Power Systems Engineering Research Center

Systems Stem Research

The work of the Systems Stem targets modeling, evaluation, decision, and control in power system operation, maintenance, and planning of generation, transmission, and distribution subsystems for more reliable & economic grid performance.

The electric power industry is comprised of a large number of diverse organizations that together operate, maintain, and plan the infrastructure used to generate, transport, and distribute electric energy. These activities require continuous and intimate coordination among the various organizations while simultaneously satisfying information sharing needs and limitations associated with the economic systems (e.g., markets) used to facilitate energy trade. Regional coordinators for operations, reliability, and markets have needs driven by their functional complexity and by their large size. Capability to monitor and control power systems over increasingly wider areas is needed. Flexibility and interoperability of corresponding information systems is essential. Power electronic devices are being deployed at generation, transmission, and end-use levels. Small-scale, dispersed generation technologies are increasing their penetration in power systems. Environmental concerns have motivated diversification of power generation portfolios around the world, and the corresponding growth in different supply technologies (gas, nuclear, land-based and offshore wind, solar, biomass, etc.) drives changes in the delivery system technologies on which they depend.

The complexity of systems problems increases with system size, new technology op-tions, operational requirements, and environmental constraints. Advances in information technology, communications and mathematics demand that systems problems be reexamined and new approaches formulated. The Systems Stem supports development of new frameworks, approaches, advanced algorithms, and computational methods that will effectively cope with the complexity and large scale issues of the future electric power industry. Representative areas of work include:

  • Operations, planning, optimization, system reliability/security, and risk management
  • Security, reliability and adequacy criteria
  • Real-time security assessment and preventive and corrective control
  • Interactions of complex systems
  • Communications, control, data management, system monitoring, self healing, and restoration
  • Computational complexity arising in operation and control of power systems
  • Operation, control, and protection of distributed generation
  • Short-term scheduling of uncertain renewable resources
  • Component modeling and system identification
  • Simulation platforms and visualization tools

The Systems Stem has identified the following core areas in which we intend that the Stem will have impact in the coming years. These areas are listed below together with examples typical of each area.

  1. Control Center Technologies: state estimation, phasor measurements, visualization, situational, awareness (preventive & corrective), restoration, control room architectures
  2. Wide Area Control and Cascading Defense: adaptive islanding, coordination of different control levels, operational identification & simulation of high-risk contingencies, use of phasor measurements in control and decision
  3. Reliability and Planning (Operational and Long-Term): reactive power planning, dynamic load models, standards, uncertainty, distributed generation, using condition data, losses, long-range planning
  4. Sustainability of Energy Supply and Transport: impact of renewables, wind integration, fuel transportation infrastructure, emissions and climate impacts.