Università degli Studi di Padova

Power grids as stochastic networks: emergent failures and mitigation strategies

Venerdì 27 Novembre 2020, ore 11:30 - Zoom - Alessandro Zocca (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


Power grids are one of the most complex and critical networks in modern-day society, which we expect to function reliably at all times. The increasing adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines, introduces a massive amount of uncertainty into power grids, due to their intrinsically intermittent and highly variable nature. In this talk I will give an overview of my current research, which aims to develop new mathematical tools to analyze power grids and their performance in the presence of uncertainty.

Stochastic fluctuations of the power injections affect line flows and phase angle frequencies, and, when amplified by correlations and network effects, they can cause failures and possibly blackouts. Large deviations techniques and ad-hoc MCMC methods allow us to better understand how these emergent failures occur and to estimate their likelihood. A peculiar feature of cascading failures in power grids is that they propagate nonlocally, making the control and mitigation of these failures extremely hard. I will illustrate a novel strategy we devise using tools from graph theory, spectral clustering, and optimization to mitigate the impact of line failures and their non-local propagation.

Zoom link

Seminars in Probability and Finance page