Decentralized economic dispatch in microgrids via heterogeneous wireless networks

Hao Liang, Bong Jun Choi, Atef Abdrabou, Weihua Zhuang, Xuemin Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


As essential building blocks of the future smart grid, microgrids can efficiently integrate various types of distributed generation (DG) units to supply the electric loads at the minimum cost based on the economic dispatch. In this paper, we introduce a decentralized economic dispatch approach such that the optimal decision on power generation is made by each DG unit locally without a central controller. The prerequisite power generation and load information for decision making is discovered by each DG unit via a multiagent coordination with guaranteed convergence. To avoid a slow convergence speed which potentially increases the generation cost because of the time-varying nature of DG output, we present a heterogeneous wireless network architecture for microgrids. Low-cost short-range wireless communication devices are used to establish an ad hoc network as a basic information exchange infrastructure, while auxiliary dual-mode devices with cellular communication capabilities are optionally activated to improve the convergence speed. Two multiagent coordination schemes are proposed for the single-stage and hierarchical operation modes, respectively. The optimal number of activated cellular communication devices is obtained based on the tradeoff between communication and generation costs. The performance of the proposed schemes is analyzed and evaluated based on real power generation and load data collected from the Waterloo Region in Canada. Numerical results indicate that our proposed schemes can better utilize the cellular communication links and achieve a desired tradeoff between the communication and generation costs as compared with the existing schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6194238
Pages (from-to)1061-1074
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Decentralized economic dispatch
  • heterogeneous wireless networks
  • microgrid
  • multiagent coordination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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