Impact of network splitting on cascading failure blackouts

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As electric transmission networks continue to increase in complexity and volatility, there is a growing potential for cascading failure effects to cause major blackouts. Understanding these effects and assessing the risks involved is of critical importance in operating the electric grid and maintaining high reliability. Analysis of empirical data suggests that blackout sizes obey a power-law with exponents that vary across data sets. For a particular macroscopic cascading failure model, such power-law behavior was also observed with one specific exponent. Motivated by the variation in the exponents revealed by empirical blackout data, we extend this cascading failure model with a network splitting mechanism. We demonstrate the impact of the latter feature on the power-law exponent of the blackout size. Moreover, we identify the most likely scenario for a severe blackout to occur. These insights provide crucial steps towards a deeper understanding of more complex network splitting scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 Power and Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM), 16-20 July 2017, Chicago, Illinois
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781538622124
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2018
Event2017 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, PESGM 2017 - Chicago, IL USA, Chicago, United States
Duration: 16 Jul 201720 Jul 2017


Conference2017 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, PESGM 2017
Abbreviated titlePESGM 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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