Investigating evolutionary computation with smart mutation for three types of Economic Load Dispatch optimisation problem
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The Economic Load Dispatch (ELD) problem is an optimisation task concerned with how electricity generating stations can meet their customers’ demands while minimising under/over-generation, and minimising the operational costs of running the generating units. In the conventional or Static Economic Load Dispatch (SELD), an optimal solution is sought in terms of how much power to produce from each of the individual generating units at the power station, while meeting (predicted) customers’ load demands. With the inclusion of a more realistic dynamic view of demand over time and associated constraints, the Dynamic Economic Load Dispatch (DELD) problem is an extension of the SELD, and aims at determining the optimal power generation schedule on a regular basis, revising the power system configuration (subject to constraints) at intervals during the day as demand patterns change. Both the SELD and DELD have been investigated in the recent literature with modern heuristic optimisation approaches providing excellent results in comparison with classical techniques. However, these problems are defined under the assumption of a regulated electricity market, where utilities tend to share their generating resources so as to minimise the total cost of supplying the demanded load. Currently, the electricity distribution scene is progressing towards a restructured, liberalised and competitive market. In this market the utility companies are privatised, and naturally compete with each other to increase their profits, while they also engage in bidding transactions with their customers. This formulation is referred to as: Bid-Based Dynamic Economic Load Dispatch (BBDELD). This thesis proposes a Smart Evolutionary Algorithm (SEA), which combines a standard evolutionary algorithm with a “smart mutation” approach. The so-called ‘smart’ mutation operator focuses mutation on genes contributing most to costs and penalty violations, while obeying operational constraints. We develop specialised versions of SEA for each of the SELD, DELD and BBDELD problems, and show that this approach is superior to previously published approaches in each case. The thesis also applies the approach to a new case study relevant to Nigerian electricity deregulation. Results on this case study indicate that our SEA is able to deal with larger scale energy optimisation tasks.