IEEE Wireless Communications - April 2017 - page 10

IEEE Wireless Communications • April 2017
mart Grids are an essential component of future energy sys-
tems, which are characterized by distributed, volatile energy
production (solar, wind) and entirely new components (electric
vehicles) and operation concepts (virtual power plants). Smart
Grids are also a prominent example of Cyber Physical Systems,
as they combine wide-area control, computation, and commu-
nications. While traditional automation of the power grid makes
use of wireline communications (copper, fiber), Smart Grids
require wide-area coverage with flexible, cost-efficient, but also
very reliable communications networks. Therefore, wireless
communication technologies will play an increasingly important
role in future deployment scenarios. The investigated options
range from cellular networks over satellite systems to wireless
mesh networks. Also, the ongoing discussion of future 5G sys-
tems is driven by the requirements of Smart Grids as one major
use case. Particular challenges for wireless communication
options include availability, real-time capabilities for incident
mitigation, and resilience. The performance evaluation of Smart
Grids calls for new methods, such as the interdisciplinary hybrid
simulation of energy and communication networks.
In this special issue these Smart Grid-specific research chal-
lenges for wireless networks are addressed from various angles:
The first article, titled “Secure Real-Time Monitoring and
Management of Smart Distribution Grid using Shared Cellular
Networks,” by Jimmy Nielsen
et al.,
focuses on the use of LTE
for Smart Grid applications, and illustrates very well the use of
wireless technologies in the context of Smart Grids. The article
can also be regarded as relevant input for ongoing discussions
of massively scalable wireless communications in the context
of 5G.
The next article, “Guaranteeing QoS using Unlicensed TV
White Spaces for Smart Grid Applications” by Wayes Tushar
presents concepts and results of a case study related to the
use of White TV Space spectrum for Smart Grid applications.
The case study contains measurements in the field as well as
simulation results to illustrate the effects of different allocation
In the third article, “Scalable Route Map for Advanced
Metering Infrastructure Based on Optimal Routing of Wireless
Heterogeneous Networks,” Sandra Cespedes
et al.
introduce a
hierarchical communication architecture that leverages multi-ra-
dio universal data aggregation points to collect data locally and
aggregate it via LTE in a next step.
The important question of how sensors introduced to the
Smart Grid can leverage energy harvesting from the electric
field is addressed in the article, “Electric-Field Energy Harvest-
ing Wireless Networks,” by Oktay Cetinkaya and Ozgur Akan.
The contribution is useful for the design of wireless sensor plat-
forms to be introduced to the Smart Grid in a non-intrusive and
effective manner.
The following article titled, “Co-Simulation of Wireless/Wire-
line Communication Technologies for Smart Grids,” by Emilio
et al.,
discusses co-simulation of Smart Grids by com-
bining an energy system simulator with a corresponding com-
munication system model. Based on a case study, the authors
demonstrate how communication failures may affect the effec-
tiveness of Smart Grid control algorithms.
The sixth article, “The Role of Satellite Communications in
Smart Grids,” by Allessio Meloni and Luigi Atzori, fills an import-
ant gap and matches Smart Grid related communication ser-
vices to different satellite system characteristics, such as orbits
or medium access control scheme.
The timely topic of the combination of Big Data analytics
and Smart Grids is addressed by the seventh article, “Wireless
Big Data Computing in Smart Grid,” by Der-Jiunn Deng
et al.
As a case study of the proposed architecture, the authors pres-
ent a residential storage planning case for the applications of
wireless communication technologies in Smart Grid.
Finally, the article “Towards Efficient, Scalable and Coordi-
nated On-the-Move EV Charging Management,” by Ran Wang
et al.,
discusses the wireless control of electric vehicles as part
of the Smart Grid. Wireless connectivity is ideally suited to man-
age electric vehicles even before they are connected to the
Smart Grid to be recharged. The contribution compares differ-
ent communication schemes, in particular decentralized and
centralized schemes to manage the scheduling of the electric
vehicles, leveraging cellular as well as WiFi networks.
[M’05, SM’12]
is currently a
full professor and the Head of the Communication Networks Institute, TUDortmund
University, Dortmund, Germany. He received the Dipl.-Ing. and Dr.-Ing. degrees in
electrical engineering from RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany, and has
held various positions in the wireless networking industry. His research interests are
focused on reliable networking for Cyber Physical Systems and the Internet of Things
in application areas such as logistics, energy systems, robotics, autonomous vehicles,
and emergency response. In these areas he has published over 150 conference
papers, journal articles, and patents. He is currently an editor of the
IEEE Wireless
A. C
W. S. W
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