Engineering structural robustness in power grid networks susceptible to community desynchronization

Daniel Dylewsky, Xiu Yang, Alexandre Tartakovsky, J. Nathan Kutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Networked power grid systems are susceptible to a phenomenon known as Coherent Swing Instability (CSI), in which a subset of machines in the grid lose synchrony with the rest of the network. We develop network level evaluation metrics to (i) identify community substructures in the power grid network, (ii) determine weak points in the network that are particularly sensitive to CSI, and (iii) produce an engineering approach for the addition of transmission lines to reduce the incidences of CSI in existing networks, or design new power grid networks that are robust to CSI by their network design. For simulations on a reduced model for the American Northeast power grid, where a block of buses representing the New England region exhibit a strong propensity for CSI, we show that modifying the network’s connectivity structure can markedly improve the grid’s resilience to CSI. Our analysis provides a versatile diagnostic tool for evaluating the efficacy of adding lines to a power grid which is known to be prone to CSI. This is a particularly relevant problem in large-scale power systems, where improving stability and robustness to interruptions by increasing overall network connectivity is not feasible due to financial and infrastructural constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalApplied Network Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Community structure
  • Network fault tolerance
  • Power system simulation
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Mathematics


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