Effects of phasor measurement uncertainty on power line outage detection

Chen Chen, Jianhui Wang, Hao Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phasor measurement unit (PMU) technology provides an effective tool to enhance the wide-area monitoring systems (WAMSs) in power grids. Although extensive studies have been conducted to develop several PMU applications in power systems (e.g., state estimation, oscillation detection and control, voltage stability analysis, and line outage detection), the uncertainty aspects of PMUs have not been adequately investigated. This paper focuses on quantifying the impact of PMU uncertainty on power line outage detection and identification, in which a limited number of PMUs installed at a subset of buses are utilized to detect and identify the line outage events. Specifically, the line outage detection problem is formulated as a multi-hypothesis test, and a general Bayesian criterion is used for the detection procedure, in which the PMU uncertainty is analytically characterized. We further apply the minimum detection error criterion for the multi-hypothesis test and derive the expected detection error probability in terms of PMU uncertainty. The framework proposed provides fundamental guidance for quantifying the effects of PMU uncertainty on power line outage detection. Case studies are provided to validate our analysis and show how PMU uncertainty influences power line outage detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6846291
Pages (from-to)1127-1139
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayesian criterion
  • PMU
  • error probability
  • multi-hypothesis test
  • power line outage detection
  • uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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