Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2010

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Walid Hubbi

Second Advisor

Atam P. Dhawan

Third Advisor

Marek Sosnowski


One of the problems that must be addressed for a secure power system operation is the voltage collapse problem. The ever increasing size and connectivity of the power grid have lead to making the problem more multifarious. Widespread blackouts, similar to the one that occurred in the northeast in August 2003, could result from failure to address the problem.

This thesis presents an overview of the voltage collapse problem and reviews some existing methods to calculate voltage collapse indicators.

Thevenin and Maximum Power Transfer Theorems are used to provide indicators of the proximity of the system to voltage collapse. The maximum power that could be transferred to a load node is predicted by these theorems and then the load at a load bus is gradually increased to determine the maximum constant power factor load that would result in voltage collapse.

The limitations of the presented method are discussed and a framework for quantifying its effectiveness is presented.