The creation of synthetic power grids: preliminary considerations Thesis uri icon


  • This thesis presents preliminary considerations and an initial methodology for the systematic creation of synthetic power system test cases. The synthesized grids are built to match statistical characteristics found in actual power grids, but they do not correspond to any real grid and are thus free from confidentiality requirements. First, substations are geographically placed on a selected territory, synthesized from public information about the underlying population and generation plants. A clustering technique is employed, which ensures the synthetic substations meet realistic proportions of load and generation, among other constraints. Next, a network of transmission lines is added. This thesis describes several structural statistics to be used in characterizing real power system networks, including connectivity, Delaunay triangulation overlap, dc power flow analysis, and line intersection rate. The thesis presents a methodology to generate synthetic line topologies with realistic parameters which satisfy these criteria. Then, the test cases can be augmented with additional complexities to build large, realistic cases. An application to geomagnetic disturbance analysis is discussed as an example. The thesis illustrates the method with two example test cases, one with 150 buses and the other with 2000 buses. The methodology for creating each is shown, and the characteristics of these cases are validated against the observations from real cases.

author list (cited authors)

  • Birchfield, A.

complete list of authors

  • Birchfield, Adam

publication date

  • January 2016