Menck, Peter J.; Kurths, Jürgen (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany )
Stability of a power grid’s synchronous operating mode is crucial to its reliable function. We quantify the stability of this operating mode in different humble power grid layouts that we numerically simulate employing a widely used electro-mechanical model. The method with which we quantify stability delivers a single number, called basin stability, for each node in a grid. A node with a poor basin stability is a weak point, as a rather small perturbation to this node would suffice to destroy the synchrony of the whole system and make it collapse. Using tools from the theory of complex networks, we statistically evaluate an ensemble of grids to identify topological classes of nodes whose members typically have the same (poor or large) value of basin stability.