Curing Braess' Paradox by Secondary Control in Power Grids

Tchawou Tchuisseu, Eder Batista; Gomila, Damia; Colet, Pere; Witthaut, Dirk; Timme, Marc; Schäfer, Benjamin
New Journal of Physics 20, 083005 (2018)

The robust operation of power transmission grids is essential for most of today's technical infrastructure and our daily life. Adding renewable generation to power grids requires grid extensions and sophisticated control actions on different time scales to cope with short-term fluctuations and long-term power imbalance. Braess' paradox constitutes a counterintuitive collective phenomenon that occurs if adding new transmission line capacity to a network increases loads on other lines, effectively reducing the system's performance and potentially even entirely destabilizing its operating state. Combining simple analytical considerations with numerical investigations on a small sample network, we here study dynamical consequences of secondary control in AC power grid models. We demonstrate that sufficiently strong control not only implies dynamical stability of the system but may also cure Braess' paradox. Our results highlight the importance of demand control in conjunction with the grid topology to ensure stable operation of the grid and reveal a new functional benefit of secondary control.

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