PerspectiveNetwork Science

Curtailing cascading failures

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Science  17 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6365, pp. 860-861
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq0474

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  • Next to simulation - Designing networks
    • Shino Iwami, Project Researcher, University of Jyväskylä

    D'Souza described propagation of risk along cascading, and she introduced the development of a simulation framework to prevent “flash crashes” (1).
    In 2011, electricity supply in East Japan became insufficient, due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident in Fukushima. The frequency of electricity differs between East Japan (50 Hz) and West Japan (60 Hz), so frequency conversion equipment was a bottleneck to transfer electric power (2). In this case, flash crash will be suppressed, but availability is compromised and the modularization of the network caused delay in flow as a harmful effect. Meanwhile, blocking is one of effective countermeasures like the trading curb (circuit breaker) on the stock market (3). Depending on the size of the module and the centrality of the module, the bottleneck can be both a countermeasure and an obstacle.
    Nowadays, the European Union is planning e-Highway2050 (4), which is not considering energy flow but also storage. In the future works, simulation and real results are expected to develop optimum module designs of networks with countermeasures of disconnection, delay, waiting (storage savings) to keep the availability.

    References:
    1. R. M. D’Souza, Science (80-. ). 358, 860LP–861 (2017).
    2. A. Gordenker, Japan’s incompatible power grids. The Japan Times (2011), (available at https://www....

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    Competing Interests: None declared.