Distributed Asynchronous Algorithms and Software Systems for Wide-Area Monitoring of Power Systems

funded by the National Science Foundation

researchers: Aranya Chakrabortty (North Carolina State University), Frank Mueller (North Carolina State University), Rakesh B. Bobba, Nitin H. Vaidya, Yufeng Xin (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

The objective of this project is to develop a distributed algorithmic framework, supported by a highly fault-tolerant software system, for executing critical transmission-level operations of the North American power grid that use gigantic volumes of synchrophasor data.

The current state-of-the-art centralized communication and information-processing architecture of wide-area measurement systems (WAMS) will no longer be sustainable under conditions of data explosion, and a completely distributed cyber-physical architecture will need to be developed. The North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI) is currently addressing that by developing new communication and computing protocols through NASPInet and Phasor Gateway. However, almost no attention has been paid to perhaps the most critical consequence of the envisioned distributed architecture: distributed algorithms.

Our primary task, therefore, will be to develop parallel computational methods for solving real-time wide-area monitoring and control problems with analytical investigation of their stability, convergence, and robustness properties, followed by their implementation and testing against extraneous malicious attacks. In particular, we will address the critical research problems of wide-area oscillation detection, synchrophasor-based transient stability assessment, and voltage stability monitoring.
Experimental validation of the algorithms will be done in the final year.