This paper presents some strategies to improve the direct search method (DSM) for solving the multi-area wind-thermal coordination dispatch (MWCD) problem considering the nonlinear characteristics of a generator such as valve-point effects. Although the DSM approaches have several advantages suitable to tackle the difficult non-convex economic dispatch (NED) problems, they still have the drawbacks such as exploration problem, exploitation problem and constraint handling problem. The main problem of the conventional DSM is that it gets easily trapped in a local optimal solution due to premature convergence. This paper proposes a stochastic direct search method (SDSM) employing the parallel stochastic searching mechanism to increase both exploration and exploitation capability of the DSM. Numerical experiments are included to demonstrate that the proposed SDSM approach can obtain a higher quality solution with better performance.

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