Research > Faculty Projects

EPCN: Quantifying the Resilience of Power Systems to Natural Disasters

Principal Investigator
Daniel Kirschen

Payman Arabshahi

National Science Foundation

Award Period
09/15/2015 - 08/31/2018

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods affect the population not only by destroying houses and businesses but also by creating havoc in the electricity infrastructure. Industrialized societies have indeed become so dependent on a continuous supply of electrical energy that prolonged power outages can affect their very fabric. Ideally, power systems should be able to withstand such events relatively unscathed. However, if that is not possible, they should at least be designed in such a way that at least a basic service can be restored quickly.

The aim of this project is to develop a technique to quantify the resilience of power systems to natural disasters. Such a measure would help direct the very large investments required to the measures that will have the largest effect on this resilience. We propose a quantification technique that relies on the solution of a new type of optimization problem.

This project will involve work along two converging research streams:

- The development of models to estimate the importance of restoring each load in the system and to estimate the time that would be required to repair a particular branch of the network in the aftermath of such a disaster. - The development of algorithms to solve the optimization problem used to represent the repair and restoration process.

EE logo