Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Alexander Domijan, Jr., Ph.D

Committee Member

Huseyin Arslan, Ph.D

Committee Member

Thomas L. Crisman, Ph.D

Committee Member

James R. Mihelcic, Ph.D

Committee Member

Stephen E. Saddow, Ph.D


Power Distribution System, Reliability Analysis, Reliability Improvement, Microgrid, Reconfiguration for Restoration


The needs of contemporary electric utility customers and expectations regarding energy supply require dramatic changes in the way energy is transmitted and delivered. A smart grid is a concept by which the existing and aging electrical grid infrastructure is being upgraded with integration of multiple applications and technologies; such as two way power transfer, two way communication, renewable distributed generation, automated sensors, automated & advanced controls, central control, forecasting system and microgrids. This enables the grid to be more secure, reliable, efficient, self-healing, while reducing greenhouse gases. In addition, it will provide new products & services and fully optimize asset utilization. Also, integration of these innovative technologies to establish a smart grid poses new challenges.

There will be need for new tools to assess and predict reliability issues. The goal of this research is both to demonstrate these new electrical system tools and to monitor and analyze the relationship of weather and electrical infrastructure interruptions. This goal will be accomplished by modeling weather and distribution system reliability issues, by developing forecasting tools and finally developing mathematical models for system availability with smart grid functionality. Expected results include the ability to predict and determine the number of interruptions in a defined region; a novel method for calculating a smart grid system’s availability; a novel method for normalizing reliability indices; and to determine manpower needs, inventory needs, and fast restoration strategies.

The reliability of modern power distribution systems is dependent on many variables such as load capacity, renewable distributed generation, customer base, maintenance, age, and type of equipment. This research effort attempts to study these areas and in the process, has developed novel models and methods to calculate and predict the reliability of a smart grid distribution system. A smart grid system, along with variable weather conditions, poses new challenges to existing grid systems in terms of reliability, grid hardening, and security.

The modern grid is comprised of various distributed generation systems. New methods are required to understand and calculate availability of a smart grid system. One such effort is demonstrated in this research. The method that was developed for modeling smart grid dynamic reconfigurations under variable weather conditions combines three modeling techniques: Markov modeling, Boolean Logic Driven Markov Process (BDMP) and the modeling of variable weather condition. This approach has advantages over conventional models because it allows complex dynamic models to be defined, while maintaining its easy readability.