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This paper presents a new approach for binary and real coded particle swarm optimization (BRPSO) algorithm to solve the unit commitment problem (UCP). On solving UCP, the proposed binary coded PSO finds the ON/OFF status of the generating units while the economic dispatch problem (EDP) is solved using the real coded PSO. Tanh function is proposed to improve the particle searching mechanism in binary PSO. The proposed methodology is tested and validated on 3, 17, 26 and 38 generating unit system for 24 hour scheduling horizon. The effectiveness of the proposed technique is demonstrated by comparing its performance with the other methods reported in the literature.