Undergrad Research Project - Cost Benefit Analysis of FACTS Devices

Fall 2014

Arushi Chawla
Gabriela Hug
Project description

A flexible alternating current transmission system (FACTS) is a system composed of power electronic devices used for the AC transmission of electrical energy. It is meant to enhance controllability and increase power transfer capability of the network. FACTS is defined by the IEEE as "a power electronic based system and other static equipment that provide control of one or more AC transmission system parameters to enhance controllability and increase power transfer capability."

This project deals with the cost benefit analysis of FACTS devices while working on power flow control. While these devices provide a lot of benefits to the system in terms of added flexibility, they also require a significant investment. As the cost of such devices decreases the benefit per dollar of investment increases which means that at some point the benefits achieved are greater than the cost making these devices cost effective. A key question is going to be how the cost of these devices will change over the years to come. An answer to this question can be found by contacting experts in the field to get an idea about future costs. The benefit analysis is the other part of the analysis. This is done by running extensive MATLAB simulations in order to determine the cost savings while maximizing the utility of these devices.

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