A High-Voltage Visual for the Power Grid
The large machine known as the electric power grid is highly complex. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are part of a multi-institute collaboration using and developing mathematical tools to better understand grid structure and behavior. This image, one of the outcomes from the research, represents a model of the Western U.S. power grid. The dots are nodes, or grid components such as generators, loads and substations; the color and size denote the nodes’ voltage ratings. The faint lines reflect transmission lines, transformers and associated components. Together, the dots and lines illustrate the structured, hierarchical nature of the high-voltage transmission network. Such a depiction enhances the study of contingency analysis (developing the best responses for potential component failures), as well as monitoring, pricing and planning. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program.
Research team members: Mahantesh Halappanavar and Emilie Hogan of PNNL’s Fundamental & Computational Sciences Directorate; Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez and Daniel Duncan of Oregon State University; and Paul Hines of the University of Vermont.