This work is concerned with the development and the implementation of a global optimization method for solving nonlinear nonconvex problems with continuous or mixed integer variables, related to power systems analysis. The proposed method relaxes the problem under study into a linear outer approximation problem by using the concept of special ordered sets. The obtained problem is then successively refined by a branch-and-bound strategy. In this way, the convergence to a global optimum is guaranteed, provided the discrete variables or those appearing nonlinearly in the original problem are bounded. Our method, conceived to solve a specific kind of problem, has been developed in a general framework in such a way that it can be easily extended to solve a large class of problems. We first derive the method theoretically and next present numerical results, fixing some choices inherent to the method to make it as optimal as possible.