Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is necessary for all electrical or electronic devices in order to maintain reliability and quality performance, to reduce interference to other devices, and to enhance safety. A significant aspect of the smart grid architecture is the introduction of new electronic devices for grid communication and control functions into harsh electromagnetic environments typical of many utility, industrial, commercial, and even some residential locations. These new smart grid devices, due to an ever increasing density of electromagnetic emitters (both radiated and conducted) in the environment, must have adequate immunity in order to function consistently and reliably and to coexist with other equipment. The most effective way to achieve the requisite level of EMC is by designing and testing to national or international EMC standards. This project will develop the measurement science necessary to enable EMC testing methodologies and standards for new smart grid systems, most notably in the area of proposed wireless networks and other systems being deployed in utility and customer locations. The project complements and leverages work within the PML Electromagnetics Division in broadband wireless systems, homeland security, EMC and electromagnetic field metrology.
Objective: To develop measurement methods, interference models, and metrics to improve Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing for communications and other systems deployed in Smart Grid (SG) environments; and to provide technical input to Smart Grid EMC standards activities to meet performance and interoperability requirements by 2016.
What is the new technical idea? The new technical idea is to work directly with the Smart Grid stakeholders (utilities, customers, manufacturers, and Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and EMC experts) to identify priority EMC requirements; to develop or improve laboratory measurement methods and models to more accurately reflect these requirements; and to develop recommendations for implementing these techniques into EMC test standards.
What is the research plan?
Develop laboratory testing methods that apply existing EMC standards to Smart Grid electronics (e.g., smart meters, communications systems, and microprocessor based devices) operating in environments that emulate electric power grid and utility consumer conditions. Investigate merging EMC testing with operational tests using representative laboratory test-beds.
- Investigate EMC immunity testing standards to determine if they are representative and adequate for Smart Grid environments.
- Study “installed” environments – determine if published data of estimated electromagnetic environments are representative of residential, commercial, and industrial/utility locations.
Develop laboratory test methods for EMC, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), and coexistence for wireless communications systems employed in complex electromagnetic environments such as the home, industrial site or power plant. These tests may include unintentional out-of-band and in-band radio frequency interference, and intentional EMI (e.g. jamming).
- Analyze data to extract representative values of channel characteristics and interference from other RF sources.
- Study existing test procedures for EMC/EMI/coexistence for wireless devices similar to those used in substations, power plants and other facilities where high field levels or RF interference may exist.
- Modify existing tests and, where necessary, develop other lab-based tests for wireless systems (e.g., in smart meters) that emulate Smart Grid EM environments. Disseminate findings and test methods to standards body.
Monitor and support Smart Grid EMC standards development within the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Participate in IEEE and IEC EMC committees and working groups as appropriate. Continue leadership activity in SGIP – Electromagnetic Interoperability Issues Working Group (EMII WG). Participate in the ANSI C63 Working Group on coexistence testing.
A report by the SGIP EMII WG (Electromagnetic Compatibility and Smart Grid Interoperability Issues) that examines the entire electric power grid from generation to customer environments and identifies EMC issues and standards is ready for publication. The working group and this report will provide valuable input to identify priority areas for new measurement methods or standards.
September 1, 2012
Lead Organizational Unit:
Principal Investigator: Galen Koepke, PML
Related Programs and Projects: