Probabilistic analysis of power grids: how do large blackouts occur?

EIRES Lunch lecture

Friday December 16, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Online | MS Teams

EIRES – Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems kindly invites you to join our next online EIRES Lunch lecture scheduled as follows:

Friday 16 December 2022

12h00  - 13h00 CET

Probabilistic analysis of power grids: how do large blackouts occur?

Bert Zwart | Mathematics and Computer Science at TU/e & CWI stochastics group (Amsterdam)

Organized by
Lisanne Havinga and Guus Pemen | Principal Scientists EIRES Focus Area - System Integration

Full Program
Detailed program | Invitation

Securing a reliable power grid is of tremendous societal importance due to the highly disruptive repercussions of blackouts. Yet, the study of cascading failures in power grids is a notoriously challenging problem due to its sheer size, combinatorial nature, mixed continuous and discrete processes, physics and engineering specifications. Traditional epidemics models are unsuitable for its study, as the physics of power flow are responsible for a non-local propagation of failures. Consequently, many reliability studies focus on simulation. However, rare events occur by definition seldom, which can make the output of such simulation studies unreliable. It is therefore of crucial importance to derive mathematical insights into the nature of rare events which reveal possible weak spots in a network, and which can be used to speed up large-scale rare event simulation studies. 
In this talk, Bert Zwart will give an example on how rare event analysis and extreme value theory can be used to analyze possible causes of large blackouts. He models power grids as graphs with uncertain supply and demands at the nodes, and study cascading failures on such graphs. 
He validates their results using various synthetic networks and the German transmission grid. This is joint work with Tommaso Nesti (CWI) and Fiona Sloothaak (TU/e).

About the speaker
Bert Zwart (MA Econometrics 1997, PhD Mathematics 2001) is leader of the stochastics group at CWI Amsterdam and part-time professor of mathematics at TU/e. His previous positions include a Coca- Cola professorship at Georgia Tech, Atlanta. His research has been funded by NWO (including VENI, VIDI and VICI grants), NSF, NWO, IBM, and FOM/Shell. 
The mathematical research of Bert is in applied probability and queueing theory, stochastic optimization, and rare event analysis. 
Applications of his work can be found in call centers, computer-communication networks, dynamic pricing, and power grids.
The past five years, Bert organized several meetings at the interface of energy systems and mathematics, including a winter school and an energy open meeting at EURANDOM, Eindhoven. Bert has been co-organizer of a special semester focusing on the mathematics of energy networks at the Isaac Newton Institute, which took place in spring 2019.

Online | MS Teams

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EIRES Lunch lectures are open for anyone interested in the latest developments in energy storage and conversion. Different keynote speakers from academia and industry will present their views, solutions and outlooks on the topic. The lectures leave plenty of room for discussion. We value your input. Looking forward meeting you!

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