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This letter provides a tighter piecewise linear approximation of generating units' quadratic cost curves (QCCs) for unit commitment (UC) problems. In order to facilitate the UC optimization process with efficient mixed-integer linear programing (MILP) solvers, QCCs are piecewise linearized for converting the original mixed-integer quadratic programming (MIQP) problem into an MILP problem. Traditionally, QCCs are piecewise linearized by evenly dividing the entire real power region into segments. This letter discusses a rigorous segment partition method for obtaining a set of optimal segment points by minimizing the difference between chord and arc lengths, in order to derive a tighter piecewise linear approximation of QCCs and, in turn, a better UC solution as compared to the equipartition method. Numerical test results show the effectiveness of the proposed method on a tighter piecewise linear approximation for better UC solutions.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2011