Synchronization in Power Networks

October 19, 2011, Elings Hall 1601

Francesco Bullo and Florian Dorfler

UCSB, Mechanical Engineering


Transient stability is the ability of a power system to remain in synchronism when subjected to large disturbances and severe fluctuation in generation or load. This problem is receiving renewed attention because of the rising complexity of power grids and because of the stochastic nature of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. In this talk, Bullo and Dörfler present novel algebraic conditions for transient stability in power systems. Their conditions relate synchronization in a power network to certain graph-theoretical properties of the underlying electric network. The results reveal elegant connections with the theory of coupled oscillators and multi-agent dynamical systems. They will conclude with a quick survey of recent results on cyberphysical security in future power systems and model reduction for electrical networks.

Speaker's Bio

Francesco Bullo received a Laurea degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Padova in 1994, and his Ph.D. degree in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology in 1999. From 1998 to 2004, he was affiliated with the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently a Professor with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His students' papers were finalists for the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (2002, 2005, 2007), and the American Control Conference (2005, 2006, 2010). He is the coauthor of the book Geometric Control of Mechanical Systems (Springer, 2004) and of the book Distributed Control of Robotic Networks (Princeton, 2009). His main research interest is multi-agent networks with application to robotic coordination, distributed computing and power networks.

Florian Dörfler received his Diplom degree in Engineering Cybernetics from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 2008. He was a visiting student at the University of Toronto in 2007/2008, a corporal research intern at EADS Astrium in 2008, a visiting researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009, and graduate research intern at Los Alamos National Labs in 2011. Since September 2009, he has been a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His main research interests include distributed systems, synchronization, and coordinated control with applications in smart power grids and robotic networks. He is recipient of the 2009 Regents Special International Fellowship, the 2010 ACC Student Best Paper Award, and the 2011 O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award.

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