A new study from Dartmouth Engineering shows that integrating renewable energy into the American Electric Power System (AEPS) would improve grid resilience, which means that a highly resilient and carbon-free energy system is possible. The researchers’ analysis is based on the gradual incorporation of the architectural changes that would be necessary to integrate renewable energy into AEPS.
The document entitled “A Hetero-Functional Graph Resilience Analysis of the Future American Electric Power System” was recently published by IEEE access.
“We concluded that there is no structural trade-off between network sustainability and resilience improvements, meaning that these strategic goals can be pursued simultaneously,” said lead researcher Amro Farid, professor at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research affiliate.
“Whether you are of one political inclination or another, valuing resilience or sustainability, the efforts are fully aligned and should serve as the basis for a bipartisan consensus on transforming the power grid,” said Farid.
The structural analysis results are the first to take into account the hetero-functionality of grid resources, including renewables, using a new method that uniquely captures true grid connectivity and capabilities. Using the new hetero-functional graph theory, developed by Farid for more than a decade, researchers analyzed more than 175,000 energy resources across the United States, such as power plants, sub- stations and transmission lines.
“Through analysis of the hetero-functional graph theory of American Electric Power Systems, we were able to better track system capabilities and structural resilience as AEPS underwent both attack and development,” said said first author Dakota Thompson, a doctoral candidate in engineering at Dartmouth. Dartmouth Engineering alumnus Wester Schoonenberg also contributed to the study.
The authors received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the American Multi-Modal Energy System (AMES) project, which supported this work.
The researchers are already working on their next project: to develop a synthetic model of AMES, comprising electric power, oil, natural gas and coal infrastructure, so that the research community can study how the model can evolve to respond current and future needs.
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Material provided by Thayer School of Engineering in Dartmouth. Original written by Julie Bonette. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.