We present a solution framework for general alternating current optimal power flow (AC OPF) problems that include discrete decisions. The latter occur, for instance, in the context of the curtailment of renewables or the switching of power generation units and transmission lines. Our approach delivers globally optimal solutions and is provably convergent. We model AC OPF problems with discrete decisions as mixed-integer nonlinear programs. The solution method starts from a known framework that uses piecewise linear relaxations. These relaxations are modeled as as mixed-integer linear programs and adaptively refined until some termination criterion is fulfilled. In this work, we extend and complement this approach by problem-specific as well as very general algorithmic enhancements. In particular, these are mixed-integer second-order cone programs as well as primal and dual cutting planes. For example objective cuts and no-good-cuts help to compute good feasible solutions as where outer approximation constraints tighten the relaxations. We present extensive numerical results for various AC OPF problems where discrete decisions play a major role. Even for hard instances with a large proportion of discrete decisions, the method is able to generate high quality solutions efficiently. Furthermore, we compare our approach with state-of-the-art MINLP solvers after relaxing trigonometric AC OPF expressions to obtain MIQCP relaxations. Even for these slightly simpler instances our method outperforms all other algorithms.
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Discrete Optimization, Cauerstr. 11, 91058 Erlangen, Germany, August 2020