On Modeling Random Topology Power Grids for Testing Decentralized Network Control Strategies

Wang, Z., Scaglione, A., Thomas, R. J.

IFAC Workshop on Estimation and Control of Networked Systems, Volume 1, Par 1, pp. 114-119, 2009.

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An electrical power grid is a critical infrastructure. Its reliable, robust, and efficient operation inevitably depends on underlying telecommunication networks. In order to design an efficient communication scheme and examine the efficiency of any networked control architecture, we need to characterize statistically its information source, namely the power grid itself. In this paper we studied both the topological and electrical characteristics of power grid networks based on a number of synthetic and real-world power systems. We made several interesting discoveries: the power grids are sparsely connected and the average nodal degree is very stable regardless of network size; the nodal degrees distribution has exponential tails, which can be approximated with a shifted Geometric distribution; the algebraic connectivity scales as a power function of network size with the power index lying between that of one-dimensional and two-dimensional lattice; the line impedance has a heavy-tailed distribution, which can be captured quite accurately by a Double Pareto LogNormal distribution. Based on the discoveries mentioned above, we propose an algorithm that generates random power grids featuring the same topology and electrical characteristics we found from the real data.

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