Optimal Power Flow Analysis Tool (OPF)

The PowerWorld Optimal Power Flow Analysis Tool (OPF) is an optional add-on to the base Simulator package. Simulator OPF starts with all the functionality of the original Simulator, but then adds an optimal power flow (OPF).  Simulator OPF provides the ability to optimally dispatch the generation in an area or group of areas while simultaneously enforcing the transmission line and interface limits. Simulator OPF can then calculate the marginal price to supply electricity to a bus (locational marginal price or LMP), while taking into account transmission system congestion.

The advantages of the Simulator OPF over other commercially available Optimal Power Flow packages include the ability to:

  • display the OPF results on system one-line diagrams and contour the results for ease of interpretation
  • export the OPF results to a spreadsheet, a text file, or a PowerWorld AUX file for added functionality


Demo Video (4 minutes) Locational Marginal Price (LMP) simulation in the PJM market:

Quick-Start Tutorial: Includes hands-on examples that will work on the free demo version of Simulator.


Simulator OPF grew out of a project completed with the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) looking at the cost of supplying electricity in the Northeast portion of the U.S.  Because this project involved studying relatively large systems, greater than 9,000 buses, we had to make Simulator OPF fast.  As an example, the figures below show contours of several thousand bus marginal costs in the New York and New England regions using FERC 715 data for the power system values and EIA supplied generation costs.  Solving the OPF for this 9,270 bus system – including enforcing approximately 20 binding transmission line MVA constraints and calculating the bus marginal prices at 5,627 buses – took about 10 seconds using a 500 MHz Pentium III machine.

Contour of Bus Marginal Prices in New York and New England

Detailed View of Western New York, with Transmission System