Distributed Conditions for Small-Signal Stability of Power Grids and Local Control Design

Stefanos Baros, Andrey Bernstein, Nikos Hatziargyriou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Operating modern power grids with stability guarantees is markedly important. Typical methods for analyzing and certifying power grid stability are largely centralized relying on the ability of the system operator to gather network-wide information and accurately compute the system's eigenvalues. These methods are oftentimes not privacy-preserving and computationally burdensome. They are therefore, not well-suited to modern power grids where small-signal stability has to be evaluated timely, efficiently and in a privacy-preserving fashion. In this paper, we introduce a distributed methodology for certifying small-signal stability of power grids and designing the local controllers. First, we analytically derive distributed conditions for network-wide stability that bus agents can inspect using local information. By leveraging these conditions, we then introduce a distributed control design algorithm (DCDA) that can guide the local control design so that stability of the interconnected system is guaranteed. The agents that adopt the proposed distributed algorithm are responsible for tuning their local controllers, producing their local control commands and ensuring that their local stability condition is met. The system operator is only responsible for verifying network-wide stability upon receiving affirmative responses from all agents and, announcing, that the overall system is stable. The proposed DCDA algorithm is numerically validated via simulations using the IEEE 39-bus system.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number9250654
Pages (from-to)2058-2067
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1969-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-78244


  • control design
  • Distributed
  • multi-agent system
  • small-signal stability


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