Novel Framework for Assessing the Utilization Efficiency of Mobile Power Sources in the Power Grid

Published 23 November, 2023

Natural disasters are occurring more frequently, causing damage to the power grid and leading to widespread and prolonged power outages. Leveraging mobile power sources has shown the potential to lessen the impact of these disasters; however, their efficiency remains largely unassessed.

An article published in the Journal of Economy and Technology proposed, for the first time, a theoretical framework for evaluating the utilization efficiency of mobile power sources. The study emphasizes that deploying mobile power sources not only affects the grid's structure but also impacts the survival of critical facilities.

“Mobile power sources generate electricity through vehicle-mounted generators and connect to the power grid to provide reliable emergency power to critical facilities such as hospitals,” explained corresponding author of the study, Yunhe Hou, an associate professor at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong. “Therefore, as an essential disaster prevention measure, investing in mobile emergency power sources is particularly important for improving the power grid's survivability and rapid recovery capability during disasters.”

The flip side is, that impractical deployment strategies for mobile power sources might result in inadequate safeguarding of the power supply to critical facilities following disasters. This can result in economic losses and resource waste and, in extreme cases, even disrupt power grids.

“Hence, we need to use limited mobile power sources to develop reasonable and effective deployment strategies in a short period before disasters occur to cope with all potential threats,” added Hou.

Notably, the study considered all possible failure scenarios when disasters strike the power grid, including the number of failed components and the location of the failure occurrence. “The traditional approach of considering only typical scenarios has become increasingly ineffective,” Hou said.

The team also emphasized that the power grid's inherent structure plays an important role in its capacity to endure extreme weather conditions and defined this effect as the structural resilience of the power grid.

The team believes that the proposed theoretical framework technology will help power grids against extreme weather, optimize resource utilization, and realize economic and social benefits.

Contact author name, affiliation, email address: Yunhe Hou, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China. E-mail:

Conflict of interest: Yunhe Hou is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Economy and Technology, and he was not involved in the editorial review or the decision to publish this article. All authors declare that there are no competing interests.

See the article: Chenhao Ren, Rong-Peng Liu, Wenqian Yin, Qinfei Long, Yunhe Hou. Resilience assessment of mobile emergency generator-assisted distribution networks: A stochastic geometry approach. Journal of Economy and Technology, 1 (2023), Pages 48-74.

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