Structural Vulnerability Assessment of Electric Power Grids

Yakup Koç, Martijn Warnier, Robert E. Kooij, Frances M. T. Brazier

Cascading failures are the typical reasons of black- outs in power grids. The grid topology plays an important role in determining the dynamics of cascading failures in power grids. Measures for vulnerability analysis are crucial to assure a higher level of robustness of power grids. Metrics from Complex Networks are widely used to investigate the grid vulnerability. Yet, these purely topological metrics fail to capture the real behaviour of power grids. This paper proposes a metric, the effective graph resistance, as a vulnerability measure to de- termine the critical components in a power grid. Differently than the existing purely topological measures, the effective graph resistance accounts for the electrical properties of power grids such as power flow allocation according to Kirchoff laws. To demonstrate the applicability of the effective graph resistance, a quantitative vulnerability assessment of the IEEE 118 buses power system is performed. The simulation results verify the effectiveness of the effective graph resistance to identify the critical transmission lines in a power grid.

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