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A Study on Power System State Estimation

under Extremely Bad Conditions
Anjia Mao

The main object of these researches is to study

Abstract--During the operation of modern power system, the whether the existing measurement configurations can
unanticipated occurrence of large disturbances, communication satisfy the state estimation condition or to find out the
errors, exceptions in SCADA system and lacking of maintenances optimal placement of measurements that can meet the
etc will affect the normal operation of state estimation, which
requirements with certain measurement redundancy
plays a significant role in keeping the security of power system.
Therefore, to seek a state estimation algorithm that can keep [5-7]. Because the automation and communication
fairly good momentum and can obtain a relative accurate result technology at earlier time is relatively backward and
under these extreme conditions is meaningful both in theory and only the pivotal power plants and substations can be
in practice. On the basis of analyzing the extremely bad equipped with Remote Terminal Units (RTUs), which
conditions and the unfavorable impactions they brought during is responsible for measuring and transmitting the
the system operations, this paper proposes a state estimation
operation state of the equipments to the control center.
method which consists of heuristic double topology modeling
method and WLS state estimation on the combination system. In However, with the rapid development of automation
the method, the accuracy of the structure model and the and communication technologies in recent decades,
measurements, which are the determining factor of the state almost all substations are equipped with RTUs now.
estimation result, can be ensured by the heuristic double The research demand for observability analysis and
modeling method, therefore, the state estimation in this paper measurement placement fades away as well.
can still obtain a relative accurate result even in extremely bad
2. Bad data detection and identification. The main task of
conditions. The testing scenario proves the validity and
availability of the method in this paper. these researches is to find out and eliminate the bad
data produced by communication interference during
Index TermsBad Area Identification and Equivalent, transmission or other causations, and hence to
Extended Topology Analysis, Extremely Bad Conditions, Power improve the accuracy of the state estimation results.
System State Estimation, SCADA System The methods and algorithms, which provide an
important way to improve the quality of the state
I. INTRODUCTION estimation, include Residual Error Detection [8],

A S one of the most basic component of EMS (Energy

Management System), power system state estimation
undertakes the tasks for measurement correcting and lost data
Hypothesis Testing Identification
Measurement Compensation [11], and Recursive

Measurement Error Estimation Identification [12, 13].


complementing, therefore, the performance of state estimation 3. Algorithm studies. The object of these researches
has the direct bearing on the reliability and stability of EMS, mainly aims at finding faster and more reliable and
as well as the security of power system [1, 2]. stable algorithms because the power system state
In view of the great importance in guaranteeing the security estimation in EMS is a real-time application, which
of power system, state estimation deserves great attentions and requires the algorithm has the fundamental features of
gains much research since 1970s [3, 4]. Through decades of good numerical stability and high performance.
theoretical research and practical application, state estimation Among the algorithms, two kinds of method is
becomes one of the most reliable modules in EMS, as well as prominent, one is based on the least square method,
an indispensably tool for the system operators. According to including orthogonal transformation state estimation
the research achievements, the main directions of state and fast decoupled state estimation [14-17], the other
estimation focus in the respects of observability analysis and one is successive state estimation based on Kalmans
measurement placement, bad data detection and identification, filter [18, 19]. The superiority and inferiority of each
algorithm studies and applications of new technology, which method are not distinct and both of them have been
specifies below separately.
applied in practice.
1. Observability analysis and measurement placement.
4. Applications of new technology. These researches
develop with the evolution of information and
This work was supported in part by the intramural doctoral fund of North automation technology, for instance, data mining and
China Electric Power University (No.200722003). intelligence fusion method [20-22], linear state
Anjia Mao is with the Department of Electric Engineering, North China estimation in WAMS (Wide Area Measurement
Electric Power University, Beijing, 102206, China (e-mail: angel_maoyang System) etc [23-26].

These methods are very important for improving the quality shows that a series of incidents occurred in the control areas of
of power system state estimation and hence provide guarantee FE (FirstEnergy) and AEP (American Electric Power), among
for the reliability of modern EMS. However, these researches them the event of line Stuart-Atlanta tripping leads to the
are all based on some common preconditions, including that abnormal operation of state estimation in MISO, which further
the system must be observable, and most of the measurements results in the failure of noticing that the system of FE has been
are veracious which means that the bad data occupies only a in danger. Because of the unavailability of state estimation,
small proportion. At normal circumstance, these preconditions EMS loses the function of power system monitoring and
can be easily satisfied, but at special case, for instance, a large controlling, even loses the function of warning when the
disturbance occurred or before the cascading failure taken operating state of the power system has been deteriorated,
place, these conditions can not be satisfied any more, and until the whole power system collapsed.
hence the state estimation may be unavailable too. Contrarily,
B. Topology Structure Error Because of Maintenance lacking
under such circumstance the operators require imminently
accurate state estimation result for decision making. Therefore, The bus-branch model, on which the state estimation
study state estimation under such extremes is very important depended, is obtained by topology analyzing through the
for preventing fatal accident or even blackouts. Against such connection and connectivity of the equipments. In SCADA
major background, this paper proposes a state estimation System the connections of the equipments are specified
under extremely bad conditions. manually in the wiring diagram of power plant or substation,
The rest of this article is organized as bellows: Part II while the connectivity of the equipments is specified through
introduces the probable extremely bad conditions in state the close or open state of the breakers and switches. Because
estimation, and part III proposes a state estimation algorithm the states of the breakers can be measured by RTUs, and
adapts to extremely bad conditions. Part IV introduces a hence the breaker states in SCADA can match the actual
testing scenario to verify the method of this paper and Part V system if there is no error happens during the data
is the conclusion. communication. However, the states of switches have to be
specified and maintained by the operators manually and their
II. EXTREMELY BAD CONDITIONS IN STATE ESTIMATION states might be different with the actual system owing to the
negligence of the operator or the irregular maintenance. Under
As described above, the basic condition of power system
such circumstances, the structural model got from topology
state estimation is that the system must be observable, which
analysis cant represent the real power system; of course large
requires that enough measurements should be configured in
errors are inevitably raised in the state estimation result.
the system and at least 2 independent equations can be formed
To avoid the influences of breaker or switch state errors,
on each bus or branch. Based on an overall consideration of
state estimation program in practice contains the function of
various factors of random disturbance on measurements, the
breaker-switch state identification, which can correct some
number of measurements is requested to be much greater than
apparent errors of breaker or switch through logical analysis.
double of the number of the system buses. In addition, it also
Though it can reduce the influences of switch state errors and
requires that the structural model of the system and most of
revise the result of topology analysis, when there are many
the measurements are precise.
switch state errors, this fine-tuning function of state estimation
The condition of observability can be easily satisfied in
is likely to fail.
modern power systems. However, in special circumstances,
such as errors in transmission channel and exceptions in C. Data Stop Updating Because of Communication Error
SCADA system, measurements can be contaminated with lots The data transmission mode in SCADA system includes
of errors, and hence the state estimation might operate fiber-optic communication, microwave communication and
abnormally or give incorrect results. These special carrier signaling etc, of which the dependability and ability to
circumstance which leads to the unavailability of state resist disturbance are different. Therefore in practice, it is
estimation is called extremely bad conditions. Practically the often found that the system operating information in some
extremely bad conditions contain the following aspects. areas cannot transmit to the control center correctly because of
A. Large Disturbance Occurred in the Power System the failure in transmission channel. The situation reflected in
SCADA system is that the measurements in this area stop
When a large disturbance occurred in power system, the
updating and become dead data, which cannot represent the
power flow redistribution in local area can consequently leads
real operation state of the system.
to great changes of power flow or even oscillations on some
Generally the SCADA system can announce warning when
branches. The emergence of these situations can cause
obvious fault occurs in transmission channel, so that the
mismatches between the algorithm model of state estimation
operators can remove the fault in time. However, when the
and the actual system, and hence the generic state estimation is
fault is concealed and difficult to reveal or it is found but
difficult to obtain an accurate result.
cannot eliminate in a short period of time, the measurements
The unavailability of state estimation caused by the
in the interrelated area will affect the precision of the whole
occurrence of large disturbances is often reported in practice,
power system state estimation.
and the most influential one is found in the 8.14 Blackouts of
North America. The final technical report of the blackouts

D. Exceptions Occurred in the SCADA System the topology analysis module in state estimation has the
The SCADA system is responsible for gathering the enhanced function of the breaker and switch states verifying,
operating information of power system, and hence the whose logic includes but not limits to the following.
exceptions of the SCADA system will lead to the mismatch 1. If a transmission line (or transformer) has nonzero
between the gathered data and the actual operating states. measurements on both sides, then the breakers and
Although the system can resume to normal through restarting switches on this line are closed.
the program and maintenance, it can still cause bad influence 2. If a transmission line (or transformer) has active
on state estimation in short term. power measurements on one end and its direction is
The causation of the exceptions in SCADA system consists from this end to the end that has no measurement,
in many ways, for instance, there are new equipments go into then the breakers and switches on this line are closed.
operation or old devices are out of commission but the 3. If the breaker on a line is open and the active power at
SCADA system does not update in time; the corresponding one end is close to 0, then the switches on this line are
relationship between the measurements and the devices are also opened.
wrong because of the negligence of the operators; some of the Though it can reduce the influences of breaker and switch
module in SCADA system is out of service etc. these states error at some extend, when lots of breakers and switches
exceptions are severe and have great influence on the state states are incorrect in a substation, the method may still be
estimation. disabled.
Since the breakers and switches are concentrated in
III. STATE ESTIMATION METHOD UNDER EXTREMELY BAD substations (or power plants), and the states error are
CONDITIONS centralized in substations too. Therefore, each substation can
be equivalent to an unobservable node; the transmission lines
The above extremely bad conditions often go along with
connected to the buses now connects to the equivalent node.
the deterioration of system operation. However at that moment
With topology analyzing and power balance calculation, An
the operators are more in urgent need of accurate operating
accurate equivalent model of the system can be obtained,
information and control policy of the power system from EMS,
but owing to the extremely bad conditions, the state estimation
can not run normally or cannot obtain the correct result. f1 (Y0 , Pb0 ,Q b0 , V0 ) = 0 (1)
Therefore it is very important to study the problem of state Where Y is the admittance matrix of the equivalent system,
estimation under extremely bad conditions.
By analyzing the above extremes, it can be known that the Pb 0 , Qb 0 are the vector of active and reactive power flow on
influences of the extremely bad conditions on state estimation
the branch. V0 is the vector of the node voltage and f1 is the
mainly results in the following aspects:
1. A large amount of errors in breaker or switch states function between the node voltage and the branch power flow.
lead to the mismatch between the structure model and After the equivalent model has been obtained, the heuristic
the actual system. searching method can be used in each substation to obtain a
2. Exceptions in transmission channel or in SCADA relative detailed model of the system. If the states of the
system itself lead to the mismatch between the breaker and switch are in good conditions the equivalent node
measurements and the real system states. can be set up a detailed model with more buses and branches,
3. For the common reason of 1 and 2, part of the system otherwise the node still keeps unchanged or part of it still
may not be observed. keeps unobservable. The relative detailed model obtained in
Therefore solving the problem of state estimation under this step can be expressed as:
extremely bad conditions must start with the above problems, f 2 (Y1 , Pb1 ,Q b1 , V1 ) = 0 (2)
against such background, this paper proposes a heuristic
Where Y1 is the admittance matrix of the detailed system, and
double topology modeling method with unobservable sub-area
identification and equivalent. the other symbols are the same with (1), but in accordance
with the detailed model.
A. Heuristic Double Topology Modeling Method Compared with the common method, heuristic double
The main function of topology analysis is to build up the topology modeling method obtains two models of the system,
bus-branch model of the power system through depth-first one is the equivalent model and the other is the detailed model,
searching or breadth-first searching. Another function of where the former one is crucial but the parameters are precise,
topology analysis is to color up the wiring diagram with while the latter one is elaborate but the parameters may greatly
different colors according to the operating state of power influenced by the conditions of the cyber system. The two
system, which is convenient for the operators to supervise the models are complemented in the state estimation algorithm
operation of the equipments. and can improve its performance.
The accustomed topology analysis does not verify the states
of breaker and switch, and hence the bus-branch model B. State Estimation with the Two Models
achieved by topology analyzing may be incorrect because of When the equivalent model and the detailed model of the
the faults in breaker or switch states. To avoid this situation, system has been obtained by heuristic double topology

modeling method, the WLS (Weighted Less Square) state

estimation can be carried out on the combination of the two
Since the voltage vector in the equivalent model and the
detailed model are different, we must unite the voltages to the
same vector before combining the two models. Its difficult to
analyze the problem theoretically, and hence the principle of
proximity is used in this paper to deal with the problem simply,
that is, the voltage in vector V0 is replaced by the voltage in
vector V1 with the principle of proximity. Therefore the
combining model of the two models can be expressed as:
f1 (Y0 , Pb0 ,Qb0 , V1 ) = 0
f 2 (Y1 , Pb1 ,Qb1 , V1 ) = 0
The revision equations of WLS state estimation are:
V f
[ H ] [ W ][ H ] Vx = f1

y 2

Where W is the weight matrix of f1 and f 2 , Vx , Vy

are the vector of the real part and image part of the
incremental voltage. H is the Jacobian matrix, whose value is
f1 f1 f 2 f 2
, , and respectively.
Vx Vy Vx Vy
Solving the revision equations and the rest job is just the
same with the normal state estimation.
The main steps of the state estimation algorithm under the Fig. 1. The main steps of the state estimation under extremely bad conditions
extremely bad conditions are shown in figure 1, from which
we can see that the algorithm can be easily realized through The main differences between the method in this paper and
reconstructing of the program of traditional state estimation. the common state estimation are as follows:
1. Two system models are set up in the algorithm in this
paper while only one system model set up in normal
state estimation.
2. the algorithm does not purse the integrality of the
system model, however two complemented system
models are used in the algorithm. Under the
extremely bad conditions, the method can gain higher
precision of the state estimation.


The 39-buses New England system is used to testify the
method in this paper. As shown in figure 2, the whole system
is divided into 3 areas; the system in area 1 is not equipped
with any measurements, and therefore it is an extremely bad
area; the measurements in area 2 and area 3 are simulated by
the result of power flow of the normal system.

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Anjia Mao was born in Xishui, Hubei province,
China, on August 28, 1975. He graduated from
Harbin Institute of Technology and continued his
post-graduated education in HIT. He received
Ph.D. in Engineering in July, 2006, and now he is
an instructor of North China Electric Power
University, Beijing, China. His current main
research interests focus on power system stability
analysis and control, state estimation and
Electricity Market.
His employment experience included the
DongFang Electronic Information Industry Co.Ltd.,YanTai 264001,China.
His special fields of interest included Energy Manage System.