What is it about?

Potential critical risks of cascading failures in power systems can be identified by exposing those critical electrical components on which certain initial disturbances may cause maximum disruption to the systems.We investigate cascading failures in power systems described by the direct current (DC) power flow equations, where the initiating disturbances (natural or anthropic factors) give rise to changes in admittances of one or multiple of transmission lines. The disruption is quantified with the remaining transmission power at the end of cascading process. In particular, identifying the critical branches and the corresponding initial disturbances causing the worst-case cascading blackout is formulated as a dynamic optimization problem (DOP) in the framework of optimal control theory, where the entire propagation process of cascading failures is considered. An Identifying Critical Risk Algorithm (ICRA) based on the maximum principle is proposed to solve the DOP. Simulation results on the IEEE 9-Bus and the IEEE 14-Bus test systems are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithm.

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Why is it important?

The approach proposed in the paper, with proper further extension and enhancement, may offer a powerful tool for risk identification and system protection for critical infrastructural systems.

Perspectives

I hope the results reported in this article may encourage researchers working in power systems and control theory areas to work together to generate new methods for system protection. I believe power theory will find wide applications in this area.

Gaoxi Xiao
Nanyang Technological University

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This page is a summary of: Identifying Critical Risks of CascadingFailures in Power Systems, IET Generation Transmission & Distribution, April 2019, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (the IET), DOI: 10.1049/iet-gtd.2018.5667.
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