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Speaker: Alessandro Zocca (VU Amsterdam)
Title: Improving Power Systems Reliability Via Adaptive Grid Partitioning
Transmission line failures in power systems propagate and cascade non-locally, making it even more challenging to optimally and reliably operate these complex networks. I will present a comprehensive framework based on spectral graph theory that fully and rigorously captures how multiple simultaneous failures propagate, both for non-cut and cut set outages. A highlight of this theory is that specific network substructures, named bridge-blocks, prevent line failures from propagating globally. I will first introduce an adaptive network topology reconfiguration paradigm that uses a two-stage algorithm to increase the network robustness against line failures. The first stage aims to identify optimal clusters using spectral methods and the second stage refines the network structure by means of optimal line switching actions. Secondly, I will introduce a novel adaptive control strategy that leverages the properties the network bridge-block decomposition in combination with a frequency regulation method called unified control to effectively stopping cascading failures with minimal disruption. Such a strategy greatly improves overall reliability in terms of the N-k security standard, and localizes the impact of initial failures in the majority of the simulated contingencies. Lastly, I will also show how the network bridge-block decomposition can be exploited as a less severe emergency measure alternative to controlled islanding.
This talk is based on joint work with Chen Liang, Steven Low, Adam Wierman, and Leon Lan.
Alessandro Zocca is tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Mathematics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since October 2019. He received his B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Padua in 2010, his M.A.St. in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 2011, and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from TU Eindhoven in 2015. He worked as postdoctoral researcher first at CWI Amsterdam (2016-2017) and then at California Institute of Technology (2017-2019), where he was supported by his personal NWO Rubicon grant. His work lies mostly in the area of applied probability and optimization, but has deep ramifications in areas as diverse as operations research, graph theory, algorithm design, and control theory. His research focuses on dynamics and rare events on large-scale networked systems affected by uncertainty, with a strong emphasis on applications to power systems reliability.