Objective: To develop and verify innovative sensing systems and take full advantage of existing ones such as smart meters, PMUs, and conventional current and voltage transformers, to enable greater electric grid resiliency, reliability, flexibility, and sustainability through comprehensive wide-area and local-area monitoring and control of the smart grid. This is accomplished by accelerating the development and adoption of advanced sensors and measurement systems; development of conformance and interoperability tests for new standards for these devices; and development of sensor network interface specifications.
What is the Technical Idea? This project proposes to characterize sensor systems in environments that realistically emulate real-world operating conditions. Using the advanced capabilities of the NIST SG Testbed, tests and performance requirements will be developed to characterize innovative sensors and measurement systems for the most demanding applications – in particular for dynamically changing conditions, rather than the steady-state tests primarily used to date. Innovative sensing systems, including wideband optical and other nonconventional sensors, and clamp-on sensors will be developed and evaluated for measurement performance and interoperability.
What is the Research Plan? With the advanced measurement, communication, and testing capabilities of the Smart Grid Interoperability Testbed, NIST has begun the testing of commercial PMUs from more than 12 vendors and will establish practical performance and interoperability metrics based on testing in real-world environments and assessments of changing measurement needs as the Smart Gid continues to evolve. Going forward, this work will include smart meters, merging units and other sensors. New advanced sensor measurement systems that are flexible will be developed nad tested, and the application of smart meters as sensors as well as their performance and interoperability will be studied. Recommendations will be made to the appropriate standards working groups for changes in existing documentary standards and new ones as needed. Testing will be also done on new devices that use advanced communications such as International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61850 and 61869 for communications with field devices such as PMUs and merging units, and ANSI/IEEE C12 for smart meters.
Guided by a NIST-initiated study of industry critical needs for advanced smart grid sensor measurements and the DOE Grid Modernization Multiyear plan, NIST has established research in performance testing and communication standards for PMUs and will continue to use the capabilities of the NIST SG Interoperability Testbed, with accuracy traceable to NIST quantum standards, for advanced adaptable, remotely reconfigurable sensor system development, including nonconventional sensors such as optical and Hall-effect sensors, clamp-on line, as well as conventional sensors such as instrument transformers. Other smart grid sensors for monitoring power equipment condition and operating conditions will also be included. Sensor characterization capabilities identified in this study will be added to the NIST Synchrometrology and SG testbeds. The use of smart meters as sensors for monitoring distribution grid voltages, currents, and power flows to and from buildings and residences will be explored. The influence of communications, power distortion, and other real-world effects on metering accuracy and interoperability will also be included. Recommendations and technical inputs such as performance requirements, test protocols, and certification approaches will be provided to the relevant standards organizations for inclusion in sensor and equipment monitoring standards, and metering standards.