Enhancing Power Grid Reliability through Analytics: Information is Power, and Power is Information
Christopher DeMarco, Ph.D.
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Grainger Professor of Power Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
October 23, 2013
4:00pm - 5:30 pm
Billings Library B308, Billings Marsh Lounge
Many challenges in the North American power grid revolve around coordinating and controlling a commodity that moves near speed-of-light, across large geographic distances. Trends of the last 20 years of U.S. utility restructuring have accentuated these challenges, as the formation of regional transmission organizations and wholesale power markets have encouraged the shipment of more power, over longer distances. These challenges are likely to grow if the U.S. wants to fully exploit its renewable resources, which often lie distant from major load centers.
Among the recommendations to emerge from studies following the 2003 northeastern U.S. blackout was a call for improved measurement technology, to enhance "situational awareness" for the grid. With major investment in recent years for "Smart Grid" technologies, dramatically improved sensors in the form of phasor measurement units (PMUs) have indeed been widely deployed across North America. Among the opportunities for grid engineering today is that using the wealth of data they provide to improve real time monitoring and control decisions, to make the power system less vulnerable to disturbances, more stable, and more reliable.
This work will examine a near-real-time stability monitor for grid operations, based solely on phasor measurement unit (PMU) data, without need for detailed network model parameters or topology that underlie traditional methods. This work will argue that the class of "big data" algorithms widely applied in consumer behavior prediction can be adapted to more physically based problems, such as grid stability. In particular, we propose singular value decomposition (SVD) based algorithm for PMU data to improve prediction of power grid vulnerability to voltage instability, a phenomena that has contributed to a number of major blackouts and near miss events.
Christopher DeMarco (M'85) completed his B.S. degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cam- bridge, in 1980, and his Ph.D. degree at the Univer- sity of California, Berkeley, in 1985, both in electrical engineering and computer sciences. He joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985, where he currently holds the position of Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has served as ECE Department Chair, and currently serves as Grainger Professor of Power Engineering and Site Director for the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC). His research and teaching interests center on dynamics and control of electrical energy systems. .