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Changing the game in electric power operation

Managing the electric power grid takes a giant step forward

June 2011

A new visual analytic software tool developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory helps power grid operators respond to complex outage predictions more effectively and even predict potential network failures.

The Graphical Contingency Analysis (GCA) Tool provides graphic representations of the constant stream of data in the control room to improve wide-area situation awareness and decision making. It also ranks the different contingencies from worst to best to help focus operator's attention on the most severe events and prioritize preventative actions.

Today, power grid operation is largely based on operators' experience with support from off-line tools that may not fully reflect the instantaneous situation on the grid. As grid operations become more complex and new real-time data becomes more available, operators will need to analyze much more data in real-time. The GCA tool significantly improves operators ability to translate data into decisions to improve real-time operations.

The GCA technology is just one of many technologies being developed in PNNL's Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center (EIOC). The EIOC provides a unique training and research environment that mimics real-world grid operations. The EIOC brings together industry-leading software, real-time grid data and advanced computation into a fully capable control room.

For more information on the EIOC, visit PNNL's EIOC site. For more information on GCA, see PNNL's Available Technologies.

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