Taming instabilities in power grid networks by decentralized control

  • B. Schäfer
  • C. Grabow
  • S. Auer
  • J. Kurths
  • D. Witthaut
  • M. Timme
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Health, Energy & Extreme Events in a Changing Climate


Renewables will soon dominate energy production in our electric power system. And yet, how to integrate renewable energy into the grid and the market is still a subject of major debate. Decentral Smart Grid Control (DSGC) was recently proposed as a robust and decentralized approach to balance supply and demand and to guarantee a grid operation that is both economically and dynamically feasible. Here, we analyze the impact of network topology by assessing the stability of essential network motifs using both linear stability analysis and basin volume for delay systems. Our results indicate that if frequency measurements are averaged over sufficiently large time intervals, DSGC enhances the stability of extended power grid systems. We further investigate whether DSGC supports centralized and/or decentralized power production and find it to be applicable to both. However, our results on cycle-like systems suggest that DSGC favors systems with decentralized production. Here, lower line capacities and lower averaging times are required compared to those with centralized production.


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Schäfer
    • 1
  • C. Grabow
    • 2
    • 10
  • S. Auer
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Kurths
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • D. Witthaut
    • 6
    • 7
  • M. Timme
    • 1
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Network Dynamics, Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS)GöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsHumboldt University BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology, University of AberdeenAberdeen AB24 3FXUK
  5. 5.Department of Control TheoryNizhny Novgorod State UniversityNizhny NovgorodRussia
  6. 6.Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute for Energy and Climate Research (IEK-Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation)JülichGermany
  7. 7.Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of CologneKölnGermany
  8. 8.Institute for Nonlinear Dynamics, Faculty of Physics, University of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  9. 9.Department of PhysicsTechnical University of DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  10. 10.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNew York University Tandon, School of EngineeringNew YorkUSA

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