It is well accepted that the Smart Grid will employ a variety of networking technologies. Although there has been tremendous advancement in networking technologies from an architectural point of view, those for smart grid applications need to be designed to ensure a high degree of reliability, self-configuration, self-healing, and low-latency. Meeting all these requirements has been the most challenging problem for the Smart Grid. In this project a new hierarchical network architecture is designed. A major feature of this architecture is its suitability for power grid distributions where each level can function as a local controller by regulating the voltage and reactive power. We have also developed an efficient method to reduce bandwidth for communication between a phasor data collector (PDC) and its associated PMU’s in each hierarchical level.
Synchrophasor data measurements are envisioned to be a key enabler for real-time power grid situational awareness and control. Currently, Phasor Measurement Units (PMU) and Phasor Data Concentrator (PDC) devices are mainly considered in high voltage power transmission. Their expansion into medium-to-low-voltage distribution systems, in the presence of renewable resources such as Photo-Voltaic (PV) inverters, is facing major challenges. Therefore, the main objective of this project is to investigate the underlying principles of a distributed generation grid.
An emulation platform to build a flexible testbed is being developed to access various wireless network configurations. For packet exchanges at the application layer, the C37.118 standards has been implemented. An efficient scheme that can reduce synchrophasor bandwidth, as well as provide capabilities for control and management at each hierarchical level, has been designed and the initial results have been published.