Communication is increasingly present for managing and controlling critical infrastructures strengthening their cyber interdependencies. In electric power systems, grid splitting is a topical communication-critical application. It amounts to separating a power system into islands in response to an impending instability, e.g., loss of generator synchronism due to a component fault, by appropriately disconnecting transmission lines and grouping synchronous generators. The successful application of grid splitting depends on the communication infrastructure to collect system-wide synchronized measurements and to relay the command to open line switches. Grid splitting may be ineffective if communication is degraded and its outcome may also depend on the system loading conditions. This paper investigates the effects of degraded communication and load variability on grid splitting. To this aim, a communication delay model is coupled with a transient electrical model and applied to the IEEE 39-Bus and the IEEE 118-Bus Test System. Case studies show that the loss of generator synchronism following a fault is mitigated by timely splitting the network into islands. On the other hand, the results show that communication delays and increased network flows can degrade the performance of grid splitting. The developed framework enables the identification of the requirements of the dedicated communication infrastructure for a successful grid-splitting procedure.
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