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Optimal Load Frequency Control Based on Artificial Bee Colony Optimization

Applied to Single, Two and Multi-Area Interconnected Power Systems

Nour EL Yakine Kouba, Mohamed Menaa, Mourad Hasni and Mohamed Boudour
Laboratory of Electrical Industrial Systems (LSEI),
University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB), Bab Ezzouar,
Algiers, Algeria,;;;

Abstract— This paper describes an application of Artificial Bee In last decades, a numerous methods, control strategies and
Colony (ABC) to load frequency control (LFC) in single, two and intelligent techniques have been proposed to solve frequency
multi-area interconnected power systems. The proposed ABC regulation problem [3-7]. Nevertheless, the present
algorithm is used to obtain the optimal values of the publications in this field are still showing a continuous interest
proportional-integral-derivation (PID) controller parameters
for designing LFC systems. The most extensively used
based load frequency control (LFC). The principal function of
the LFC loop is to control the frequency and active power. The controls in the industry are based on classical PI or PID
main aim of this work is to suppress all the fluctuations of the controllers. Unfortunately, classical controllers have certain
system due to the disturbance and get back the frequency at problems such as: the undesirable speed overshoot and the
nominal value. In order to analyze the system frequency and the slow response due to sudden load disturbance [6]. In other
tie-line power flow with the varying of the load, the simulation is hand, different methods have been proposed in the aim to
performed under load disturbances. Simulation results showed regulate this problem. However, the difficulties in LFC are not
good performance in terms of settling time and peak overshoot of only to design a robust controller but it also to optimize its
the proposed approach compared to the traditional Ziegler- parameters effectively for optimal solution [7]. To attain this
Nichols, Genetics Algorithm (GA), Particle Swarm Optimization
objective, many optimization approaches are applied in LFC
(PSO) and Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) methods, and
the ability of the proposed algorithm to solve load frequency problem and are available in the literature such as: Genetics
control problems under different disturbances is confirmed. Algorithm (GA) [8], Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO)
technique [5-9], Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) [9],
Keywords-Optimal Control; Load Frequency Control (LFC); Differential Evolution Algorithm (DEA) [10], Artificial
PID Controller; Artificial Bee Colony Optimization(ABC). Neural Networks (ANN) [5], Fuzzy Logic Control (FLC) [4]
and other intelligent approaches.
I. INTRODUCTION In this paper, the Artificial Bee Colony (ABC)
optimization algorithm based PID type controller is proposed
Electrical power system is a combination of generation,
as a solution to the optimal LFC problem in the aim to
transmission and distribution networks. Over the last century
overcome frequency instability problem. The proposed ABC
power systems are developed significantly [1-2]. Thus, the
approach has been tested on isolated single-area,
different component and products connected to the power
network are sensitive to the continuity and quality of power interconnected two-area and multi-area power systems. To
supply such as frequency and voltage. The frequency has an show the effectiveness of the proposed ABC algorithm, the
observed simulation results are compared with the ones
inverse relationship with the load that is changing continually,
obtained by the classical Ziegler-Nichols method, the meta-
and the change in real power affects the system frequency [3].
heuristics particle swarm optimization (PSO), genetics
The main constraint in an electrical system is to keep the
algorithm (GA) and bacterial foraging optimization (BFO)
deviations of the frequency constant. So as to maintain the
frequency constant, each generating unit is equipped with methods. A comparative study in view of settling time and
speed governor and LFC control loop to regulate the peak overshoot is presented in this paper. The results prove
that the proposed Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) technique has
frequency and real power and hold their values at the
better dynamic response compared to other optimization
scheduled values. The foremost task of load frequency control
is to keep the frequency close to the required nominal value
(50Hz or 60 Hz) against the randomly varying active power The present paper is organized as follows: section I
loads, and minimize the tie-line power exchange error. Today, included this introduction, section II describes the power
design a robust load frequency controller is one of the most system modeling, section III present the proposed Artificial
important challenges in control and design of an electrical Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm, section IV is devoted to the
power system [4]. Therefore, LFC of a single area and presentation of the simulation results, finally we conclude this
interconnected power systems has received much attention to paper with a conclusion in section V.
improve quality and reliability of the electrical network [5].
Automatic Generation Control (AGC) in power systems
operation has been a major issue of concern to power system
operators. The design of a robust frequency controller for a
single, two or multi-area power systems is become one of big
challenges in power system stability and control. In general, a
power generating unit can be modeled as shown in Fig.1.

Fig.1. Controls loops of a synchronous generator. Fig.3. Control area model in interconnected power system.

In isolated single area, interconnected two, three or multi- In the interconnected two, three or multi-area power
area power systems, each plant is controlled based on the systems, different areas are tied with each other by tie-lines,
same AGC philosophy and equipped with the same controls and the power flows between the areas are allowed by these
loops, which is composed of a governor, turbine, load tie-lines. The tie-line power deviation ¨PTij between area i and
frequency control (LFC), automatic voltage regulator (AVR) area j can be expressed [4-7]:
and generator. dΔPTij
For the purpose of frequency control study and analysis in = Tij ( Δfi − Δf j ) (4)
the presence of load disturbances, the single-area dynamic
Frequency control is one of the most profitable auxiliary
model is depicted in Fig.2 [3], and in the case of
services for the power systems through maintaining short term
interconnected power system each control area is presented
balance of frequency and active power of the power systems.
based on this single-area model.
Frequency regulation is usually accomplished through
generator primary frequency regulation (governor) and
secondary LFC control loop [1-4].
The main goal of LFC is to observe the system, take care
of small changes in load demand and reestablish primary
frequency regulation capacity, return the frequency to its
nominal value and minimize unscheduled tie-line power flows
between neighboring control areas in the case of
interconnected power system [5-6].
In order to satisfy the LFC objectives, a control error signal
named the area control error (ACE) is measured. This signal is
a linear combination of net interchange and frequency
deviation and represents the real power unbalance between
Fig.2. Single area power system model.
supply and load of power. The area control error (ACE) is
given by [2]:
Moreover in large interconnected power system with
ACEi = ΔPTij + β i Δf i (5)
several control areas, the modeling of a typical control area-i,
which includes n generating units, from a Z-control area Where: ȕi is the frequency response characteristic for area i.
power system is presented in Fig.3, and the differential
mathematical model of such area can be written [5]: The equivalent frequency bias factor is given by:
d Δ Pvmi 1 i =n 1 i =n
(U mi − ( KGmi * Δ fi ) − Δ Pvmi ) (1) βeq = ¦ + ¦ Di (6)
mi i =1 Ri i =1
d Δ PT Each generating unit is equipped with PID controllers to
dt TT
mi = 1 Δ Pv − Δ P
mi Tmi ) ; m=1….n (2) improve the LFC control performances, and the control signal
mi inputted in each unit is given by:
d Δ fi 1 § l =n · dACEi
= ¨ ¦ Δ PT − ¦ Δ Ptiei − Δ PD − Deqi * Δ fi ¸
¨ li i ¸
(3) U i = K P .ACEi + K I .³ ACEi .dt + K D . (7)
dt M eq © l =1
i ¹ dt
III. ARTIFICIAL BEE COLONY OPTIMIZATION ALGORITHM In this paper, the error function Integral Time of Square
In recent years, swarm intelligence has become a research Error (ITSE) is used as an objective function for the load
interest for many scientists in various areas and topics [10], frequency control. The main objective is to use the ABC
and the nature inspired algorithm has gain popularity because algorithm in order to minimize the error function ITSE given
of the inherent quality of biological systems to adapt to any in Eq. (8) and obtain the optimal PID controller.
kind of changing environment [11]. One of the more recent The general ITSE performance criterion formula is as follows:
standard examples of swarm is bee colony swarming around ∞ ∞
ITSE = ³ t.( x ( t ) − y ( t ) ) .dt = ³ t.( e ( t ) )2 .dt
their hive. The artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm also (8)
named swarm optimization is proposed by Karaboga in 0 0
2005[10-11], and the performance of ABC is analyzed in 2007 In the case of single-area:
[12]. Such as any meta-heuristic algorithm, the Artificial Bee t
Colony (ABC) algorithm is a general set of sequentially 2
ITSE = ³ t.( Δ f1 ) .dt (9)
executable operations which are applicable to several
optimization problems [13-14]. The ABC algorithm simulates
In the case of interconnected two-area:
the intelligent foraging behavior of honey bee swarms and the
basic idea behind this algorithm is to find similarity between 2 2 2
the way bees look for food source and the way an optimization ITSE = ³ t.( ( Δ f1 ) + ( Δ f 2 ) + ( Δ P12 ) ).dt (10)
algorithm finds the solution. Compared to other optimization
algorithms, the main advantage of ABC algorithm lays in that In the case of interconnected four-area:
it conducts both local search and global search in each 2 2 2 2
iteration and as a result the probability of finding the optimal ITSE = ³ t.( ( Δ f1 ) + ( Δ f2 ) + ( Δ f3 ) + ( Δ f4 ) +
0 (11)
parameters is significantly increased, which efficiently avoid
2 2 2 2
local optimum to a large extent. In ABC algorithm, the colony ( ΔP12 ) + ( ΔP23 ) + ( ΔP34 ) + ( ΔP14 ) ).dt
of artificial bees consists of three categories of bees: employed
bees, onlookers and scout bees. Moreover the solution is IV. SIMULATION RESULTS
determined by the position of the food sources and the amount
of nectar represents to fitness of this respective solution and This section presents the simulation results of the proposed
the foraging strategy is regulated by three processes namely: Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) optimization approach by a
Initialization, Reproduction and Replacement of bee and comparison with the results of the Ziegler-Nichols, genetics
Selection [15]. The flowchart of the artificial bee colony algorithm (GA), particle swarm optimization (PSO) and
algorithm is given in Fig.4 [11-16]. bacterial foraging optimization (BFO) methods.
The performance of the proposed algorithm, under
Initial Food Source Positions
different disturbances is investigated for three different test
Calculate the Nectar Amounts
systems, which are the single-area, interconnected two-area
and four-area power systems. The values of the different
parameters of the test systems are given in Appendix.
Determine the New Food Positions
for the employed Bees The test systems are simulated for 0.1pu step load
perturbation in one or multi-area. The PID parameters are
Calculate the Nectar Amounts
Determine the Neighbour Food Source
given in Table I.
for the Onlooker
All Onlookers No
Select a Food Source for an Onlooker Parameters
Distributed? Kp Ki Kd
Yes Ziegler-Nichols 0.4713 2.63 0.6575
Memorize the Position of Best Food Source
GA 0.9971 0.9775 0.8729
PSO 3.1205 2.7821 2.4641
BFO 2.8718 1.7219 1.9680
Find the Abandoned Food Sources ABC 3.8648 5.2572 2.8802

Produce New Position for the

A. Single-Area Results
Exhausted Food Sources The single-area model shown in Fig.2 in section II is
considered for the simulation, which is composed of governor,
turbine, generator, load and LFC based PID controller. This
Is the Termination
Criteria Satisfied? system is simulated for 0.1pu step load disturbance. The
No system frequency is analyzed before (without LFC) and after
Final Food Source Positions
LFC controller implementation (with LFC) and the
fluctuations in the system frequency are shown in Fig.5.
Fig.4. Flowchart of the proposed ABC algorithm.
C. Large Interconnected Multi-Area Results
To show the capability of the proposed ABC approach to
solve LFC problems over several disturbances in large multi-

area power system, the study is extended to a four-area
interconnected power system as shown in Fig.10.

Plant 2 Plant 1
Withou LFC ¨f2 ¨f1
With ACE
-0.3 Class ical Ziegler-Nichols
Area-2 Area-1
¨P23 ¨P14
Proposed ABC
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
time (s)

Fig.5. Frequency fluctuation in single-area. ¨P34

Plant 3 Plant 4
¨f2 ¨f4
B. Interconnected Two-Area Results
The interconnected two-area power system shown in Fig.6 Area-3 Area-4
is used for the simulation and the results are given in Figs.7, 8 Fig.10. Proposed multi-area interconnected power system.
and 9 respectively.
The multi-area system is simulated for 0.1pu step load
Plant 2
Plant 1
disturbance in area-1 and area-2, and the simulation results of
¨f2 ¨f1 the system frequency in each area are shown in Figs.11, 12, 13
and 14 respectively; and the tie-lines power flows between
Area-2 Area-1 areas are shown in Figs.15, 16, 17 and 18 respectively.
Fig.6. Two-area interconnected power system.
Frequency deviation (HZ)inArea-1 Classical Ziegler-Nichols
Tie-linepower flowdeviation (MW)

0 0.05 Proposed ABC

Classical Ziegler-Nichols
GA -0.05
-10 BFO
Proposed ABC -0.1

-15 -0.15

0 5 10 15 20 25 30
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 time (s)
time (s)
Fig.11. Frequency deviation in Area-1.
Fig.7. Tie-line power flow deviation.
Frequencydeviation(HZ) inArea-2

0.08 Classical Ziegler-Nichols

Classical Ziegler-Nichols
0.1 0.06
0.05 ProposedABC Proposed ABC




-0.15 -0.08

-0.2 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
time (s)
time (s)
Fig.8. Frequency deviation in Area-1. Fig.12. Frequency deviation in Area-2.
Frequencydeviation(HZ) inArea-3
Frequencydeviation(HZ) inArea-2

Classical Ziegler-Nichols Classical Ziegler-Nichols

0.06 GA 0.1 GA
0.04 0.05
Proposed ABC Proposed ABC




-0.08 -0.2
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
time (s) time (s)
Fig.9. Frequency deviation in Area-2. Fig.13. Frequency deviation in Area-3.
0.1 14

Tie-line power flow deviation 4-1 (MW)

Frequency deviation (HZ) in Area-4

0.08 Classical Ziegler-Nichols 12

GA Classical Ziegler-Nichols
0.06 PSO GA
0.04 Proposed ABC BFO
Proposed ABC
-0.1 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
time (s)
time (s)
Fig.18. Tie-line power flow deviation between area-4 and area-1.
Fig.14. Frequency deviation in Area-4.
D. Comparison and Discussion of results
Tie-line power flow deviation 1-2 (MW)

The changes in frequency deviation ¨fi in each area and
the deviation in the tie-lines power flows between the
interconnected zones ¨Ptieij under the multi- load disturbances
-2 Classical Ziegler-Nichols
are analyzed. The LFC performance with optimized PID
-4 PSO controller (GA, PSO and BFO) and conventional Ziegler-
-6 Proposed ABC Nichols tuned PID controller are compared with that of the
proposed ABC method. To demonstrate the superiority of the
proposed algorithm the simulation results are tabulated in
view of peak over shoot and settling time for each simulation
-12 case as presented in Tables II, III and IV.
The system frequency and the tie-line power flow are
0 5 10 15
time (s)
20 25 30
suppressed if both areas adopt LFC. With optimal PID
Fig.15. Tie-line power flow deviation between area-1 and area-2. controller the fluctuations of the system are suppressed most
effectively. Using the proposed ABC algorithm, the time of
suppressing the fluctuation is very short compared with the
Tie-line power flow deviation 2-3 (MW)

Classical Ziegler-Nichols
time given by the traditional Ziegler-Nichols, genetics
10 GA algorithm (GA), particle swarm optimization (PSO) and
bacterial foraging optimization (BFO) methods. The
Proposed ABC
simulation results indicated that the proposed ABC algorithm
give better results than others techniques and can grantees the
stability of the overall system and achieves good performance
2 even in the presence of multi-disturbances.
Frequency Without With Z-N GA PSO BFO ABC
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Peak Over
time (s) shoot [Hz] 0.3746 0.2665 0.1722 0.1493 0.08147 0.08786 0.07339
Fig.16. Tie-line power flow deviation between area-2 and area-3. Settling
Time [s] - - 13.91 6.187 5.093 5.877 4.08
Tie-line power flow deviation 3-4 (MW)


Tuning PID controller 0.1 pu step load disturbance in area-1
techniques Ziegler- GA PSO BFO ABC
Classical Ziegler-Nichols Nichols
-4 Max
PSO Frequency 0.1633 0.1423 0.08382 0.09356 0.076
-6 Area-1 Settling time
Proposed ABC
23.03 9.376 7.369 8.629 4.759
Frequency 0.07375 0.06055 0.02161 0.02667 0.01807
-10 deviation[HZ]
Area-2 Settling time
27.98 9.589 6.155 9.321 3.474
-12 [s]
-14 Tie-line 15.97 13.89 5.48 6.525 4.038
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 deviation[MW]
time (s) 1_2 Settling time
23.17 8.593 6.32 9.619 4.302
Fig.17. Tie-line power flow deviation between area-3 and area-4. [s]
Tuning PID controller 0.1 pu step load disturbance in area-1 and area-2 Data of a typical area power system:
techniques Ziegler- GA PSO BFO ABC
Reference Frequency: f= 50Hz; Inertia constant: M=10; Load-
Frequency Max
damping constant: D= 0.9 pu; Governor time constant:
0.1536 0.1347 0.07859 0.08803 0.07164 TH=0.3s; Turbine time constant: TT=0.6 s; Speed governor
Area-1 deviation[HZ]
Settling time
18.61 10.83 8.309 9.66 5.12 gain: R=5%.
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