Synthetic Grid Papers

Tom Overbye has recently published two papers regarding synthetic grids, both available online.

“Educational Applications of Large Synthetic Power Grids”

This paper describes the use of large electric grids in university electric power systems courses. Since much actual power system information is not publicly available, the application of public domain synthetic grids developed by the authors is presented including a 2000-bus grid. Discussion of the educational applications utilized in a senior level class are given for power flow analysis and sensitivity, economic dispatch, contingency analysis, optimal power flow (OPF), security constrained OPF, transient stability, and real-time dynamic operations. In each of these, the application of the large synthetic grids give students insights and experience with cases closer to actual power systems in complexity and size.

“Grid Structural Characteristics as Validation Criteria for Synthetic Networks”

This paper presents a methodology and set of validation criteria for the systematic creation of synthetic power system test cases. The synthesized grids do not correspond to any real grid and are, thus, free from confidentiality requirements. The cases are built to match statistical characteristics found in actual power grids. 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 paper 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 paper presents a methodology to generate synthetic line topologies with realistic parameters that satisfy these criteria. Then, the test cases can be augmented with additional complexities to build large, realistic cases. The methodology is illustrated in building a 2000 bus public test case that meets the criteria specified.

A repository of electric grid test cases is available as well.