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The Mathematics of the Great U.S. Blackout August 14, 2003. Ralph Fehr, P.E. Engineering Consultant. The Mathematics of the Great U.S. Blackout August 14, 2003.

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The Mathematics of the Great U.S. Blackout

August 14, 2003

Ralph Fehr, P.E.

Engineering Consultant


The Mathematics of the Great U.S. Blackout

August 14, 2003

Note: The photograph on the preceding slide has been circulating on the Internet since shortly after August 14, 2003. It is impressive, dramatic, and FAKE. But it does attempt to indicate the huge impact and expanse of the August 14 event, and most importantly, it makes for a cool title slide!

Ralph Fehr, P.E.

Engineering Consultant


North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)

NERC is a not-for-profit company formed after the 1965 Northeast Blackout to promote the reliability of the bulk electrical system that serves North America.


North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)

NERC is divided into 10 regional reliability councils.

Each council monitors utilities within its geographic area.







The august 14 2003 blackout was caused by a cascading series of events
The August 14, 2003 Blackout was caused by a cascading series of events.

What started the ball rolling?


A wire attached at two points sags under its own weight
A wire attached at two points sags series of events.under its own weight.


The amount of sag is a function of tension
The amount of series of events.sag is a function of tension.

Tension is a function of wire temperature and weight.

Temperature is a function of several variables – but a major contributor is electrical loading.

Temperature increases with electrical loading SQUARED.

As the wire temperature INCREASES, the tension DECREASES.

For a level span, the maximum sag D is the y-coordinate at the

midpoint of the line, and is given by:

where S = span length

TH = horizontal component of tension

w = conductor weight per unit length



Mathematical analysis of root cause

y series of events.

y = cosh(x)

x

Mathematical Analysis of Root Cause

Alternate Mathematical Analysis of Root Cause

Cost maintenance > 0


Outage sequence of events transmission map key
Outage Sequence of Events series of events.Transmission Map Key


East lake 5 trip 1 31 34 pm

ONTARIO series of events.

ONTARIO

East Lake 5 Trip: 1:31:34 PM

2

1


Stuart atlanta trip 2 02 pm
Stuart Atlanta Trip: 2:02 PM series of events.


Miso state estimator and reliability analysis
MISO State Estimator and series of events.Reliability Analysis

  • MISO state estimator and contingency analysis ineffective from 12:37 to 16:04

    • State estimator not solving due to missing information on lines out in Cinergy then DPL

    • Human error in not resetting SE automatic trigger

  • Using Flowgate Monitoring tool to monitor conditions on previously identified critical flowgates


Firstenergy computer failures
FirstEnergy Computer Failures series of events.

  • 14:14 Alarm logger fails and operators are not aware

    • No further alarms to FE operators

  • 14:20 Several remote consoles fail

  • 14:41 EMS server hosting alarm processor and other functions fails to backup

  • 14:54 Backup server fails

    • EMS continues to function but with very degraded performance (59 second refresh)

    • FE system data passed normally to others: MISO and AEP

    • AGC function degraded and strip charts flat-lined

  • 15:08 IT warm reboot of EMS appears to work but alarm process not tested and still in failed condition

  • No contingency analysis of events during the day including loss of East Lake 5 and subsequent line trips


Phone calls to firstenergy
Phone Calls to FirstEnergy series of events.

  • FE received calls from MISO, AEP, and PJM indicating problems on the FE system but did not recognize evolving emergency

    • 14:32 AEP calls regarding trip and reclose of Star-S. Canton

    • 15:19 AEP calls again confirming Star-S. Canton trip and reclose

    • 15:35 Calls received about “spikes” seen on system

    • 15:36 MISO calls FE regarding contingency overload on Star-Juniper for loss of Hanna-Juniper

    • 15:45 FE tree trimming crew calls in regarding Hanna-Juniper flashover to a tree

    • PJM called MISO at 15:48 and FE at 15:56 regarding overloads on FE system


The chamberlin harding 345 kv line sags into a tree at 3 05 41
The Chamberlin - Harding 345 kV line series of events. sags into a tree at 3:05:41.

Contact with tree causes a ground fault which results in very high current.

The protective relays on the Chamberlin – Harding line sense the high current and trip (de-energize) the line.

A Digital Fault Recorder (DFR) at nearby Juniper Substation recorded the fault current.


Chamberlin-Harding (3:05:41) series of events.


Chamberlin harding indication of ground fault due to tree contact as measured by dfr at juniper
Chamberlin-Harding Indication of Ground Fault Due to Tree Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

y = ex sin x

NOT STABLE

should be

y = e-x sin x


Hanna-Juniper Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

(3:32:03)

(3:05:41)


Hanna juniper confirmed as tree contact at less than emergency ratings of line
Hanna Juniper Confirmed as Tree Contact at Contact as Measured by DFR at JuniperLess than Emergency Ratings of Line


(3:05:41) Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

(3:32:03)

Star- S. Canton (3:41:35)


Situation after initial trips 3 05 41 3 41 35

ONTARIO Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

Situation after Initial Trips 3:05:41 – 3:41:35


Canton Central – Tidd Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

(3:45:41)


Anatomy of a cascading outage

20% Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

20%

20%

20%

20%

Anatomy of a Cascading Outage

Source

Load


Anatomy of a cascading outage1

0% Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

25%

25%

25%

25%

Anatomy of a Cascading Outage

Source

Load


Anatomy of a cascading outage2

0% Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

0%

33%

33%

33%

Anatomy of a Cascading Outage

Source

Load


Anatomy of a cascading outage3

0% Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

0%

0%

50%

50%

Anatomy of a Cascading Outage

Source

Load


Anatomy of a cascading outage4

0% Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

0%

0%

0%

100%

Anatomy of a Cascading Outage

Source

Load


138 kv lines overload and cascade near akron
138 kV Lines Overload and Cascade Near Akron Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper


138 kV Cascade Contributes Further Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniperto Overload of Sammis-Star

15:51:41 EDT

15:05:41 EDT

16:05:55 EDT

15:32:03 EDT

15:41:35 EDT


Sammis-Star Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

(4:05:57.5)


Sammis star zone 3 relay operates on steady state overload
Sammis-Star Zone 3 Relay Operates Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniperon Steady State Overload

Operating point

must lie below blue

curve, or line will

trip.

As loading on line

increases, operating

point moves up and

to the left.


Actual loading on critical lines
Actual Loading on Critical Lines Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper


Actual voltages leading to sammis star
Actual Voltages Leading to Sammis-Star Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper


Major path to cleveland blocked after loss of sammis star 4 05 57 5 pm

Remaining Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

Paths

Major Path to Cleveland Blocked after Loss of Sammis-Star 4:05:57.5 PM


345 kv lines trip across ohio to west

ONTARIO Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

345 kV Lines Trip Across Ohio to West


Generation trips 4 09 08 4 10 27 pm

ONTARIO Contact as Measured by DFR at Juniper

Generation Trips 4:09:08 – 4:10:27 PM




Power transfers shift at 4 10 38 6 pm
Power Transfers Shift at 4:10:38.6 PM after 4:10:37.5 – 4:10:38.6 PM


Eastern eastern michigan detroit unstable voltage and frequency collapse and pole slipping
Eastern Eastern Michigan (Detroit) Unstable after 4:10:37.5 – 4:10:38.6 PMVoltage and Frequency Collapse and Pole Slipping

Ontario – Michigan Interface Flow and Voltages Beginning 16:10:38


Generator trips to 16 10 38
Generator Trips to 16:10:38 after 4:10:37.5 – 4:10:38.6 PM


Generator trips next 7 seconds
Generator Trips – Next 7 Seconds after 4:10:37.5 – 4:10:38.6 PM


Overloads on pjm ny ties 4 10 39 pm
Overloads on PJM – NY Ties 4:10:39 PM after 4:10:37.5 – 4:10:38.6 PM


Pjm ny separating 4 10 44 pm
PJM – NY Separating 4:10:44 PM after 4:10:37.5 – 4:10:38.6 PM


Cleveland toledo island 4 10 39 4 10 46 pm cleveland blacks out
Cleveland – Toledo Island 4:10:39 - 4:10:46 PM after 4:10:37.5 – 4:10:38.6 PMCleveland Blacks Out



Conditions at niagara indicate progressively worsening stability conditions with prior events
Conditions at Niagara Indicate Progressively Worsening Stability Conditions with Prior Events


Island breaks up 4 10 46 4 13 pm
Island Breaks Up: 4:10:46 – 4:13 PM Stability Conditions with Prior Events


Frequency in ontario and new york during breakup niagara generation stays with western ny
Frequency in Ontario and New York during Breakup Stability Conditions with Prior EventsNiagara Generation Stays with Western NY


Generator trips after 16 10 44
Generator Trips – After 16:10:44 Stability Conditions with Prior Events


End of the cascade

Some Local Load Interrupted Stability Conditions with Prior Events

Areas Affected by the Blackout

Service maintained

in some area

End of the Cascade


Lessons learned
Lessons Learned Stability Conditions with Prior Events

Better maintenance practices

Better training for system operators

Better communications between utilities


Can it happen again
Can it happen again? Stability Conditions with Prior Events

What do you think?


Thank you! Stability Conditions with Prior Events

Manhattan skyline with only emergency lighting – August 14, 2003


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