Cascade and Resilience in Power Networks

The thesis is concerned with anaylsis and control of Power Networks. 

We model a Power Network as a graph in which some nods are generators and some node are loads. Loads require a certain amount of power, which must be produced at the generators and distributed through the network. Due to hard physical constraints, distribution lines form bottlenecks, expecially between areas in which energy is mostly produced and areas in which energy is mostly consumed. 

In such a situation, even localized collapse of a small number of generators or lines can produce failure cascades and blackouts in wide areas.

In this thesis, the first goal is to propose and study a suitable model for the forming and spreading of such cascades, for example by means of contagion models. Of paramount importance is the resilience of the network, namely a measure of how much physical parameters and geometric parameters of the network increase or reduce the possibility that cascade form and spread.

A second goal is to design schemes for the choice of how to redistribute the way the power is produced among the generators. If cleverly done, this might prove helpful to increase the resilience of the network, thereafter reduce, and possibly to spatially constraint, a failure cascade.

The ideal candidate has a strong background in Control Theory. S/He will acquire a strong background in Network Dynamics and in Power System control. S/He will develop models and control algorithms for cascades on Power Networks, and will test them by simulation.

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