IEEE Wireless Communications - April 2017 - page 44

IEEE Wireless Communications • April 2017
42
1536-1284/17/$25.00 © 2017 IEEE
A
bstract
In smart grids the bidirectional exchange of
large amounts of data will create a keen interde-
pendence between electric system and communi-
cation, automation and control systems. In order
to assess the performance of communication tech-
nologies for smart grid applications and find the
most appropriate, co-simulation tools are crucial to
simulate the behavior of both physical and cyber
systems simultaneously, and properly consider their
mutual interaction in planning and operation stud-
ies. This article aims at evaluating some wireless
and wired communication technologies for smart
grid implementation. The analysis performed shows
that wireless technologies are potentially suitable
for smart grid applications, while a combination of
mixed wireless and wired technologies may intro-
duce latencies that cannot match with mission criti-
cal functions, such as network protection.
I
ntroduction
The transition toward smart grid (SG) involves an
extensive use of information and communication
technology (ICT) and innovative control systems,
enabling various intelligent and automated appli-
cations, such as building automation, distribution
automation, outage and contingency manage-
ment, and integration of electric vehicles [1].
In SG, therefore, ICT is not a simple auxilia-
ry infrastructure of the power system, but a fun-
damental component for its effective operation,
that ensures reliable and real-time data collection
from an enormous number of widely dispersed
data sources and responsive data transmission for
power network control.
A variety of communication technologies can
be considered for SG applications, classifiable
into two categories: wired and wireless technol-
ogies. The first category, which comprises opti-
cal communication, digital subscriber line (DSL)
and power line communication (PLC), are con-
sidered valuable candidates for smart grid imple-
mentation, since they guarantee high reliability,
bandwidth and cyber security. The second group,
which includes OFDMA-based networks (e.g.,
WiMAX, LTE), are finding a growing interest
among electric utilities, thanks to their lower cost
and easier installation.
It is understood that a successful smart grid
project starts with well-designed communication
network and system architecture. Selecting the
right communication technologies is the funda-
mental component of this success. In various real-
world smart grid implementations, launched by
many countries in recent years, many different
communication technologies are deployed.
The high number of existing communication
technologies is an opportunity for SG applica-
tions, even though the debate on which tech-
nology fits better the SG needs is still open. The
reason is that different SG applications have dif-
ferent communication requirements, in terms of
data payloads, sampling rates, latency and reli-
ability [2]. Therefore, it becomes essential to
have simulation tools that allow comparing the
performances of different technical solutions and
help utility planners make the right decisions in
their SG implementation projects. Co-simulation
is a useful method to simulate power distribution
system and ICT system behavior simultaneously,
taking into account the existing relationship and
interdependencies between the two systems.
The industrial application of communications
systems to smart grid solutions needs the devel-
opment of comparative performance evaluations,
in order to provide the engineers interested in
applying these technologies the necessary infor-
mation before making decisions about the right
solution for their specific purpose. For this rea-
son, in this article, different ICT solutions for smart
grids are compared by means of a co-simulation
platform, developed by the authors, which adopts
a power system simulator (OpenDSS) and a ICT
network simulator (ns-3), coordinated by MAT-
LAB®, which not only manages the co-simulation
process but also implements the control logic.
A power distribution SG, consisting of an inter-
connected medium voltage (MV) and low volt-
age (LV) network, has been considered with a
mixed communication infrastructure between the
distribution/energy management system (DMS/
EMS) and the active resources in the network.
The MV network is supported by a wireless
long-range communication technology, such as
OFDMA-based networks; meanwhile, the LV net-
work is served by Wi-Fi or PLC communication
technologies. The different topologies have been
M
ichele
G
arau
, G
ianni
C
elli
, E
milio
G
hiani
, F
abrizio
P
ilo
,
and
S
ergio
C
orti
E
valuation
of
S
mart
G
rid
C
ommunication
T
echnologies
with
a
C
o
-S
imulation
P
latform
S
mart
G
rids
Michele Garau, Gianni Celli,
Emilio Ghiani and Fabrizio
Pilo are with the University of
Cagliari.
Sergio Corti is with RSE
(Ricerca Sistema Energetico).
This work has been partly
financed by the Research
Fund for the Italian Electrical
System under the Contract
Agreement between RSE
S.p.A. and the Ministry of
Economic Development
— General Directorate for
Nuclear Energy, Renewable
Energy and Energy Efficien-
cy in compliance with the
Decree of March 8, 2006.
Digital Object Identifier:
10.1109/MWC.2017.1600214
1...,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43 45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,...132
Powered by FlippingBook