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PowerWorld: A Power Flow Program for Real-world Power Engineering

Huaiwei Liao and Dagmar Niebur Center for Electric Power Engineering Drexel University Philadelphia, PA, 19104

In this activity, we will experiment with a power system simulator, called PowerWorld. PowerWorld is a commercial program used by many utilities all over the country, who want to investigate how their system behaves in certain situations.

The electric power system is considered the backbone of modern information society. Without safe, reliable and economic supply of electricity many other infrastructures and services including telephone, airlines, railways, computing, banking, hospitals will not be operating properly. The following table 1 gives an indication of the economic losses due to power outages for a variety of industries and services: Industry Cellular communications Telephone ticket sales Airline reservations Credit card operations Brokerage operations Average Cost of Downtime ($/Hour) 41,000 72,000 90,000 2,580,000 6,480,000

Therefore the power system infrastructure is considered the most critical one and its operation needs to be assured on a daily basis. Simulation programs like PowerWorld are essential for planning and operation of modern power systems. The following three paragraphs are extracted from PowerWorlds Help file: The simulator is actually a number of integrated products. At its core is a comprehensive, robust Power Flow Solution engine capable of efficiently solving systems of up to 60,000 buses. This makes the simulator quite useful as a stand-alone power flow analysis package. System models may be modified on the fly or even built from scratch using Simulators fullfeatured graphical case editor. Transmission lines may be switched in or out of service, new transmission or generation may be added, and new transactions may be established, all with a few mouse clicks. The simulators extensive use of graphics and animation greatly increases the users understanding of system characteristics, problems, and constraints, as well as of how to remedy them. The simulator also provides a convenient medium for simulating the evolution of the power system over time. Load, generation, and interchange schedule variations over time may be prescribed, and the resulting changes in power system conditions may be visualized. This functionality may be useful, for example, in illustrating the many issues associated with industry restructuring. In addition to these features, Simulator boasts integrated economic dispatch, area transaction economic analysis, power transfer distribution factor (PTDF) computation, short circuit analysis and contingency analysis, all accessible through a consistent and colorful visual interface. These features are so well integrated that you will be up and running within minutes of installation. But before we run the simulator on the computer within minutes , lets first examine the type of power system tasks that it can simulate.

1 Source: S. Rahman, Power for the Internet, IEEE Computer Applications in Power , Vol. 14, No. 4, Oct. 2001, pp. 8 -10 , based on statistics published by the US-Department of Energy

Power Flow Model

Power Network Model

A power system is an electric network consisting of nodes (called buses in power systems) and branches. Branches are usually overhead lines or transformers, through which electricity energy are transmitted to supply industrial, commercial and residential customers. Figure 1 shows an example of a simple power system consisting of 5 busses. The buses can either represent generators, substations (Bus 4), loads (Bus 3 and Bus 5), or a combination of generation and load (Bus 1 and Bus 2).

Figure 1. Simplified Diagram of a 5 Bus System Showing Active Power [MW] and Normalized Voltage Magnitude [pu] only Source: Example System provided by PowerWorld

A simple analogy to the operation of power systems is the operation of a water distribution network where water is fed into the network at the pumping stations and drained at the service stations. The width of the tube will regulate how much water flows through the individual tubes. A second factor will be the level of the pumping and service stations. The amount of water pumped from higher situated stations will be flowing faster towards the service stations. Another way to regulate water flow would be through an increase and decrease in water pressure. So for our case electric power flow in the system corresponds to the water flow and the voltage level at generation and load buses to the level of pumping and service stations. However, this analogy needs a little bit more precision. When you consider electric networks in physics you usually express the network equations in terms of voltage and current using Kirchhoffs current and voltage laws as well as Ohms law. But in power systems, electric equipment often needs a certain amount of current supplied at a fixed voltage (120 V for most household appliances.) Electric instantaneous power is defined as current multiplied by voltage. The utility will bill you for the energy used per month. Thus you pay for the power delivered to your house over a period of a month. It is therefore customary to express the equations governing the electric power network in terms of power and voltage instead of current and voltage. Most power systems are operated with alternating voltage and current. These are described by sinusoidal wave forms alternating between peak and valley 60 times per seconds at a frequency of 60 Hz. Mathematically, these waveforms are described by trigonometric functions cos and sin. Important characteristics are the magnitude (normalized by a factor) of the amplitude of voltage |V| and current |I|. If we compare the waveform of the voltage and current at generator Bus 1 we will 2

find the current waveform at lags or leads the voltage slightly. This lag or lead is called the phase angle between voltage and current VI. For alternating current and voltage, at each bus the active power injection is then given by the product of magnitude of the injected current |I|, the bus voltage magnitude |V| and the cosine of the phase angle VI between these two quantities. P = |V| |I| cos VI The voltage phase angle V is another important quantity in electrical network. If we compare the waveform of the voltage at generator Bus 1 and load Bus 2, we will also find the waveform at Bus 2 lags slightly behind that of Bus 1. This specific lag is then given by the phase angle difference 1-2. A similar phenomenon is that when we throw a stone into a pond, the oscillation of outer water surface always lags behind that of the source. The time difference between the two oscillations can be expressed in terms of the difference of phase angle. In the pond, kinetic energy carried by the stone is propagated by the phase angle difference. Similarly, in the power network, the difference of voltage phase angles contributes to transmit active power. For a complete alternating current model of the power system we also have to consider two more quantities, the so-called reactive power injection Q = |V||I|sinVI measured in MVR and the voltage angle. In contrast to the active power, which is productive because it can drive motors and light lamps, the reactive power cannot produce useful energy. We can consider the reactive power as an obligatory charge for transmitting active power in the alternating electrical network. It is however necessary to maintain adequate voltage levels. When you open the software you will see reactive power shown for each bus and each line. In the water distribution network, water flows from the place with higher hydro pressure to that with lower hydro pressure. We thus have one quantity, water, flowing through the system and one quantity, pressure, dictating the path for the water. We have similar but more complicated rules in power network, where actually two quantities flow in the system. Simply speaking, active power flows from the bus with larger phase angle to those with smaller phase angle, as we explained previously, and reactive power flows from the bus with higher voltage magnitude to those with lower voltage magnitude. Finally the width of the water tubes allows water to flow more or less easily through the larger or smaller tubes. For the power system, width corresponds to the electrical properties of the wires, i.e. the resistance, inductance and capacitance of the branches in the system. We will call these parameters G11, G12 G55 and B11, B12 B55. For example G12 and B12 are combinations of the resistance and inductance of the branch connecting Bus 1 and Bus 2. B11 is related to the capacitance at Bus 1. The network parameters are assumed to be known and constant. They will only be changed if the power engineer designs the network and explores different possibilities. Once installed in the network they are considered to be constant. (As a side note, let us mention that there are efforts in the area of power electronics, which essentially aim at changing the electric characteristics of a power system in operation.) But in this activity, we will assume that they remain constant. We first have to make certain modeling assumptions. For the problem at hand, we are interested in steady-state behavior. In terms of our water distribution system this means that we are not switching on additional pumps or closing drains completely. We assume that we are pumping steadily and the increase or decrease in water will not result in any swirls or turbulences interrupting the water flow. For power systems we assume that any immediate (transient) voltage or current behavior due to breaker opening, generation and voltage changes can be ignored.

Power Balance in Power Systems

At a generator bus we inject power into the system; at a load bus we draw/consume power from the system. In a power system, the sum of all generation is equal to the sum of all loads plus the losses: So for this example we would have Sum of generation: Sum of loads: 100 MW + 406 MW = 506 MW 100 MW + 200 MW + 100 MW + 0 MW + 100 MW = 500 MW

Evidently for this system, we have a loss of 6 MW due to the resistance of the wiring used for lines and transformer of the electric network. If we distribute the electric power demand among generators carefully by means of power computation programs, for example, PowerWorld, the power loss of 6 MW can be reduced considerably. For a large-scale power system with GW level demand, this means a large amount of energy and money can be saved for the society. 3

Note that power balance also holds for reactive power.

Normalization of Voltages Measured in Per Unit instead of [V]

A power system is usually operated at a certain voltage level called the rated voltage. In our example, this voltage level is 345 KV for bus 1-3, Bus 4 and the primary high-voltage side of the transformer is rated at 138 KV. The low-voltage side and bus 5 is rated at 34 KV. 95*345/100 KV=327.75KV 105*345/100 KV=362.25KV For the lower voltage ratings, the limits would be 95*138/100 KV=131.1KV 105*138/100 KV=144.9 KV and 95*34/100 KV=32.3 KV 105*34/100 KV=35.7 KV Since for a large system, it is difficult to track, which bus is operating at which voltage level, we usually normalize the level, by dividing each voltage by its rating. So for example at bus 2, the voltage of 1pu (per unit) corresponds to an actual voltage of 1*345 KV. At bus 5, the voltage of 0.998 pu corresponds to an actual voltage of 0.998*34 KV=33.932 KV.

Power Flow Variables and Parameters

In a power system the active and reactive power demand or load dictate how much power has to be generated. So at the load buses we assume that the active and reactive loads are known. However, we do not know the voltage magnitude and voltage angle. At the generator buses and the mixed generator load buses, we can specify and control how much active power want to be generated. We can further control the voltage magnitude such that it stays (ideally) at the rated value of 1 pu. This is the case at Bus 1 and Bus 2. We cannot control the reactive power nor the voltage angle at the load buses. The following list gives the unknown and known variables for the 5 Bus power system: Slack Bus:
Known: Active Power Load Voltage Magnitude Voltage Angle Active Power Generation Reactive Power Injection

Bus 2
200 MW |V2| = 1 pu 2=0 P2 Q2


Generator Buses:
Known: Active Power Generation Active Power Load Active Power Injection Voltage Magnitude Reactive Power Injection Voltage Angle

Bus 1
100 MW 100 MW P1 = 0 MW |V1| = 1 pu Q1 1


Load Buses:
Known: Active Power Load Reactive Power Load

Bus 3
P3 = 61 MW P3 = -47 MVR

Bus 4
P4 = 0 MW Q5 = 0 MVR

Bus 5
P5 = 100 MW Q5 = 0


Voltage Magnitude Voltage Angle

|V3| |3|

|V4| |4|

MVR |V5| |5|

Finally, if the power demand at the load bus increases (decreases), we either need to readjust generation or we need to import (export) the additional power. Bus 2 presents such an importing (exporting) bus, which in power systems is called the slack bus. We will see during the simulation that the generation at Bus 1 stays fixed at 100 MW and Bus 2 will adapt its generation to follow the load until Bus 2 reaches its active power generation limit. Then the generator at Bus 1 will increase its power generation. In summary, for each of the 5 buses we will have two known quantities, the active and reactive power or the active power and the voltage magnitude. We further have two unknown quantities per bus, the voltage magnitude and angle or the reactive power and the voltage angle. So overall we have 10 known variables and 10 unknown variables.

Power Flow Equations

If we know the topology of the system (i.e. whether there is a branch connecting 2 buses ) and the branch resistance, inductance and capacitance, then Kirchhoffs and Ohms law allow us to formulate 10 non-linear equations which we have to solve for the 10 unknown quantities. Once we know all 5 bus voltage magnitudes and angles as well as all 5 active and reactive power injections, we can the calculate the power flow on the individual branches. Therefore, these equations are called the load flow equations or the power flow equations. We can image electric power flows in power network like water flows in water distribution systems. That is where the name, power flow, comes from.

Power Flow Simulation

Since power flow equations are quite complicated, we cannot solve them by hand. Instead we need to solve them using a computer program. Running the computer program, which calculates the power flow for a given set of network parameters and networks variables is called power flow simulation. Although we could write the code ourselves, again 90 minutes is not enough to do that. So we chose commercial software called PowerWorld. It has a nice graphic interface and many additional features not discussed in this small introduction. Best of all, the free educational version can be downloaded from the companys web site This free version can be used for small educational systems like the one you will be using. The commercial version is actually used by many utilities around the country. Notice, that a real power system may consist of several 1000 busses and thus the software has to solve several 1000 equations ideally in real time. The software is used for planning purposes as well as for system operation. Once the power flow equations have been solved, many additional questions can be answered. For example we can simulate outages of lines and decide whether the system remains secure (no branch overloads, no bus voltage limit violations). We can watch the bus voltage drop due to heavy loading. (In fact in summer 1996, severe voltage drops and cascading outages lead to complete (unplanned) blackouts of a large part of the West Coast.) Let us therefore discuss the security limits of steady-state power system operation.

Security Limits in Power System Operation

Branch loading limits We have seen that the current contributing to the 6 MW produces a heating of the wires and (if increased to a dangerous level) this will result in a melting of the wires. Therefore there is a current limit on each line. If a line becomes overloaded for a certain amount of time, protective equipment will open breakers (denoted by red squares in Figure 1) and the line will no longer carry current or power. For a fixed voltage level, we can translate this current limit into a power limit. For the example

case, the power limit for the branch connecting Bus 1 and Bus 2 is 150 MVA. Most of it can be attributed to the active power limit measured in MW. Network current and voltage are governed by Kirchhoffs current and voltage law and the current flow through the branches is governed by a generalization of Ohms resistive law. So if one line is not operational, the current flow and thus the power flow will take a different path in a network. The actual power flowing over one line is shown above the branch in Figure 1. For example at Bus 3, the branch coming from Bus 4 carries 39 MW and the branch coming from Bus 1 carries 61 MW. So the total incoming active power is 39MW + 61 MW=100 MW. This is exactly the power consumed by the load. Please also notice that at Bus 1 62 MW are fed into the line. So there is a line loss of 1 MW to be attributed to the line resistance. The loss is not indicated for the line originating at Bus 4. The circles on the branches in Figure 1 present the line loading pie charts. For example the line between Bus 1 and Bus 3 is 25% loaded; the line between Bus 2 and Bus 4 is 58% loaded. Bus voltage limits In addition to current limits, a power system also has bus voltage limits. Ideally Any equipment in this system has to be operated with 5% of the rated voltage in order to protect its insulation, to prevent it from malfunctioning and to maintain high operational efficiency. So for the 345 KV, an alarm would be issued for voltages below 95% of 345 KV and above 105% of 345 KV. Expressing voltage in pu, these limits translate into 95% = 95/100=0.95 pu and 105% = 1.05 pu. We see that Bus 3 is operating at its lower limit of 0.95 pu. All other busses are operating within the voltage limits. Generation limits Finally each generator has a limit of maximum active power that it can generate. There also is an upper and lower limit for the reactive power generation. Note that the software takes care of checking these limits. It will alert you if one of the variables exceeds the branch loading limits. It will further increase generation only until the maximum power output is reached. If load increases, the software will dispatch another generator until all generation is working at its maximum active power level or its maximum or minimum reactive power level. In summary, the security limits for a power system are given by maximum branch power flows, minimum and maximum bus voltage magnitudes and angles, maximum active power generation and minimum and maximum reactive power generation.

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Activity Tasks: Power Flow and Power System Security

1) Open PowerWorld by clicking on the PowerWorld Icon 2) Within PowerWorld, choose the File menu. Choose Open Case and select the file B5R.PWB You will see the screen shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Screen shot of the 5 Bus system in PowerWorld

Notice that Figure 2 has some additional information concerning reactive power (in MVR) and generation and voltage control (AGC and AVR) not shown in Figure 1 and not discussed in the text in detail. 3) Close the Message Log box or move it out of sight. 4) Select Run Mode on the second line on the screen. TASK 1: TASK 2: Observe the directions of real power and reactive power Investigate whether and how long your system will remain secure under increased loading of Bus 3

5) Select the Play arrow to run the simulation. 6) At Bus 3 increase the active power generation (starting with 100 MW) by clicking the up arrow Question: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. TASK 3: Which generator will deliver the additional power? Which lines will be loaded more heavily? Which line reaches its security limit first? What happens if you continue to increase the load at Bus 3? Look at the generators as well as the line loads. Watch the voltage at bus 3. What happens to the voltage?

Investigate whether your system will remain secure under increased loading of Bus 3 and a line outage of the branch connecting Bus 3 and Bus 4

7) Restart the simulation by pressing the Restart arrow . 8) Click on one of the breakers ( red square ) on branch connecting Bus 3 and Bus 4. This opens the breaker and simulates a line outage. 9) Again, increase the load at Bus 3 by clicking the up arrow . 10) Answer the questions again and note down your observations.