Scalable Synchrophasors Communication Network Design and Implementation for Real-time Distributed Generation Grid
There has been a growing interest in the deployment of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) not only in high-voltage transmission, but in lower-voltage distribution systems. For a Distributed Generation (DG) grid this would require deployment of PMUs at critical locations, which implies accurate phase measurement with the support of a low delay, highly reliable network infrastructure. In the absence of such a network, the most cost-effective solution would be to consider a wireless network to support centralized control for situational awareness in the transmission, as well as the distributed generation grid environment. Therefore, the main objective in this paper is to design and implement a scalable synchrophasor network using Wireless LAN (WLAN) technology to assess network performance and requirements under real world conditions. To achieve this, we have designed an emulation platform that can support Physical (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) layers. The data communication at the application is based on the IEEE C37.118-2011-2 standard. By considering a hierarchical network architecture for our testbed implementation, we propose an efficient method to reduce bandwidth, as well as provide capabilities for control and management at each hierarchical level. In addition, an efficient tree-based multihop routing protocol has been designed to match a specific distribution feeder structure. The testbed is then used to access different network configurations under various test conditions.