Cyber Resilience of Power Systems


Project Description

The energy system transition is causing a convergence between the energy demands and sustainability requirements of modern society. This is led by three main drivers, i.e., decarbonization, decentralization, and digitalization. The combination of these factors is spearheading the development and implementation of an updated power system infrastructure, with the integration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and novel Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). With this introduction of ICT into the power system, a Cyber-Physical System (CPS) is formed, that is multi-domain in nature. It encompasses interactions between the power system, communication as well as control and supervisory applications. However, this increased interdependence between power and cyber layers has raised cybersecurity concerns. Without taking cybersecurity into account, digitalization of the future energy system is not feasible. A coordinated cyberattack across multiple locations can lead to cascading failures and the collapse of entire interconnected power grid of nations, or even continents, i.e., a blackout. This is a real modern-day threat, as evidenced by the cyberattacks on the Ukrainian power grid in 2015 and 2016. Hence, the objectives of this project are twofold:

  1. Analyze the impact of cyberattacks on power grid dynamics. More specifically, investigate and show analytically that cyberattacks can lead to cascading failures and blackouts. This is to be achieved by simulating different cyber attack scenarios and computing their cascading impacts.
  2.   Defence and resilience techniques: The second objective of this work is to defend the power system against cyber induced cascading failures and mitigate their impact. This may be carried out by employing techniques such as Special Protection Schemes (SPS), controlled islanding, and Wide Area Monitoring Protection and Control (WAMPAC). This can aid in foresee, absorb, and adapt, to cyberattacks.

The tools to be used as part of this work include DIgSilent Powerfactory and RTDS for power system simulations. Dedicated network simulators such as CORE, Mininet, and DETERLAB will be used to achieve co-simulation of a CPS and simulate various cyberattacks such as Denial of Service (DoS), Man in the Middle (MiTM), etc. Furthermore, the impact analysis and defence tool will be built as part of a larger Open-Source Software (OSS) platform, developed in Python.

V. Subramaniam Rajkumar

Vetrivel is a PhD researcher in the Intelligent Electrical Power Grids section. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Anna University, India in 2013 and his MSc. in Electrical Power Engineering from TU Delft in 2019. He carried out his master thesis as part of the ERIGrid 1.0 project, on virtual interconnection of EU Smart-Grid Laboratories. His areas of interest are cyber-physical energy systems and smart grids, with previous research experience in the field of micro-grid design and cost optimisation. His doctoral research is focused on cyber security  and impact of cyber attacks on power systems. He is a student member of IEEE.

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