PhD Thesis: Real-Time Weather-Dependent Probabilistic Reliability Assessment of the Icelandic Power System

Samuel Perkin Successfully Defends His PhD Thesis


REYKJAVIK, January 15 - Last Friday, School of Science and Engineering PhD candidate, Samuel Perkin, successfully delivered his PhD thesis research project called GARPUR on developing probabilistic reliability criteria for Icelandic and multinational electrical grids. Originally from Australia, Samuel joined Iceland School of Energy in 2012 to pursue a MSc in Sustainable Energy Engineering. Following his graduation, Samuel was tenured at Landsnet, Iceland's transmission system operator, and pursued his PhD in Reykjavik University in collaboration with the company. The thesis work is funded by the EU GARPUR project through Landsnet.


According to Samuel, reliability in our transmission grid has traditionally been managed through applying the N-1 criterion. However, this criterion is insensitive to factors such as the exogenous threats to power systems. In his work, Samuel modelled power outages in Iceland using 10 years of weather data and overhead line fault records, and found that most outages occur in the winter. 

This leads to his hypotheses that weather dependency of power outages should be taken into account when quantifying power system risk and that it is feasible to operate power systems with a quantitative-based approach. Samuel developed a pilot test of the GARPUR framework on the Icelandic transmission system that models weather-dependent power failure rates and a response model that assess the impact of various assumptions. This pilot test showed that the GARPUR project can be implemented as a tractable and effective reliability assessment process in power system control rooms.

As such, Samuel's pilot test of the GARPUR framework has been the first to incorporate weather variability to probabilistic risk assessment. In the future, Samuel plans to continue improving this pilot test, develop an online threat assessment, and foster international collaboration.

Congratulations Samuel on an excellent thesis!

Samuel's thesis committee is comprised of the following:

•    Dr. Páll Jensson, Professor of Engineering Management, Reykjavik University

•    Dr. Hlynur Stefánsson, Associate Professor of Engineering Management, Reykjavik University

•    Dr. Ragnar Kristjánsson, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, Reykjavik University

•    Dr. Louis Wehenkel, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Liege, Belgium

Consulting expert panel from Landsnet and the GARPUR project:

•    Íris Baldursdóttir, Executive Vice President of System Operations, Landsnet 

•    Dr. Magni Þór Pálsson, Project Manager of Research, Landsnet

 The examiner is Dr. Keith Bell, Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde.


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