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The Use Of Spreadsheets In Teaching The Power Flow Problem

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education III

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1263.1 - 14.1263.18



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Paper Authors

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Mark Lau Universidad del Turabo

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Sastry Kuruganty Universidad del Turabo

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Use of Spreadsheets in Teaching the Power-Flow Problem

1. Introduction

The solution to the power-flow problem is of fundamental importance in power system analysis and design. In transient stability studies and fault analysis, solutions to a power-flow problem constitute a necessary initial step in such analyses.

The objective of the power-flow problem is to calculate the voltage magnitudes and phase angles at each bus or node in a given power system. Calculations are performed under the assumption of balanced three-phase steady-state conditions. In addition to voltages and angles, real and reactive power flows in equipment such as transformers and transmission lines can be also obtained from these calculations.

The topics in this paper follow the treatment found in standard reference material on power sys- tem analysis and design.2−4 In particular, two numerical methods, namely, the Gauss-Seidel and the Newton-Raphson methods are used to determine the power flows in a small-scale power sys- tem. The examples are simple enough so that readers can replicate hand calculations and repro- duce the spreadsheet implementations. The application of spreadsheets for solving power flows and other related problems has been reported in the literature.1, 5−7 The emphasis of this paper is on the educational value of spreadsheets in the analysis of power systems.

The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 provides a spreadsheet implementation for solving the power-flow problem using the Gauss-Seidel method; Section 3 presents an implementation of the Newton-Raphson method for solving the power-flow problem; Section 4 discusses the au- thors’ experience in the classroom and their pedagogical insights; and finally Section 5 presents some concluding remarks. Since the mathematical underpinnings of the power flow problem are well known, the reader is referred to standard books2−4 for details.

2. Power-flow solution by the Gauss-Seidel method

In this section we use the Gauss-Seidel method to determine the power flows in the three-bus network of Figure 1. Bus and transmission line data are summarized in Tables 1 and 2, respec- tively.

Lau, M., & Kuruganty, S. (2009, June), The Use Of Spreadsheets In Teaching The Power Flow Problem Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4528

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