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This paper proposes a mixed-integer conic programming formulation for the minimum loss distribution network reconfiguration problem. This formulation has two features: first, it employs a convex representation of the network model which is based on the conic quadratic format of the power flow equations and second, it optimizes the exact value of the network losses. The use of a convex model in terms of the continuous variables is particularly important because it ensures that an optimal solution obtained by a branch-and-cut algorithm for mixed-integer conic programming is global. In addition, good quality solutions with a relaxed optimality gap can be very efficiently obtained. A polyhedral approximation which is amenable to solution via more widely available mixed-integer linear programming software is also presented. Numerical results on practical test networks including distributed generation show that mixed-integer convex optimization is an effective tool for network reconfiguration.
Date of Publication: May 2012