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Center for Adaptive Supercomputing - Multithreaded Architectures

Vulnerability Analysis for the Electric Power Grid

Due to the increasing demand for reliable energy, today's complex power system infrastructure is being operated at a more stressed level. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National laboratory (PNNL) are applying their expertise in high-performance computing to shape an interactive approach for improving power grid reliability. By providing more situational awareness and decision support to power grid operators, PNNL researchers seek to help power grid operators identify failures before they become a worst-case scenario: a debilitating blackout.

At PNNL's Center for Adaptive Supercomputing Software-Multithreaded Architectures (CASS-MT), researchers are developing algorithm for vulnerability analysis and decision support, to catch the important power system security information and convert it into actionable information by utilizing advanced visual analytical techniques, to allow operators to take timely preventive and emergency control steps to keep the system secure.

The Cray XMT supercomputer has the great potential to substantially accelerate data analysis and predictive analysis beyond the limitations of traditional computing. The Cray XMT's multithreaded ThreadStorm processors allow multiple, simultaneous processing, helping researchers find the solution to the world's most complex challenges faster.

Currently, researches at PNNL are performing contingency cases with the Cray XMT to obtain security information of power systems. Graph-theoretic approaches are applied to rank the severity levels of each scenario to capture the critical information. Researchers further apply multiple dimensional scaling techniques and advanced visualization techniques to present the selected critical security information to operators in a way that is easy to understand and quickly identify the most vulnerable parts of the power grid. Ultimately, PNNL researchers are working toward a tool suite with the capability of providing real-time decision support to power grid operators.

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Technical Staff
Yousu Chen, Task Lead, PNNL
Zhenyu (Henry) Huang, PNNL
Mahantesh Halappanavar, PNNL
Robert Adolf, PNNL
David Haglin, PNNL
Patrick Mackey, PNNL
Pak Wong, PNNL
Shuangshuang Jin, PNNL
Mark Rice, PNNL


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