Short paper: analyze the power grid



Screenshot of The Power Grid simulation

Electric power transmission, also referred to as high voltage  electric transmission, can be defined as the bulk transfer of electrical  energy from power generation plants to substations. Transmission serves  two main purposes, to transfer electricity from generation plants and  to interconnect various systems. This interconnection of transmission  lines is often referred to as electrical power grids or, simply, “the  grid.” Most of the power generated in the station passes through the  generating plant switchyard to the transmission system.

A community might have a generator to provide its power. The  generator may be able to vary its production as the usage of the  customers changes, but there may be times when the demand for energy is  too great for the generator. Then the community buys electricity from  another source. At other times, the generator may be making more  electricity than the community is using, so it wants to sell it.



Visit the Power Grid simulation website (Links to an external site.). (or visit the URL:

  1. Complete the 5 challenges listed below the page. They are: 
    1. When the applet opens, are the generators making more or less power than the communities are using?
    2. Reset the system and notice the line leading from Substation 5 to  Commerceton. How much power is this line carrying? Click on the up arrow  to increase Commerceton’s power demand. What happens to the arrows on  the line? At what load do the arrows change to orange? What color are  the arrows when the demand is 1000 MW? What happens when the load on the  line is increased again? How can you fix it?
    3. Reset the system, put the nuclear power plant online, and then  increase the power demanded by Residenceburg to 1850 MW. What’s causing a  problem? How to reduce the potentially dangerous line overload without  taking the nuclear plant offline?
    4. It’s a hot summer day and power demand in Residenceburg is 1600 MW.  Commerceton is demanding 850 MW, and Industryville needs 800 MW. Put all  of your generators online at maximum capacity. Are all of your lines  operating safely? Are you able to produce enough power to meet the  demand, or do you need to get power from the external system?
    5. Reset the system, turn on the nuclear power plant, and then open the  line between substations 1 and 2. What happens? What is the problem?  How can you fix it by changing one switch?
  2. Write a short paper (2 to 3 pages) that details your answers to the five challenges listed.
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