A bounded exhaustive search technique for optimal phasor measurement unit placement in power grids

Ahmad Asrul Ibrahim, Khairuddin Khalid, Hussain Shareef, Nor Azwan Mohamed Kamari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper proposes a technique to determine the possible optimal placement of the phasor measurement unit (PMU) in power grids for normal operating conditions. All possible combinations of PMU placement, including infeasible combinations, are typically considered in finding the optimal solution, which could be a massive search space. An integer search algorithm called the bounded search technique is introduced to reduce the search space in solving a minimum number of PMU allocations whilst maintaining full system observability. The proposed technique is based on connectivity and symmetry constraints that can be derived from the observability matrix. As the technique is coupled with the exhaustive technique, the technique is called the bounded exhaustive search (BES) technique. Several IEEE test systems, namely, IEEE 9-bus, IEEE 14-bus, IEEE 24-bus and IEEE 30-bus, are considered to showcase the performance of the proposed technique. An initial Monte Carlo simulation was carried out to evaluate the capability of the bounded search technique in providing a smaller feasible search space. The effectiveness of the BES technique in terms of computational time is compared with the existing exhaustive technique. Results demonstrate that the search space can be reduced tremendously, and the computational burden can be eased, when finding the optimal PMU placement in power grids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2021
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Bounded exhaustive search
  • Connectivity and symmetry constraints
  • Full system observability
  • Optimal placement
  • Phasor measurement unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • General Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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