Taming instabilities in power grid networks by decentralized control

B. Schaefer*, C. Grabow, S. Auer, J. Kurths, D. Witthaut, M. Timme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Renewables will soon dominate energy production in our electric power system. And yet, how to integrate renewable energy into the grid and the market is still a subject of major debate. Decentral Smart Grid Control (DSGC) was recently proposed as a robust and decentralized approach to balance supply and demand and to guarantee a grid operation that is both economically and dynamically feasible. Here, we analyze the impact of network topology by assessing the stability of essential network motifs using both linear stability analysis and basin volume for delay systems. Our results indicate that if frequency measurements are averaged over sufficiently large time intervals, DSGC enhances the stability of extended power grid systems. We further investigate whether DSGC supports centralized and/or decentralized power production and find it to be applicable to both. However, our results on cycle-like systems suggest that DSGC favors systems with decentralized production. Here, lower line capacities and lower averaging times are required compared to those with centralized production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-582
Number of pages14
JournalThe European Physical Journal. Special Topics
Issue number3
Early online date25 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016




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