The impact of model detail on power grid resilience measures

Sabine Auer, Kirsten Kleis, Paul Schultz, Jürgen Kurths, Frank Hellmann

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34 Citations (Scopus)
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Extreme events represent a challenge to natural as well as man-made systems. For critical infrastructure like power grids, we need to understand their resilience against large disturbances. Recently, new measures of the resilience of dynamical systems have been developed in the complex system literature. Basin stability and survivability respectively assess the asymptotic and transient behavior of a system when subjected to arbitrary, localized but large perturbations. To employ these methods to assess the resilience of power grids, we need to choose a model of the power grid. So far the most popular model that has been studied is the classical swing equation model for the frequency response of generators and motors. In this paper we study a more sophisticated model of synchronous machines that also takes voltage dynamics into account, and compare it to the previously studied model. This model has been found to give an accurate picture of the long term evolution of synchronous machines in the engineering literature for post fault studies. We find evidence that some stable fix points of the swing equation become unstable when we add voltage dynamics. If this occurs the asymptotic behavior of the system can be dramatically altered, and basin stability estimates obtained with the swing equation can be dramatically wrong. We also find that the survivability does not change significantly when taking the voltage dynamics into account. Further, the limit cycle type asymptotic behaviour is strongly correlated with transient voltages that violate typical operational voltage bounds. Thus, transient voltage bounds are dominated by transient frequency bounds and play no large role for realistic parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Article number609
JournalThe European Physical Journal. Special Topics
Early online date25 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


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