Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Connecting dead ends increases power grid stability

10.06.2014

Climate change mitigation strategies such as the German Energiewende require linking vast numbers of new power generation facilities to the grid.

As the input from many renewable sources is rather volatile, depending on how much the wind blows or the sun shines, there’s a higher risk of local power instabilities and eventually blackouts. Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now employed a novel concept from nonlinear systems analysis called basin stability to tackle this challenge. They found that connecting dead ends can significantly increase power grid stability. The findings are confirmed by a case study of the Scandinavian power system.

“The cheapest and thus widespread way to implement new generators into a high-voltage power grid is by simply adding single connections, like creating dead-end streets in a road network,” says Peter J. Menck, lead author of the study published in Nature Communications. To test the resulting system’s stability, the scientists simulated large perturbations in a standard electrical engineering model. “We found that in the power grid nodes close to the dead-end connections, the ability to withstand perturbations is largely reduced,” Menck says.

“Yet it turned out that this can be easily repaired by judiciously adding just a few transmission lines,” Menck says. Apparently, the provision of alternative routes in the network should allow for a dispersion of perturbation effects. Thereby, technical protection mechanisms at the different nodes of the grid can deal with problems, while dead ends make the effects culminate at single points of the network.

**Applying a novel mathematical concept for the first time**

These new insights are the result of applying for the first time the novel mathematical concept of basin stability developed at PIK. “From energy grids to the Amazon jungle or human body cells, systems possess multiple stable states,” explains co-author Jürgen Kurths who leads the institute’s research domain 'Transdisciplinary Methods and Concepts'. “To understand blackouts, forest dieback, or cancer, it is crucial to quantify the stability of a system – and that’s precisely what we’re now able to do.”

The concept conceives a system’s alternative states as points in a mountainous landscape with steep rocks and deep valleys. The likelihood that a system returns to a specific sink after suffering a severe blow depends on how big this basin is. “We’re putting numbers on this,” says Kurths.

**Compared to the costs of a blackout, adding lines would be affordable**

“Compared to the potential costs of a blackout, adding a few transmission lines would definitely be affordable,” says co-author Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of PIK. “The new study gives just one example that innovative solutions, in our case even based on already existing technology, can indeed help master the transformation of our energy system, for many good reasons such as climate stabilization.”

Article: Menck, P.J., Heitzig, J., Kurths, J., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2014): How dead ends undermine power grid stability. Nature Communications [DOI:10.1038/ncomms4969]

Weblink to the article: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140609/ncomms4969/full/ncomms4969.html

Weblink to a related study on the concept of basin stability: http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/vom-regenwald-des-amazonas-bis-zu-...

For further information please contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de

Jonas Viering | PIK Potsdam

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept
17.08.2016 | Technische Universität Graz

nachricht Lithium-ion batteries: Capacity might be increased by 6 times
09.08.2016 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

Towards the connected, automated and electrified automobiles: AMAA conference in Brussels

02.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>