Anda di halaman 1dari 4

2006 IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition Latin America, Venezuela 1

Optimal Capacitor Location for Radial Systems

using Genetic Algorithms
Luis Rojas, Rodolfo Garcia, and Luis Roa

combinations on the solutions set and find the optimal in a

reasonable amount of computational time. In this paper, GA
has been successfully tested on various radial distribution
systems. The model proposed was implemented on a
Microsoft Excel program. The rest of this paper is organized
as follows. In section II, we provide the structure of genetic
algorithms. We then show an example for optimal reactive
compensation using the software in section III explaining the
implementation of the test circuit and the results, and we
conclude in section IV with a brief discussion and suggestions
for further work.


GA is a search algorithm based on the mechanic of natural

selection. Basically, a GA makes a population that evolves
Index Terms— Capacitor placement, genetic algorithms,
learning algorithms, optimal power flows. through time using reproduction and mutation process [1].
Only individuals representing good solutions of the capacitor
I. INTRODUCTION placement problem will survive longer, and their genetic
information will be present in the next generation. At the end,
O NE of the usual techniques to reduce energy losses for
radial distribution systems is the location of capacitors on
one or more nodes of the system. An ideal reactive
after several generations, the interaction between these high
quality individuals will produce a final population which
represent the best solutions set of the problem.
compensation requires that all the inductive currents be zero,
but this just can be possible placing capacitors of the required A. Fixed capacitor encoding
kVAr on every node, and it is impractical due to the excessive Before of the genetic algorithm procedure, the real
cost and the load variation. The model for the optimal parameters of the problem must be represented in genetic
capacitor placement is a combinatorial problem. Solution must algorithm language. It means that location and size of the
be one which reduces the most possible energy losses and capacitors used are codified as a chromosome. The
needs the less money investment considering maintenance and representation chosen for this application is a chromosome
capacitors costs. Based on it, power and energy losses were divided in two parts [2]. First part indexes location of the
determined by some example simulations using “Fast capacitors. It is represented as binary values, where 1
decoupled Newton-Raphson method”. After it, optimal indicates the presence of one capacitor on a specific node and
capacitor placement was developed by use of Genetic 0 the absence. The second part indicates the size of the
Algorithms (GAs). GAs are the key to find the optimal capacitors used. It is composed by integer values, where each
solution for these types of problems because they are one symbolizes one type of capacitor size in kVAr. Fig. 1(a).
evolutionary algorithms very well known to be robust shows a simple schematic diagram of a chromosome encoding
methods due to their ability for exploring all possible for a radial distribution system with seven nodes and five
different types of capacitors size: 200,400,600,800 and 1000
All authors are Electrical Engineers from Universidad Nacional de kVAr. It is possible to see that nodes 2 and 7 have capacitors
R. Garcia works at the electrical distribution company “CODENSA “,
of 400 kVAr (type 2) and 200 kVAr (type 1). The total
Bogotá, Colombia. (e-mail: chromosome structure that models this particular situation in
L. Roa works at the electrical distribution company “CODENSA “, the example is illustrated in Fig.1 (b). The binary structure has
Bogotá, Colombia. (e-mail:
the value equals 1 in second and seventh position. For integer
L. Rojas is professor at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas,
Bogotá, Colombia. ( part, the sequence that follows is indifferent because the other
values of the first part of the chromosome are 0.In such cases,
1-4244-0288-3/06/$20.00 ©2006 IEEE

the numbers of the second part should be ignored.

B. Algorithm Methodology 2 3
4 6
The overall procedure is summarized as follows:
1) Create the genetic reserve at random
2) For each chromosome, evaluate objective function and 5 7
determine if technical restrictions are satisfied. If
chromosomes population has converged, capacitor 1
400 kVAr
results are printed. Unless go to the next step.
3) Recombine individuals based on reproduction 200 kVAr
4) Mutate some of new individuals (10%).
5) Evaluate objective function with individuals from the
previous step. Go to step 2.
The main parameters to determinate if a chromosome is a
very good solution depends of two factors: The objective
function and technical restrictions [3]. Equation (1) is the
objective function. It includes a sum of capacitors and
system’s losses costs (15 years). The less value subject to 0100001
restrictions must be found by GA.
Objectivefunction 8760 * S * E * 15  C 1 3425211

Where S represents system’s losses per hour (KWh), E

represents energy costs (USD$/KWh) and C represents
capacitor costs (b)

Fig. 1. Capacitor placement problem as a chromosome: (a) Real situation

We have considered 15 years as duty life of capacitors. It is in a radial system and (b) Codification
the capital recovery period respect to the initial cost of
capacitors [4].Energy cost used was the sum of generation
and transmission costs. nodes can not be higher than Qt. It implies that never will
Technical restrictions embrace all possible solutions that be a current flowing toward feeder at peak load.
even having a good value for objective function involve an We now describe briefly how the mechanisms of
unacceptable increase or decrease of some parameters of reproduction and mutation are simulated by GA. In
the system. The most important parameters can be reproduction process, firstly we randomly select a pair of
characterized as follows. chromosomes, with the same structure as we have shown in
Fig.1. In the next step, chromosomes are treated separately;
one for binary part and another for integer part.
1) Magnitudes of the voltage on system’s nodes: Nodal In binary part, for a given position, if two parents share
voltages must be in a range between 0.98 and 1.02 pu. It value, the chromosome produced by reproduction will keep
means that for all transformers connected to the nodes will it. If values are different, the result for new chromosome is
be at least a minimal value that assures a good voltage selected at random. In integer part, for a given position,
value in secondary network. This range can be fixed if the result will be the average of values found in the parents. If
system does not require a tolerance too close respect to result is not an integer value it will be approximated until
feeder voltage. closer value at random.
In mutation process, chromosome structure is modified.
2) Current flow by conductors: Given a capacitor This change is performed at random, but there is a
placement structure by GA, none of the branches current difference between binary and integer part. First one, is
circulating around system can be higher than maximal modified by choosing a position of individual at random
current supported by conductors. and changing the value for its opposite (1 by 0 and 0 by
1).Second part acts on integer values by adding or
3) Maximum reactive power provided by capacitors: Let’s subtracting a unity from its value. Fig. 2(a) and 2(b) shows
total reactive power demand of the distribution system be two examples from reproduction and mutation.
Qt. Then the result of sum of every capacitor connected on



= 1 11.4 0 ? ?
01110013242421 2 ? ? 385 288.75
3 ? ? 485 363.66
(a) 4 ? ? 302.5 226.82
5 ? ? 170 127.47
6 ? ? 86 54.85
11100013241521 7 ? ? 230 137




Fig.2. Two process in Genetic Algorithms: (a) Reproduction between two

chromosomes and (b) Mutation for a given chromosome.


A. Load Flow

Load flow method expose was developing using fast

decoupled Newton-Raphson method [5] and implemented
as a program in Microsoft Excel. The selection of this
method between many others [6] was motivated because
this is the only than consider the actualization of voltage (a)
and angle simultaneously. Respect to the program
interface, this flexible tool allows set parameters as
topology, current capacity, reactance, resistance,
susceptance, gauge and material of conductors, variable
load, energy cost, branch length, tolerance, base power,
base voltage, and others.
Once we can select the conductor of the distribution
system (in our case 397.5 MCM) and the selection of the
circuit’s topology (similar structure than Fig. 1, but without
capacitors) we can simulate the behavior of a circuit given
in table I. The aim of the computational algorithm is to find
voltage and angles for every node, given active and
reactive power for each one. Also we know the feeder
voltage (in our case we take this value as 11.4 kV) and the
conductors impedance (0, 1609 + J 0, 3847 ohms per
Km).Fig. 3(a) and 3(b) show program results. In Fig. 3(a),
we can see voltage and angle for every node as real value. (b)
Fig.3. Final software results in load flow: (a) Voltage and angle for every
Also we can see the power generated by feeder. In node and (b) System’s losses per hour.
Fig.3(b), system losses (MW) and maximal drop of voltage
are shown for each one of twenty four hours. From analysis B. Test case with Genetic Algorithms
made to example system, it is possible to conclude that Proposed method was implemented in software to find the
system losses in one day were 0, 21528 MWh and all the optimal capacitor placement for topology of Fig. 1 with
voltages are very close to 11,4kV, minimal was 11,263 kV variable load on each one of the 6 nodes during a twenty four
(node 7) and maximal was 11,335 kV (node 2). Then, it is hours period. Parameters of simulation were: base voltage
possible to conclude that this configuration system is 11.4kV, base power 1 MVA, maximum admissible tolerance
working under normal operation conditions.

planning studies or to take decisions about the convenience of

a specific reactive compensation plan. Then is a powerful tool
in the design of an electrical distribution system.
This method has a better performance than an expert system
because it can explore more than 100.000 solutions in a very
short computational time. So, the work presented is possible,
cheap and reliable to find the optimal capacitor placement in a
radial system.

The authors would like to thank D. Rairan for comments
that improved the presentation of this work.

[1] A. Mendes et al, “An evolutionary approach for capacitor placement in
distribution networks,” Brazil, Electrical Engineering Faculty
UNICAMP, 2001.
[2] K. Nara. et al , "Implementation of Genetic Algorithm for Distribution
System Loss Minimum Reconfiguration," IEEE Trans. Power System,
vol. 7, pp. 1044-1051, 1992.
[3] A. Merlin and H. Back, "Search for a minimal loss operation spanning
tree configuration for an urban power distribution system," in Proc of
Fig.4. List of chromosomes generated for the test case the power systems computation conference 1992, Cambridge.
[4] K. Aoki, H. Kuwabara, P. Kanezashi and T. Sato, "Voltage drop
for load flow error 0.00001, maximum admissible tolerance constrained restoration of supply by switch operation in distribution
for regulation (increase or decrease of need voltage respect systems," IEEE Trans. Power Delivery, vol. 3, pp. 1267-1274, 1988.
[5] B. Stott, "Decoupled Newton load flows," IEEE Trans. Power Delivery,
feeder voltage) 5 % and energy cost 20.5 U$/MWh. There vol. PAS-913, pp. 1955-1957, 1972.
were five options of capacitors with different costs: 0.2, 0.4, [6] D. Conner, "Representative bibliography on load-flow analysis and
0.6, 0.8 and 1 MVAr with respectively process of related topics," paper C73-104-7 presented at the 1973 IEEE Winter
Power Meetings, New York, USA.
5000,2500,1200,1200 and 400 U$/MVAr. Solutions given by [7] H. Dommel. et al, “Optimal power flow solutions,” IEEE Power. App.
GA are listed in Fig.4. The results of energy losses for a System, vol. PAS-87, pp. 1866-1876, 1968.
period of 15 years without compensation were 1.736.265

Luis Alejandro Rojas received the economics

These results are the different chromosomes produced in
master’s degree from the Universidad Nacional de
order to solve capacitor placement in test case. There are Colombia in 2005. Also he received the electrical
solutions that produce a drastic reduction of energy losses. engineering degree from the same university in 2002.
Best of these one was the capacitors location with sizes of Since 2002, he has been a professor at Universidad
Distrital Francisco José de Cáldas, Facultad
800 kVAr, 400 kVAr, and 400 kVAr on the nodes 3, 5 and 6, Tecnológica. Actually he is still working there and his
respectively. It has a decrease of 23.77% in energy losses work is related in fields as Electrical machines and
respect to the case without compensation. It means that economics engineering.
objective function has the value of 1.323.490 U$ versus
1.736.265 U$. It implies a significant economic saving, Rodolfo Garcia received the electrical engineering
because even including capacitor investment the objective degree from Universidad Nacional de Colombia in
2002. Now he is student in economics master’s degree
function has a less value than cost of energy losses without at Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
compensation. In this condition we can say that GA in Since 2001, he is working at the electrical distribution
capacitor placement produces the optimal power flow solution company CODENSA in Bogotá, Colombia in
[7]. different fields as electrical planning, distribution
networks and telecommunications work.

In this paper, a new method for solving capacitor
placement problem was described. It can provide specific Luis Fernando Roa received the electrical
location of fixed capacitors in order to reduce energy system’s engineering degree from Universidad Nacional de
losses. The load variation, the energy cost and capacitors sizes Colombia in 2003. Now he is student in economics
master’s degree at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá,
easily found in market were considered in the model. The Colombia.
program developed can be used in radial systems with Since 2002, he is working at the electrical
different topologies and load variation because it has flexible distribution company CODENSA in Bogotá,
parameters. Also it can be used as an analysis tool to make Colombia