Multi-criteria decision making monarch butterfly optimization for optimal distributed energy resources mix in distribution networks

Pushpendra Singh, Nand K. Meena*, Jin Yang, Eduardo Vega-Fuentes, Shree Krishna Bishnoi

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The optimal integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) is a multiobjective and complex combinatorial optimization problem that conventional optimization methods cannot solve efficiently. This paper reviews the existing DER integration models, optimization and multi-criteria decision-making approaches. Further to that, a recently developed monarch butterfly optimization method is introduced to solve the problem of DER mix in distribution systems. A new multiobjective DER integration problem is formulated to find the optimal sites, sizes and mix (dispatchable and non-dispatchable) for DERs considering multiple key performance objectives. Besides, a hybrid method that combines the monarch butterfly optimization and the technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) is proposed to solve the formulated large-scale multi-criteria decision-making problem. Whilst the meta-heuristic optimization method generates non-dominated solutions (creating Pareto-front), the TOPSIS approach selects that with the most promising outcome from a large number of alternatives. The effectiveness of this approach is verified by solving single and multiobjective dispatchable DER integration problems over the benchmark 33-bus distribution system and the performance is compared with the existing optimization methods. The proposed model of DER mix and the optimization technique significantly improve the system performance in terms of average annual energy loss reduction by 78.36%, mean node voltage deviation improvement by 9.59% and average branches loadability limits enhancement by 50%, and minimized the power fluctuation induced by 48.39% renewable penetration. The proposed optimization techniques outperform the existing methods with promising exploration and exploitation abilities to solve engineering optimization problems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number115723
    JournalApplied Energy
    Early online date14 Sept 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2020

    Bibliographical note

    © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license

    Funding: This work has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 713694, and supported by research projects “Electricity Satnav – electricity smart availability topology of network for abundant electric vehicles” (Reference: EP/S001778/2), and “Street2Grid – an electricity blockchain platform for P2P energy trading” (Reference: EP/R001456/2), which are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), United Kingdom .


    • Distributed energy resources
    • Distribution systems
    • Meta-heuristic method
    • Monarch butterfly optimization
    • Multi-criteria decision making
    • Renewables


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