In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which tasked NIST with developing standards and protocols to ensure that Smart Grid systems are interoperable. An important part of the Smart Grid is the communications infrastructure, which utilities use to send command information between generation and distribution systems, and to exchange usage and billing information with their customers.
Traditionally, technology decisions have been dictated by offerings of system vendors, while business decisions are regulated by federal, state, and regional regulatory commissions and organizations (e.g. the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, state Public Utility Commissions, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation). While there are many choices of communications and networking standards, most of these standards were not developed specifically for smart grid applications. The new technical idea is to work directly with the smart grid stakeholders (utilities, regulators and consumers) and the telecommunication industry (vendors, SDOs, service providers) to identify communication requirements for smart grid applications, evaluate and develop communication standards, and develop guidelines and recommendations on their use and deployment. Also, the introduction of new power distribution technologies will transform the electrical network so that it will resemble regional and continental high speed telecommunications networks, although the transported commodity will be electrical power rather than data. This creates an opportunity to apply well-established analysis and optimization techniques from the telecommunications field to aid in the design of future electrical networks.
Our research plan is focused on understanding and modeling the power grid user and system behaviors and developing control and communication strategies for achieving the smart grid vision of a more efficient and dynamic electric grid.
- Develop mathematical models for the timing of arrivals and departures of power flows in microgrids based on electrical generation and consumption statistics. Compare these models to other power consumption and generation models in the literature.
- Adapt call admission, flow policing, and anomaly detection control schemes originally developed for communication networks to manage power flows in microgrids, and develop metrics to asses their performance.
- Validate the results of the failure mitigation study by examining component failures in a suitable test bed. Compare the performance of storage devices placed to mitigate the effects of failures with what is predicted by simulation, and modify simulation models as needed based on the test bed results.