Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


We analyse time series of electric power interruptions in the synchronous frequency network covered by UCTE (Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity) over a period of 28 months. The scope of this preliminary study is to evaluate if the performance of this, the largest synchronously connected grid in Europe, shows characteristics of critically organised systems. In order to do so we have calculated the cumulative probability distribution and Hurst exponents of various blackout parameters. We have found indications that events in the time series do not conform to a normal statistical distribution, but rather, to a power law that implies that the distribution and magnitude of blackouts are correlated over substantial timescales. The implications for the occurrence of large blackouts are discussed in terms of the availability of data sets over more extended periods of time.

Additional information

Authors: GUTIÉRREZ E, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 21570 EN (2005), 15 pp. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9893 Fax: +39 033278 5409 E-mail: or Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32 2 295 76 24 Fax: +32 2 299 63 22
Record Number: 200618487 / Last updated on: 2005-12-15
Original language: en
Available languages: en