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Accelerating the Gauss-Seidel Power Flow Solver on a High Performance Reconfigurable Computer

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5 Author(s)
Jong-Ho Byun ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA ; Ravindran, A. ; Mukherjee, A. ; Joshi, B.
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The computationally intensive power flow problem determines the voltage magnitude and phase angle at each bus in a power system for hundreds of thousands of buses under balanced three-phase steady-state conditions. We report an FPGA acceleration of the Gauss-Seidel based power flow solver employed in the transmission module of the GridLAB-D power distribution simulator and analysis tool. The prototype hardware is implemented on an SGI Altix-RASC system equipped with a Xilinx Virtex-II 6000 FPGA. Due to capacity limitations of the FPGA, only the bus voltage calculations of the power network are implemented on hardware while the branch current calculations are implemented in software. For a 200,000 bus system, the bus voltage calculation on the FPGA achieves a 48x speed-up with PQ buses and a 62x for PV over an equivalent sequential software implementation. The average overall speed up of the CPU-FPGA implementation with 100 iterations of the Gauss-Seidel power solver is 2.6x over a software implementation, with the branch calculations on the CPU accounting for 85% of the total execution time. The CPU-FPGA implementation also shows linear scaling with increase in the size of the input power network.

Published in:

Field Programmable Custom Computing Machines, 2009. FCCM '09. 17th IEEE Symposium on

Date of Conference:

5-7 April 2009