, n.2, 1992. [2] W.R. Lachs and D. Sutanto, "Different types of voltage instability", IEEE PES Summer Meeting, paper 93SM518-1 PWRS, Vancouver, Canada, July, 1993. [3] T. Guo and R.A. Schlueter, "Identification of Generic Bifurcation and Stability Problems", IEEE PES Summer Meeting, paper 93SM513-2 PWRS, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July, 1993. [8] [9]




[ 131
[ 141


BIOGRAPHIES Massimo La Scala was born in Bari, Italy, in 1959. He received the degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Bari (Italy) in 1984. In 1987 he joined ENEL. In 1989 he received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (Power System Analysis) from the University of Bari. He is currently Associate Professor. His research interests are in the areas of power system analysis and control. He is member of the IEEE PES and Associazione Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica Italiana (A.E.I.). Michele Trovato was born in Bitonto, Italy, in 1953. He received the degree in Electrical Engineering in 1979 from University of Bari, Italy. In 1980, he joined the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Bari. In 1987 he became Associate Professor of Power System Transmission and Distribution. He is currently Professor of Electrical Energy Systems at the Politecnico of Bari. His areas of interest are control of ac machines and power system analysis. He is member of the IEEE PES and Associazione Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica Italiana (A.E.I.). Francesco Torelli was born in Corato, Italy in 1941. He received the degree in Electrical Engineering in 1966 from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. In the same year he joined the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Bari where he became Assistant Professor (1970-1982) and, successively, Associate Professor of Power Systems (1982-1986). He is presently Professor of Power Systems. His research interests are in power system analysis and control. He is member of Associazione Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica Italiana (A.E.I.).


C l a u d i o A . Cafiiaares (University of Waterloo): The authors present an interesting paper on the use of neural networks for the analysis of static voltage collapse problems. For these types of studies, which are closely related to the evolution of eigenvalues as small perturbations occur on the highly nonlinear power system, training a neural network based on the linearized system equations is certainly the correct approach, as long as enough contingencies (perturbations) and load patterns are considered. The authors present a thorough analysis and examples of the proposed methodology; there are a few additional questions, however, to which this discusser would appreciate the aut hors comments. The proposed approach is valid when the contingencies under study can be guaranteed to yield a post stable equilibrium point to which the system converges; Yarge perturbations that make the system unstable by driving it outside its stability region cannot be detected by a linearized approach. Assuming that this is the case, i.e., only small perturbations are taken into account, the number of neurons will definitely depend on the number of contingencies considered; hence, the more perturbations, the longer it would take to train the neural network. The latter is certainly not a problem as this training can be done off-line. However, if the training set does not contain the right perturbations, the neural network will not be able to correctly detect the collapse problems. Do the authors have a sense of what would be the minimum number of contingencies needed to correctly train the proposed neural network? This would be obviously system dependent; nevertheless, this discusser is interested on the experience of the authors with the IEEE 118-bus test system.

terion discussed above. Another possible explanation for this oscillatory problem could be that the system has reached a Hopf bifurcation point, rather than a typical saddle-node or collapse point [F]. Have the authors study the reasons for these oscillations?

[A] T. J. Overbye and C. L. DeMarco, Voltage security enhancement using energy based sensitivities, IEEE Trans. Power Systems, vol. 6 , no. 3, August 1991, pp. 1196-1202. [B] C. L. DeMarco and C. A. Caiiizares, A vector energy function approach for security analysis of ac/dc systems, IEEE Trans. Power Systems, vol. 7, no. 3, August 1992, pp. 10011011. [C] C. A. Caiiizares, F. L. Alvarado, C. L. DeMarco, I. Dobson, and W. F. Long, Point of collapse methods applied to ac/dc power systems, IEEE Trans. Power Systems, vol. 7, no. 2, May 1992, pp. 673-683. [D] I. Dobson and H. D. Chiang, Towards a theory of voltage collapse in electric power systems, Systems d Control Letters, vol. 13, 1989, pp. 253-262.

[E] C. A. Caiiizares, On bifurcations, voltage collapse and load modeling, IEEE Trans. Power Systems, vol. 10, no. 1, February 1995, pp. 512-522.

[F] C. A. Caiiizares and S. Hranilovic, Transcritical and Hopf

bifurcations in ac/dc systems, pp. 105-114 in [GI.

[GI L. H. Fink, editor, Proc. Bulk Power System Voltage Phenomena 111-Voltage Stability and Security, ECC Inc., Fairfax, VA, August 1994.
Manuscript received August 15, 1995
L.L. h i * and R. Yokoyama, (Department of Electrical Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan): The authors are to be commended for presenting an interesting paper. We would like to offer the following comments on the paper:

A similar problem to the one described above for contingencies can occur with loading patterns, as the pattern of load changes that drives the system to voltage collapse significantly affects the system conditions at which this collapse takes place. From the paper is apparent that the authors only used one particular loading pattern; however, there ought to be a minimum number of patterns, depending on the system, that should allow for a correct training of the neural network. Do the authors have an idea of what this number is for the test system?

Neural networks (NNs) have recently attracted a great deal of attention owing to their ability to learn most classes of non-linear continuous functions with bounded inputs and outputs to an acceptable accuracy.
In engineering fields, one of the most important application of artificial neural networks is modelling a system with an unknown input-output relation. Usually, we do not have accurate information of the system and we can only make use of observations from the system. In such a case, given a fixed architecture of networks, parameters are modified by the stochastic gradient descent method which eventually minimises a certain loss function. An important but difficult problem is to determine the optimal number of parameters. In other works, we wish to determine the number of neurons needed to mimic the system by using only input-output examples. The difficulty is because an increase in the number of the parameters lessens the output errors for the training examples, but increases the errors for the test data. The selection of the optimal number of hidden layers and neurons in each layers is still a difficult research problem [l].

3. The following comments relate closely to the issues discussed above. Figure 5 shows the actual results of the dynamic simulation of the full non-linear system for a series of perturbations (load increases and line trip) at different points in time. The distance to collapse ( J L ) is monitored with the help of a neural network, showing that the system gets closer to the collapse point as new perturbations are applied. Based on bifurcation and nonlinear system theory, its is a known fact that the stability region of the system becomes smaller as the system approaches the collapse or bifurcation point [A, B, C]. Hence, for a heavily loaded system, any relatively large perturbations would make the system unstable due to its small stability region. This seems to be the case depicted in Fig. 5, as the voltage profile does not present the standard monotonic collapse typical of saddle-node bifurcation problems [D, E], but rather it shows an oscillatory mode that could be justified based on the standard transient stability cri-

The authors, based on a least-squares approach, have proposed a fast learning algorithm to train a neural network for voltage security monitoring. It was claimed that this algorithm allows the optimal number of hidden neurons to be easily determined, assuring, just in the

1339 training phase, an acceptable generalisation level. However, it is not clear how the proposed design procedure would result in an optimal NN-configuration. Is the NN architecture for voltage security monitoring as shown in Figure 1 an optimal configuration? Have the authors experimented with a different number of hidden layers and neurons per hidden layer? The possibility of ANN retraining to handle changes in system configuration has not been addressed. The use of whether one or several neural networks will depend also on the parameter maintenance of the network. For maintenance purposes, it will be easier for the one neural network case but for training purposes, it will be more efficient to have several small neural networks instead. It would be useful to know about the robustness and sensitivity of the proposed neural network as well? Reference Requirement and Modelling Adequacy, IEE Proc. C,

V01.140, NO. 4, pp.279-286, July 1993.

Manuscript received September 11, 1995.

M. Trovato, F. Torelli (Dipartimento di Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica, Politecnico di Bari, via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari-Italy) M. La Scala, Universitg di Napoli, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica, via Claudio 21, 80125 Napoli-Italy. The authors thank the discussers, C. A. Canizares, L.L. Lai, R. Yokoyama and M.K. Pal, for their comments. Answer to the discussion of C A . CANIZARES: On the basis of our experience, the number of hidden neurons is not strictly dependent on the number of contingencies which
should be taken into account to corrt~tly train the neural network. More important is to have the possibility of reducing to acceptable values the errors in the generalization phase, by sharing among two or more neural networks the task of monitoring the voltage stability of the system. In the paper, we considered, for the IEEE 118-bus test system, the most general case where all the 177 links of the system were monitored, using a single neural network with one @put neuron for each line. This was intentionally done to investigate the ability of the neural network to handle a large, unique data base, when an adequate learning algorithm is available. In Fig. C1, the comparison between desired and actual values of the voltage stability index is shown for the entire set of original input-output paterns. In addition, we illustrate the case where only the 16 most relevant line-contingencies are considered in the input vector. The neural network has been retrained including, in the training set, input-output patterns corresponding to line-contingencies not considered in the input vector. The results are shown in Fig. C2, for the original set of available input-output patterns. In this case, the neural network makes the highest errors expecially on the patterns of the validation set corresponding to the line-contingencies not included in the input vector. These results can be still acceptable since the mean error is about 10%. However, this error can be remarkably reduced by sharing between two neural networks the task of monitoring the voltage stability of the system. One neural network has been designed for monitoring only the standard system configuration and the 16 most relevant contingencies. The other neural network has been trained to monitor the voltage stability of the system for the remaining contingencies. In order to design the first neural network, the input-output patterns corresponding to the standard system configuration and the 16 previously considered linecontingencies have been extracted from the original set of data. The results are shown in Fig. C3. The errors in this case are reduced to insignificant values. Analogous results have been obtained for the second neural network. Concerning with the number of loading patterns that should be considered to correctly training the neural network, our experience on the IEEE118-bus system is that only the load demand to 30-35 selected load buses, among 99 load buses, is determinant for the voltage stability limit. In general, for a selected area of a large power system, different loading patterns should be taken into account, only if there is a real possibility that the participation factors could remarkably vary for that area. In this case, the training phase should account for different sets of participation factors. Regarding the third question, small-disturbance voltage stability is studied, in this paper, using the Bifurcation Theory. It has been shown that there are two types of static (saddle-node) and dynamic (Hopf) bifurcation in power systems: one is associated with the generator mechanical dynamics and the other is in the flux decay and control system dynamics (see Refs. 1 and 3 of the paper). Then, using the conditions (2) and (3) of the paper, we excluded, in forming the set of input-output patterns, cases where the instability of the system could be due to generator mechanical dynamics.

1. L L Lai et al., Fault diagnosis for HVDC systems with neural networks, Preprints of papers, Vol 9, 12th International Federation of Automatic Control P A C ) World Congress, July 1993, Australia, 179-182.

* On leave from City University, London, UK.

Manuscript received August 17, 1995.

M.K. Pal (Consultant, Edison, NJ): This paper describes a methodology for assessing voltage security. Voltage security indices are defined in terms of power margin and voltage margin. Power margin is the distance of the operating state from the maximum power point which is voltage stable. Similarly, voltage margin is defined in terms of bus voltage magnitude deviation. We have serious concerns about the voltage stability analysis procedure used as the basis of the methodology of the paper. The application of bifurcation theory to power system voltage stability problems has been shown to be mostly flawed [A]. The various bifurcations discussed in the literature on voltage stability, some of which are illustrated in Section 2 of the paper, have never been shown, on a rigorous mathematical basis, to have anything to do with voltage stability. A major source of the problem was the use of invalid load models [A,B]. It has been shown that when a constant power model, or an exponential model with exponent value less than unity, is chosen for the load, the power system voltage stability model formulated as in (1) -(3), will lead to invalid and sometimes absurd conclusions as to the voltage stability status of the system [A,B]. This paper uses a constant power load model and consequently the results presented in the paper are invalid. The information generated from the use of such a model, if provided to the operators, will therefore have the potential of harmful consequences. Note that the growing oscillations of the voltage magnitude as shown in Fig. 5 of the paper are not real. Oscillations of load bus voltage may sometimes be observed as a result of adverse interaction between the generator AVR control settings and the complex load dynamics. The instability shown in Fig. 5 is, however, a direct consequence of using a constant power load model in a dynamic simulation. Replacing this load model by a realistic one would reveal a completely different instability scenario.
[A] [B] M.K. Pal, discussions of references [I, 3, 41. M.K. Pal, Voltage Stability: Analysis Needs, Modelling

voltage stability index




0.6 1000




number of patterns Fig. C1

I voltage stability index

total square error Dv in the validation phase (see eqn. 20). This is the unique objective of the proposed design procedure, since the minimization of the error D, in the training phase, does not consitute a relevant problem because it could be reduced to zero exactly, by assuming nh = nt. We applied the suggested design procedure, with further simple assumptions, to the case where two hidden layers are included and the transfer function of the neurons in the output layer is a sigmoid function. Although this neural network structure should give potentially better results, a negligible reduction of the errors in the generalization phase was observed. Using the fast learning strategy proposed in the paper, training times are considerably reduced. For the case illustrated in Section 5, the design of the neural network which gives as output the voltage stability index, takes about 23 s on a DEC Alpha 3000/500. Thus, parameter maintenance is not a serious drawback as in gradient descent techniques, like Error Back Propagation method. Robustness and sensitivity constitute a general problem for layered neural networks, although they greatly depend on the desired accuracy. Our experience is that it is essential to provide an adequate set of data which the neural network should be trained on.
Answer to the discussion of M.K. Pal The main scope of the paper is to demonstrate the ability of a neural network to predict the voltage stability of a power system. We claim, in illustrating eqn. (l), that the state vector Az can include any resonable model of dynamic load. We assumed a constant power model for loads, in the Test Results, for purposes of comparison with the results obtained by other researchers. Although this model is widely used in different approaches, its conservativeness is well known. We agree with the discusser on the opportunity of representing adequately the loads [Cl, C2, C3], although this choice increases remarkably the computational burden of the problem. This is the reason because static models of loads are used in most of voltage stability studies. About the ability of the neural network to predict correctly the voltage stability of the system when exponential models are considered for loads, we applied the suggested approach to the New England test system [C4], using real and reactive exponents equal to 1.5 for each bus of the system. In Fig. C4 the error between desired and actual values of the voltage stability index is reported. These results show the generality of the approach, provided that a suitable load representation is adopted.




number of patterns Fig. C2 voltage stability index 0.6



500 1000 1500 number of patterns
Fig. C3


1000 2000 number of patterns

Fig. C4


Answer to the discussion o f L.L. Lai and R. Yokoyama The term 'optimal NN-configuration' is used in the paper only to outline that the number of neurons in the hidden layer is determined with the aim of obtaining a minimum value of the

Regarding the nature of the voltage instability addressed in the last question of the discussion, we considered an exponential model of load with exponents equal to 1.5 for each bus of the IEEE 118-bus system. The voltage stability limit increases to 59.4 p.u. showing the same oscillatory behavior of the case simulated


in the paper. Using the eigenvalues tracking we observed that, also in this case, oscillations were due to interactions between AVRs and loads. We still classify this case as a voltage stability Droblem due to a Hopf bifurcation, as reported -by other authors [C5,C6,C7].

REFERENCES M. Brucoli, M. La Scala, F. Torelli, M. Trovato, "A semydynamic approach to the voltage stability analysis of interconnected power networks with random loads", Int. J. o f Electric Power & Energy Systems, vol. 12, n. 1, January 1990, pp. 9-16. M. Brucoli, M. La Scala, R. Sbrizzai, M. Trovato, "Modelling of induction motor loads in power-system voltage stability studies", European Transactions on Electrical Power Engineering, ETEP, vol.1, n.1, 1991, pp, 79-88. M. Brucoli, M. La Scala, R. Sbrizzai, M. Trovato, "Voltage stability analysis of interconnected power systems with frequency dependent loads", IEE Proceedings, Pt. C, vol. 140, n. 1, January 1993, pp. 1-6.

[C4] L. Gabellone, R. Sbrizzai, M. Trovato and M. La Scala, "Inteligent Load Shedding Shemes to Prevent Voltage Instability During Emergency Conditions", Proc. of Int. Conf. on Advances in Power System Control, Operation & Management (APSCOM-95), Hong Kong, 9-1 1 Nov. 1995. [C5] C. Rajagopalan, B. Lesieutre, P.W. Sauer and M.A. Pai, "Dynamic Aspects of VolatageRower Characteristics", IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 7, No. 3, August 1992, pp. 990-1000. [C6] M.A. Pai, P.W. Sauer, B.C. Lesieutre and R. Adapa, "Structural Stability in Power Systems - Effects of Load Models", IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 10, NO. 2, August 1995, pp. 609-615. [C7] T. Van Cutsem and C.D. Vournas, "Voltage Stability Analysis in Transient and Mid-Term Time Scales", paper 95 WM 182-6 PWRS of the IEEEPES Winter Meeting, New York, Gen-Feb. 1995.

Manuscript received October 20, 1995.