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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Bruce Mork


Leonard J Bohmann


In the current market system, power systems are operated at higher loads for economic reasons. Power system stability becomes a genuine concern in such operating conditions. In case of failure of any larger component, the system may become stressed. These events may start cascading failures, which may lead to blackouts.

One of the main reasons of the major recorded blackout events has been the unavailability of system-wide information. Synchrophasor technology has the capability to provide system-wide real time information. Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) are the basic building block of this technology, which provide the Global Positioning System (GPS) time-stamped voltage and current phasor values along with the frequency. It is being assumed that synchrophasor data of all the buses is available and thus the whole system is fully observable. This information can be used to initiate islanding or system separation to avoid blackouts.

A system separation strategy using synchrophasor data has been developed to answer the three main aspects of system separation:

(1) When to separate: One class support machines (OC-SVM) is primarily used for the anomaly detection. Here OC-SVM was used to detect wide area instability. OC-SVM has been tested on different stable and unstable cases and it is found that OC-SVM has the capability to detect the wide area instability and thus is capable to answer the question of “when the system should be separated”.

(2) Where to separate: The agglomerative clustering technique was used to find the groups of coherent buses. The lines connecting different groups of coherent buses form the separation surface. The rate of change of the bus voltage phase angles has been used as the input to this technique. This technique has the potential to exactly identify the lines to be tripped for the system separation.

(3) What to do after separation: Load shedding was performed approximately equal to the sum of power flows along the candidate system separation lines should be initiated before tripping these lines. Therefore it is recommended that load shedding should be initiated before tripping the lines for system separation.