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Grainger Lecture Series

Event Type
B02 Coordinated Science Laboratory
Oct 28, 2013   4:00 pm  
Prof. Christopher L. DeMarco

On Monday, October 28, 2013, at 4 pm, Prof. Christopher L. DeMarco of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison will give a lecture titled "Power System Big Data and 'Model Free' Evaluation of Grid Voltage Stability" as part of the Grainger Lecture Series. This lecture will take place in B02 Coordinated Science Laboratory.

Inherent to the sinusoidal nonlinearities dictating AC power flow is the fact that grid stability margins tend to decrease as the transmission system is more fully utilized. Motivated by these stability concerns, among the recommendations to emerge following the 2003 northeastern U.S. blackout was a call for improved measurement technology, to enhance "situational awareness" for the grid. Major investment in Smart Grid technologies has followed, with large numbers of dramatically improved sensors now widely deployed across North America. Among the opportunities today is that of using this grid "big data" to improve real time stability monitoring.

This work will argue that for big data algorithms to be successfully applied to problems in power grid stability, one must exploit the structural features giving rise to the data, while seeking to avoid dependence on detailed parameter values to populate system models. Of interest here will be the problem of characterizing vulnerability to voltage instability, a phenomena that has contributed to a number of major blackouts and near miss events. We will examine a singular value decomposition (SVD) based algorithm, well established in the context of "full model based" assessment of voltage instability, and demonstrate its "model free" adaptation to use only real-time measurement data, without need for explicit identification of system model parameters.

Christopher DeMarco holds the Grainger Professorship in Power Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he been a member of the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) since 1985. He has served as ECE Department chair (2002-2005), and is UW-Madison site director for the National Science Foundation IUCRC Power Systems Engineering Research Center (2004-present). He was recipient of the UW-Madison Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2000. Dr. DeMarco received his PhD degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1985, and his BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980, both in electrical engineering and computer science. His research and teaching interests center on dynamics, control and optimization of electrical energy systems.

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