Assessing the Reliability of the European Power Grid Using Load Curve Indicators and Topological Characteristics

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Conference Papers
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C. Brancucci Martinez-Anido
G. Fulli
M. Vandenbergh
R. Bolado
M. Masera
European Conference on Complex Systems - Complexity in Energy Infrastructures: Models, Metrics and Metaphors

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The European power grid is the largest complex physical network ever made by human kind. The assessment of its reliability has been an ambitious and attractive as well as necessary research field over the past decades. In particular, the assessment of the European power grid by means of topological measures has garnered a great deal of interest among the scientific community. The extension of its analysis and the correlation between load curve indicators and fault events in the European power grid are the main goals of this paper.

The mission of a power grid is to transmit and distribute electricity in order to reliably serve the load. This objective is, inter alia, challenged by the variations of electricity demand over time. In other words, the load curve shape, featuring large fluctuations over a 24 hour period, determines the amount of energy which must be delivered. Two very important measures for power system reliability are the energy not supplied and the restoration time after a fault event. Both values affect electricity consumers who at the same time drive the dynamics of the balance between generation and demand. Therefore, the comparison and analysis of load curve shapes throughout Europe can contribute to explanations of complex and variable fault events in the power grid. The paper intends to expand previous work assessing the European power grid reliability in terms of topological measures by extending the time frame of events and taking into account the effect of a large blackout.

Moreover, load curve indicators throughout several European countries, derived from load curve characteristics such as peak and valley power levels or power over energy ratio, are described and used as additional factors to assess European power grid reliability.
Considering these attributes, the central question arises, is there any correlation between load curve indicators and occurrence of power disruptions in the European power grid?