Enjoying the presentations going on at IEEE TPEC2019 (Texas Power and Energy Conference), including work we did with Dr. Kate Davis and her group, being presented by BiSSL MS student Varuneswara Panyam in College Station, TX.
Extreme events continue to show that existing power grid configurations can be vulnerable to disturbances. Drawing inspiration from naturally robust biological ecosystems presents a potential source of robust design guidelines for modern power grids. The robust network structure of ecosystems is partially derived from a unique balance between pathway efficiency and redundancy. Structural and basic-functional similarities support the application of ecological properties and analysis techniques to power grid design. The work presented here quantitatively investigates the level of similarity between ecosystems and power grids by applying ecological network metrics to a basic, realistic hypothetical 5-bus power system. A comparison between the power grid’s performance and average ecosystem performance substantiates the use of the ecological robustness metric for the development of a bio-inspired power grid optimization model. The bio-inspired optimization model re-configures the five-bus grid to mimic ecosystem robustness. The results demonstrate the potential of ecosystems to provide new robust design principles for power grids.