Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Taras Lakoba


In order to optimize limited infrastructure, many power systems are frequently operated close to critical, or bifurcation, points. While operating close to such critical points can be economically advantageous, doing so increases the probability of a blackout. With the continued deployment of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs), high sample rate data are dramatically increasing the real time observability of the power grids. Prior research has shown that the statistics of these data can provide useful information regarding network stability and associated bifurcation proximity. Currently, it is not common practice for transmission and distribution control centers to leverage the higher order statistical properties of PMU data. If grid operators have the tools to determine when these statistics warrant control action, though, then the otherwise unused statistical data present in PMU streams can be transformed into actionable information.

In order to address this problem, we present two methods that aim to gauge and improve system stability using the statistics of PMU data. The first method shows how sensitivity factors associated with the spectral analysis of the reduced power flow Jacobian can be used to weight and filter incoming PMU data. We do so by demonstrating how the derived participation factors directly

predict the relative strength of bus voltage variances throughout a system. The second method leverages an analytical solver to determine a range of "critical" bus voltage variances. The monitoring and testing of raw statistical data in a highly observable load pocket of a large system are then used to reveal when control actions are needed to mitigate the risk of voltage collapse. A simple reactive power controller is then implemented that pushes the stability of the system back to a stable operating paradigm. Full order dynamic time domain simulations are used in order to test this method on both the IEEE 39 bus system and the 2383 bus Polish system. We also compare this method to two other, more conventional, controllers. The first relies on voltage magnitude signals, and the second depends only on local control of a reactive power resource. This comparison illustrates how the use of statistical information from PMU measurements can substantially improve

the performance of voltage collapse mitigation methods.



Number of Pages

149 p.