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The electric power system is one of the cornerstones of modern society. One of its most serious malfunctions is the blackout, a catastrophic event that may disrupt a substantial portion of the system, playing havoc to human life and causing great economic losses. Thus, understanding the mechanisms leading to blackouts and creating a reliable and resilient power grid has been a major issue, attracting the attention of scientists, engineers, and stakeholders. In this paper, we study the blackout problem in power grids by considering a practical phase-oscillator model. This model allows one to simultaneously consider different types of power sources (e.g., traditional AC power plants and renewable power sources connected by DC/AC inverters) and different types of loads (e.g., consumers connected to distribution networks and consumers directly connected to power plants). We propose two new control strategies based on our model, one for traditional power grids and another one for smart grids. The control strategies show the efficient function of the fast-response energy storage systems in preventing and predicting blackouts in smart grids. This work provides innovative ideas which help us to build up a robuster and more economic smart power system.


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