With a simple system topology, one quickly learns the impact of loss
of critical elements as pretty much all elements are critical. Maybe more importantly,
one learns how to operate the system so that the loss of an element is mitigated.
But this was only part of the problem.
I still needed to put the time dimension to the situation. I needed a clock and an altimeter. For this we turned to PowerWorld’s new feature in power system simulation called time step simulation
(TSS). This feature allows us to change power system conditions with time. We can implement contingencies much like a flight simulator throwing varying
situations at the operator and watching him respond.
We put several read-outs on the one-line
diagram; ACE, voltage via color contouring and line loadings via pie charts. These
were the equivalent of the altimeter and the air speed indicator. Now with time
marching on and conditions deteriorating if no action is taken, the operator is faced with making the right decision in a
timely fashion. If he does not, he crashes.