How dead ends undermine power grid stability

Peter J. Menck, Jobst Heitzig, Jurgen Kurths, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

167 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The cheapest and thus widespread way to add new generators to a high-voltage power grid is by a simple tree-like connection scheme. However, it is not entirely clear how such locally cost-minimizing connection schemes affect overall system performance, in particular the stability against blackouts. Here we investigate how local patterns in the network topology influence a power grid’s ability to withstand blackout-prone large perturbations. Employing basin stability, a nonlinear concept, we find in numerical simulations of artificially generated power grids that tree-like connection schemes—so-called dead ends and dead trees—strongly diminish stability. A case study of the Northern European power system confirms this result and demonstrates that the inverse is also true: repairing dead ends by addition of a few transmission lines substantially enhances stability. This may indicate a topological design principle for future power grids: avoid dead ends.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3969
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2014

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grids
blackout
Costs and Cost Analysis
transmission lines
maintenance
high voltages
Electric lines
generators
topology
Topology
costs
perturbation
Computer simulation
Electric potential
Costs
simulation

Cite this

Menck, P. J., Heitzig, J., Kurths, J., & Schellnhuber, H. J. (2014). How dead ends undermine power grid stability. Nature Communications, 5, [3969]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4969

How dead ends undermine power grid stability. / Menck, Peter J. ; Heitzig, Jobst; Kurths, Jurgen; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 3969, 09.06.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Menck, PJ, Heitzig, J, Kurths, J & Schellnhuber, HJ 2014, 'How dead ends undermine power grid stability', Nature Communications, vol. 5, 3969. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4969
Menck PJ, Heitzig J, Kurths J, Schellnhuber HJ. How dead ends undermine power grid stability. Nature Communications. 2014 Jun 9;5. 3969. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4969
Menck, Peter J. ; Heitzig, Jobst ; Kurths, Jurgen ; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim. / How dead ends undermine power grid stability. In: Nature Communications. 2014 ; Vol. 5.
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