Optimal Economic Power Flow

26. January 2015

Aims & objectives

Against the background of liberalization of energy markets, increasing fuel costs and decentralized power generation by renewable energy sources, nowadays running an electrical power grid in an efficient way is becoming more and more important. The problem of determining an optimal operation state and an optimal power grid extension is known as ‘Optimal Power Flow’ (OPF). Mathematically speaking, OPF is a non-linear and non-convex optimization problem in up to millions of variables. Due to its high complexity, power system operators still have to use simplified physical models for describing electrical grids. The project ‘Optimal Economic Power Flow’ aims at developing new numerical approaches to handle the high problem size arising from an accurate alternating current (AC) physical model.

Research Topics

  •  Investigation of usability of existing nonlinear programming methods for solving the OPF problem
  •  Development of a specialized linear solver adopted to the underlying physical model
  •  Utilisation of large HPC systems to solve real-world scenarios
  •  Taking into account uncertainties in the physical model and available input data


Optimal Economic Power Flow is 2-year research project funded by German Research Foundation (DFG).


  • Institut für Elektroenergiesysteme und Hochspannungstechnik (IEH), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Institut für Industriebetriebslehre und Industrielle Produktion (IIP), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

People from HITS

  • Prof. Dr. Vincent Heuveline
  • Dr. Michael Schick
  • Philipp Gerstner

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