How Can Cyber-Physical Interdependence Affect The Mitigation Of Cascading Power Failure?

Mingkui Wei Sam Houston State University, USA
Zhuo Lu University of South Florida, USA
Yufei Tang Florida Atlantic University, USA
Xiang Lu Institute of Information Engineering, CAS, P.R. China


Utilizing advanced communication technologies to facilitate power system monitoring and control, the smart grid is envisioned to be more robust and resilient against cascading failures. Although the integration of communication network does benefit the smart grid in many aspects, such benefits should not overshadow the fact that the interdependence between the communication network and the power infrastructure makes the smart grid more fragile to cascading failures. Thus, it is essential to understand the impact of such cyber-physical integration with interdependence from both positive and negative perspectives. In this paper, we develop a systematic framework to analyze the benefits and drawbacks of the cyber-physical interdependence. We use theoretical analysis and system-level simulations to characterize the impact of such interdependence. We identify two phases during the progress of failure propagation where the integrated communication and interdependence helps and hinders the mitigation of the failure, respectively, which provides practical guidance to smart grid system design and optimization.

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