Pumped storage units (PSUs) are an important storage tool for power systems containing large-scale renewable energy, and the merit of rapid start-up enable PSUs to modulate and stabilize the power system. In this paper, PSU start-up strategies have been studied and a new integrated start-up method has been proposed for the purpose of achieving swift and smooth start-up. A two-phase closed-loop startup strategy, composed of switching Proportion Integration (PI) and Proportion Integration Differentiation (PID) controller is designed, and an integrated optimization scheme is proposed for a synchronous optimization of the parameters in the strategy. To enhance the optimization performance, a novel meta-heuristic called Artificial Sheep Algorithm (ASA) is proposed and applied to solve the optimization task after a sufficient verification with seven popular meta-heuristic algorithms and 13 typical benchmark functions. Simulation model has been built for a China’s PSU and comparative experiments are conducted to evaluate the proposed integrated method. Results show that the start-up performance could be significantly improved on both indices on overshoot and start-up, and up to 34%-time consumption has been reduced under different working condition. The significant improvements on start-up of PSU is interesting and meaning for further application on real unit.
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