Economic dispatch is the short-term determination of the optimal output from a number of electricity generation facilities to meet the system load while providing power. As such, it represents one of the main optimization problems in the operation of electrical power systems. This article presents techniques to substantially improve the efficiency of the canonical coordinates method (CCM) algorithm when applied to nonlinear combined heat and power economic dispatch (CHPED) problems. The improvement is to eliminate the need to solve a system of nonlinear differential equations, which appears in the line search process in the CCM algorithm. The modified algorithm was tested and the analytical solution was verified using nonlinear CHPED optimization problems, thereby demonstrating the effectiveness of the algorithm. The CCM methods proved numerically stable and, in the case of nonlinear programs, produced solutions with unprecedented accuracy within a reasonable time.
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