Due to perpetual and innovative technological advancements, the need for reliable and stable power generation and transmission has been increasing dramatically over the years. Smart grids use advanced technologies to provide self-monitoring, self-checking and self-healing power networks, including smart metering devices capable of providing accurate measurements of the network’s power components. Among the most important metering devices in this context are “Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs)”. PMUs are metering devices that provide synchronized measurements of voltage, current and phase angle differences using signals from the GPS satellites. However, due to the high cost of such advanced metering devices, studies were performed to determine the minimum number of PMUs required and their strategic placements in the power networks to provide full system observability. In this thesis, we consider fault-tolerant PMU placement aiming to minimize the number of PMUs while maintaining system observability under various contingencies. Conventionally, the optimal number of PMUs in a system is determined based on the system’s connectivity matrix under no contingency. This thesis considers fault- tolerant PMU placement under single and double branch failures. We propose algebraic connectivity, or Fiedler value, to identify the worst- case branch failures in terms of connectivity degradation. The proposed PMU placement accounts for this worst-case and covers a large percentage of other single and double branch failures. Furthermore, we propose the usage of Fiedler vector to provide a PMU placement that would ensure that the system remains fully observable during system partitioning into separate sub-systems. The resulting placements are compared with those obtained without considering connectivity degradation or system partitioning in terms of the percentages of observable systems during any single and double branch failures. The proposed PMU placements have increased percentages of fully observable systems in the event of any single or double branch failures compared to non—contingency based placement, with a reasonable increase in number of PMUs, and for some placement approaches no increase in PMUs is needed for providing a higher percentage of fully observable systems.


Electronics & Communications Engineering Department

Degree Name

MS in Electronics & Communication Engineering

Graduation Date


Submission Date

September 2017

First Advisor

Seddik, Karim

Committee Member 1

Elezabi, Ayman

Committee Member 2

Gadallah, Yasser


78 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item