Conference Paper

A High-Performance Hybrid Computing Approach to Massive Contingency Analysis in the Power Grid

DOI: 10.1109/e-Science.2009.46 Conference: Fifth International Conference on e-Science, e-Science 2009, 9-11 December 2009, Oxford, UK
Source: DBLP


Operating the electrical power grid to prevent power black-outs is a complex task. An important aspect of this is contingency analysis, which involves understanding and mitigating potential failures in power grid elements such as transmission lines. When taking into account the potential for multiple simultaneous failures (known as the N-x contingency problem), contingency analysis becomes a massively computational task. In this paper we describe a novel hybrid computational approach to contingency analysis. This approach exploits the unique graph processing performance of the Cray XMT in conjunction with a conventional massively parallel compute cluster to identify likely simultaneous failures that could cause widespread cascading power failures that have massive economic and social impact on society. The approach has the potential to provide the first practical and scalable solution to the N-x contingency problem. When deployed in power grid operations, it will increase the grid operator's ability to deal effectively with outages and failures with power grid components while preserving stable and safe operation of the grid. The paper describes the architecture of our solution and presents preliminary performance results that validate the efficacy of our approach.

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Available from: Zhenyu Huang
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    • "An alternative approach can be found in cluster computing. In [19] a High-Performance Hybrid Computing approach was applied to reduce the execution time of massive contingency analysis algorithms. In this work the algorithm was parallelized using a XMT multithread C/C++ compiler on Gray XMT (multithread HPC computing platform) and conventional cluster computers. "
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    • "This work was later validated using MPI and PVM with better results in [35]. Performance analysis on work [36] was validated using 64 nodes with 512 Mb of shared memory, and 8 dual quad core nodes running at 2.33 GHz connected with InfiniBand. N-x contingency analysis is proposed here exploiting the multithreaded architecture with hybrid computing reducing the data transfer overhead. "
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