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Expose hidden failures to prevent cascading outages [in power systems]

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2 Author(s)
A. G. Phadke ; Virginia Polytech. Inst. & State Univ., Blacksburg, VA, USA ; J. S. Thorp

Major blackouts are rare events, but their impact can be catastrophic. A study of significant disturbances reported by NERC in the period from 1984 through 1988 indicates that protective relays are involved in one way or another in 75 percent of major disturbances. A common scenario is that the relay has an undetected (hidden) defect that was exposed due to the conditions created by other disturbances. For example, nearby faults, overloads, or reverse power flows expose the defective relay and cause a false trip, which exacerbates the situation. Given the importance of hidden failure modes in traditional relaying systems, intervention by computer-based rational control schemes is proposed in this article. Relays with high-vulnerability indices can be identified, and their vulnerable functions and failure modes identified. Countermeasures to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of the hidden failure of key relays can be provided

Published in:

IEEE Computer Applications in Power  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 3 )