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A Computer Based Approach To The Analysis Of Transient Stability Of Power Systems

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Innovations in Power Education in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.19.1 - 15.19.14

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Paper Authors

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Mark Lau Universidad del Turabo

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Sastry Kuruganty Universidad del Turabo

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Computer-Based Approach to the Analysis of Transient Stability in Power Systems


This paper presents a simple, yet powerful approach to introducing the topic of transient stability in a power system course. The problem of transient stability is of fundamental importance in the analysis and design of power systems. The solution to this problem couples numerical methods for solving power flows with those for solving the differential equations that describe the behavior of synchronous machines.

Transient stability is very rich in technical and mathematical content. As such it is a challenging topic for students to grasp and for instructors to present. This paper uses spreadsheets to implement the step-by-step procedure that is typical in a transient stability study. Unlike commercially available power system software, spreadsheets expose the solution steps with clarity without obscuring the inner workings of the numerical methods employed.

1. Introduction

Stability is a major concern in the planning and operation of power systems. Network disturbances such as a short circuit in a transmission line, sudden loss of generation, or the loss of a large load may cause instability; if such disturbances are not cleared away rapidly, instability may ultimately lead to power failure, along with the economic losses associated with the occurrence of such events. Transient stability is defined as the ability of the power system to maintain synchronism when subjected to a severe transient disturbance, such as the ones mentioned previously. When subjected to severe disturbances, the system exhibits large excursions of generator rotor angles, bus voltages, power flows, among other system variables. The system is said to be stable if it is able to maintain synchronism once the disturbance is cleared and operates at a new quiescent point.

The analysis of transient stability in large power systems is complex, thus requiring the use of computers. Commercial software for analyzing power systems is available, e.g., PowerWorld, electromagnetic transients program (EMTP), among others. These computer programs are highly sophisticated and require training for their proper use. However, the richness of the numerical methods that are packed with commercial software oftentimes gets unnoticed by the untrained user.

This paper presents a simple, yet powerful approach to introducing the topic of transient stability in a power system course. In an introductory power course it is more desirable to instill in students a better appreciation for the methods used in transient stability analysis, rather than to demand expeditious solutions rendered by commercial programs. A stronger emphasis on fundamentals can endow students with sharper critical thinking skills to judge results generated by specific-purpose software.

Lau, M., & Kuruganty, S. (2010, June), A Computer Based Approach To The Analysis Of Transient Stability Of Power Systems Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky.

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