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Improving Reliability and Performance

of Electric Power Grids by Using High
Performance Computing
High Performance Computation Conference
October 22-24 2008

Eugene A. Feinberg
Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics
Stony Brook University

 Importance of electric power systems
 Use mathematics and computations in
EPS operations
 Solutions via High Performance
Computing (HPC)
 Conclusions

Importance of
Electric Power Systems (EPS)

What is EPS?  A system dedicated to the business of electric power:  Generation (Production)  Transmission (Transportation)  Distribution (Retailing)  A “Mission Critical System” that provides a vital service to the society &. as such. should be operated with the goal of achieving:  Highest reliability standards  Minimum environmental impacts  Lowest operation costs .

US National Power Grid Data Source: FERC .

consumption devices are part of the EPS & need to be modeled in EPS analysis.EPS Functions Although not normally owned or controlled by the power utility. .

Power Generation .

Power Generation  Takes place in geographically dispersed power plants  Power plants normally house multiple generating units  Generating units can operate based on different:  Energy Sources  Energy Conversion processes  Units can be at different states (on/off) .

natural gas.)  Water  Nuclear  Wind  Solar  Tides  Chemical  etc . coal.Energy Sources  Hydrocarbons (oil. etc.

Energy Converters  Conversion processes in a thermal power plant:  Burners: Chemical energy ⇒ Thermal energy  Boilers: Thermal energy ⇒ Mechanical energy  Wind Turbines: Kinetic energy (KE) ⇒ Mechanical energy  Rotating machines: KE ⇒ Electrical energy  With today’s technology. overall conversion efficiency of a thermal power plant can approach 33% .

Power Transmission  Transmission networks are needed to :  Connect generating plants to consumption points  Create large power pools for increased reliability .

Power Transmission Equipment  Transformers  Step-up transformers  Voltage Regulators  Phase Shifters  Step-down Transformers  Transmission Lines & Cables  Circuit Breakers & Disconnects  Etc. .

reclosures  Automatic load transfers  Etc. fuses.Power Distribution  Receives electrical energy from the HV/MV (High Voltage/Medium Voltage) levels at bulk power delivery points  Supplies energy to customers:  At standard voltage levels  Single phase and/or three-phase  Is made up of the following main equipment:  Distribution transformers (DXF)  Feeder sections (including underground cables)  Switches. .

Power Distribution .

EPS Operation Goals  Power Balance: Generation must remain balanced with demand  Generation Capacity (t)≥Total Generation (t)  Total Generation (t) = Total Demand (t)  System Security: Equipment power flows must not exceed equipment ratings. under normal or a single outage condition: max |Pj (t)| ≤ Pj (t) .


must remain within its operational range Voltage Regulation: Bus voltages must remain within their operational limits . Power Quality Considerations Frequency Regulation: System frequency.

Challenges for Power System Operations  Goal: meet the continually changing load demand for both active and reactive power while the desired system frequency and voltage profile are maintained. . This should be done in the cost-efficient way  From time to time blackouts happen.

Major Blackouts in the Past 30 Years Northeast USA Blackout Sweden London Voltage France Blackout Collapse Voltage Columbia 80% of Mexico Italy Blackout France Collapse Blackout Malaysia… Blackout …. Moscow Blackout 1978 1983 1987 1996 2003 2005 2007 .

Weather Dependence  Electric loads fluctuate and depend on several factors including time and weather.  Equipment also depend on weather characteristics such as ambient temperature and winds .  Peak load usually happen in the afternoon during heat waves.

Complex Electricity Markets  In the last decades.  Price volatility . a new challenge has emerged for power market participants. with deregulation and introduction of competition.

price. area planning.Major Decision Making Processes for EPS  State Estimation  Estimate the steady states condition of EPS using online measured values  Forecasting  Load. capital expenditure. energy trading. etc. etc. medium term. rating. equipment states. maintenance. capacity. optimal flow problem. Solutions for some of these problems are difficult and require intensive computations .  Control and Planning  Short term. reliability analysis. long term  Economic dispatch.

Solutions via High Performance Computing (HPC) .

Why we need HPC?  Challenges lead to several mathematical problems whose exact solutions are intractable  HPC provides tools for the solutions of reasonable approximations in required time  HPC is important for difficult scientific and engineering problems that can be solved by parallel computing.  Monte Carlo simulation is one of the mathematical methods that allows parallel algorithms. .  EPS provide several such problems.

Monte Carlo simulation methods are used in contemporary optimization techniques:  Reinforcement Learning (neuro dynamic programming.  In addition to direct simulation.Simulation  Instead of simulating N scenarios on a sequential machine. it is possible to simulate N/M scenarios on each of M parallel processors. approximate dynamic programming)  Cross-Entropy Methods .

Problems of EPS using HPC: State Estimation  Provide reliable estimates of the quantities required for monitoring and control of the EPS  a set of measurements obtained is centrally processed by a state estimator  State Estimation model:  z –measurement vector  x –true state vector  h –nonlinear vector functions  w –measurement error vector .

Problems of EPS using HPC: State Estimation  Challenges  Higher frequency -.enlarge the supervised network by extending state estimation to low voltage sub networks .shorten the time interval between consecutive state estimations to allow a closer monitoring of the system evolution particularly in emergency situations in which the system state changes rapidly  Larger size -.

Challenging problem: wind forecasting. . HPC is used for weather forecasting.Problems of EPS using HPC: Forecasting  Load and Price Forecasting  Solutions use optimization methods  Depend on the weather  Require HPC in real time if there are unforeseen events (failures. sudden changes in the weather)  Require HPC for simulation-based optimization  Require weather forecasts.

.Problems of EPS using HPC: Forecasting  Reliability Analysis  assess the ability of a multi-area power system satisfy the demand  adequately satisfy the customer load requirements  Perform a chronological hourly simulation of the system based on the Monte Carlo simulation  Compare the hourly load demand in each area to the total available generation in the area  Areas with excess capacity will provide emergency assistance to those areas that are deficient. subject to the transfer limits between the areas.

Problems of EPS using HPC: Forecasting  Optimization techniques in forecasting  Non-linear programming  Dynamic programming  Difficulties: Curse of dimension  Solutions  Decomposition techniques  Utilization of parallel computers .

Problems of EPS using HPC: Control and Planning  Optimal Flow  Goal: To obtain complete voltage angle and magnitude information for each bus in a power system for specified load and generator real power and voltage conditions  Can be expressed as a classical mathematical program  x and u represents respectively the states and controls variables .

 Efficient way of dealing with high dimensionality of the problem is by Decomposition Techniques on HPC .Problems of EPS using HPC: Control and Planning  Optimal Flow  Most of the constraints represents the operational constraints or the automatic response of the power system  Most of the objective functions represents economical or security aims  These functions are nonlinear  Typical problems involve around 2000 equality constraints and 4000 inequality constraints.

Problems of EPS using HPC: Control and Planning  Economic Dispatch  To find a set of active power delivered by the committed generators to satisfy the required demand at any time subject to the unit technical limits and at the lowest production cost.  Techniques  Stochastic dynamic programming  Computational requirements are usually high  Implementation of parallel computing overcomes this difficulty .  Important to solve this problem as quickly and accurately as possible.

and development depend on solutions of many difficult mathematical problems  HPC is a natural tool to solve of these problems .Conclusions  EPS are vitally important for our society  EPS are complex systems and their efficient control. management.

.Thank you.