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Novel computational approach for assessing electric grid reliability

Research Achievements

Novel computational approach for assessing electric grid reliability

First year IGERT trainee Mark Wagy is developing novel computational approaches to assess electric grid reliability. His work capitalizes on the ability of a recently developed computational algorithm called “Random Chemistry” to rapidly identify dangerous combinations of multiple line outages. Mark is using these results to create new ways to measure blackout risk, which take into account the joint probabilities of component outages and the likelihood of outages to result in cascading failures. Mark has already discovered non-intuitive nonlinearities in the failure combinations that may provide insights into understanding potential triggers for cascading failures and for developing preventative interventions. His work addresses a pressing need; North American Reliability Standards now require that each transmission operator protect against cascading failures resulting from multiple outages, but there is as yet no systematic way to accurately assess or mitigate this risk.