Wide area blackouts: why do they happen and how can modelling help?
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
AbstractPower systems in developed countries have been designed to operate with a very high level of reliability. Consequently, wide-area blackouts affecting millions of customers tended to happen very rarely, at least until recently. This situation seems to have changed over the last few years, as there has been a series of wide-area blackouts and disturbances affecting millions of customers in Italy, Sweden/Denmark and US/Canada (all three in 2003), continental Europe in 2006, and GB in May 2008. The talk will overview the common underlying reasons for the blackouts and discuss how mathematical modelling can help. Special attention will be paid to the increased penetration of Distributed Generation (DG), mostly wind-based.
Many believe that current operational procedures, designed to deal with a traditional power system characterised by a limited number of large centrally-controlled power plants, may not be adequate to deal with future power systems characterised by a very high penetration of distributed generators which are smaller in size, uncontrollable and stochastic in nature. The new operational paradigm will require a new approach to power system modelling and control.