- freely available
Energies 2013, 6(1), 251-281; doi:10.3390/en6010251
- Privacy issues between energy suppliers and customers;
- Security threats from cyber attack;
- National goals to employ alternative power generation sources;
- Significantly more complexity in maintaining stable power with intermittent supply;
- Conservation goals that seek to lessen peak demand surges during the day so that less energy is wasted in order to ensure adequate reserves;
- High demand for an electricity supply that is uninterrupted;
- Digitally controlled devices that can alter the nature of the electrical load and result in electricity demand that is incompatible with a power system that was built to serve an “analog economy”.
2. What Is a Smart Grid
“A smart grid is an electricity network that can intelligently integrate the actions of all users connected to it—generators, consumers and those that do both—in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supplies. A smart grid employs innovative products and services together with intelligent monitoring, control, communication, and self-healing technologies. Smart grids development must include not only technology, market and commercial considerations, environmental impact, regulatory framework, standardization usage, ICT and migration strategy, but also societal requirements and governmental edicts".
- the use of digital information to improve reliability, security and efficiency;
- integration of distributed resources and generation;
- “smart” technologies for metering, communication and automation;
- deployment of energy storage technologies (i.e., electric vehicles).
- Consumer participation;
- High quality power;
- Support for different types of storage and generation;
- Higher efficiency.
3. A New Energy Market
- Smart Customer: the set of technologies that enable consumers to observe and control their consumption;
- Smart Utility: the utility that implements monitoring, control and pricing, and demand response;
- Smart Market: an economically efficient market structure to integrate technology, decision making and information.
- Consumes and produces power;
- Operates a small or large power grid, thus transports electricity;
- Optimizes the economic decisions regarding its energy utilization.
4.1. Distributed Generation
- Define the installation, operation and maintenance costs of the project;
- Define additional financial parameters like electricity rates, discount rates, inflation rate, etc.;
- Quantify additional benefits brought to the network, in terms of a premium to the electricity rate per output unit;
- Evaluate externalities, such as Greenhouses gases (GHG) reduction, to add them as a benefit;
- Calculate the economic parameters internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV) to evaluate the feasibility of the project.
- Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA);
- Control Stations.
- Two way communication to the electric meter to enable information interchange;
- Self-registration of metering points;
- Auto-configuration after a failure in communications;
- AMI system interconnection to utility billing, outage management systems, and other applications.
- Outage: Improved Customer Service“Utilizing the AMI infrastructure, a utility can know when an outage occurs. The AMI system can notify the trouble call system automatically, facilitating rapid crew deployment and reduced outage times".
- Loss Detection: Improved Network Operation“By connecting information nodes at key points of the medium voltage distribution lines and distribution transformers, it is possible to directly calculate the system technical and non-technical losses. This enables better tracking and efficiency on the distribution network".
- State Estimation: Integration of Renewable Sources“By utilizing information from the customer site, medium voltage lines, and transformers, accurate load models can be computed allowing accurate load estimation on the distribution grid. This information is critical to understanding the impact and benefit of connecting renewable energy sources to the distribution grid".
- The Service Oriented Architecture is a software architecture that defines the interactions between computer systems in form of interoperable and distributed services, defined through a description language.
- Web Services are the most common implementation of the SOA. According to the W3C, “a Web service is a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. It has an interface described in a machine-processable format (specifically WSDL)” .
- Use cases description of the applications will be developed. The information needs will be mapped to existing transmission and distribution power system models, which will be extended as required.
- Definition and implementation of an overall cyber security risk assessment process for the smart grid. Risk is the potential for an unwanted outcome resulting from an incident, event, or occurrence, as determined by its likelihood and the associated impacts.
- Creation of a common framework provided by the set of use cases, which perform the risk assessment, develop the security architecture, and select/tailor the security requirements.
- Development of a security architecture, which will overlay the security requirements on this architecture. The objective is to ensure that cyber security is addressed as a critical cross-cutting requirement of the smart grid. It is also needed the assessment of smart grid standards that are not conflicting with security requirements.
- Develop a conformity assessment program for security requirements.
- Device attack: compromise the control of a grid device. Typically it is the first step of a complex attack.
- Data attack: aims at inserting, altering or deleting the data flow in the network, in order to get misbehaviours.
- Privacy attack: attempts to use electricity usage data to learn or infer users’ personal information.
- Network availability attack: it aims to use up or overwhelm the communication and computational resources of smart grid and to result in delay or failure of communication.
- Confidentiality of power usage: energy usage patterns can reveal personal activities.
- Integrity of data, commands and software: integrity of price data is critical, because an attack can cause a misbehaviour of the grid and, on the other hand, integrity of meter data and commands is important but not so critical because it is mostly limited to revenues losses.
- Availability against DoS/DDoS attacks: data availability is a key aspect in smart grids because it can lead to financial and legal implications . Price data availability is critical because outdated data can affect the energy demand. Commands availability is important for economic aspects related to billing, and the availability of meter data does not represent a critical issue because the data can be read at a later point.
|Price Information||Control Command||Meter Data||Software|
- infiltration through infected devices, i.e., USB sticks.
- network-based intrusion, i.e., misconfigured or poorly configured firewalls.
|Price Information||Control Command||Meter Data||Software|
|Unauthorized access |
to meter data
|Theft of proprietary |
|Changes of |
|Availability||Unavailability of |
|Inability to |
|Unavailability of |
- Key management is fundamental for information security: shared secret keys and authentic public keys ensure secrecy and authenticity if used properly. The key setup in this kind of solutions is the root of trust.
- Secure Communication Architecture has some critical aspect such as the network topology design in order to make nodes highly resilient under attack; Secure Routing Protocol, which must be on top of the network topology; Secure Broadcasting that is typically used in smart grid environments; DoS defense to avoid an interruption of the data flow; Jamming detection mechanism can be used to detect attacks and trigger security procedures.
- System and devices security has mainly to deal with software-based attacks and these techniques must prevent the injection of malicious code into the system.
5.1. Cloud Computing
- Streaming applications in the Cloud: at present, Cloud providers do not provide specialized data abstractions for these kinds of data streams.
- Scheduling Latency Sensitive Applications: the demand-response applications need to be highly responsive.
- Scalable Data Sharing and Privacy Preservation: information on energy assets has a very relevant size, thus sharing of the information needs to be highly scalable. Also, typical public Cloud storage platforms do not provide fine grained authorization control for data. Models for using the shared Cloud repository by multiple users and their software agents, with different levels of access, need to be examined.
“A multi-agent system (MAS) is a system of multiple interacting software agents. A software agent is a self-contained software program that acts as a representative of something or someone (e.g., a device or a user). A software agent is goal-oriented: it carries out a task, and embodies knowledge for this purpose. For this task, it uses information from and performs actions in its local environment or context. Further, it is able to communicate with other entities (agents, systems, humans) for its tasks".
- Appliances (Single devices, of different classes, installed into a house);
- Vehicles (Electric Vehicles able to store energy into batteries);
- Power Stations.
“The Power Matcher is a general-purpose coordination mechanism for balancing demand and supply in clusters of Distributed Energy Resources. These ‘clusters’ might be electricity networks with a high share of distributed generation or commercial trading portfolios with high levels of renewable electricity sources, to name a few. Within a PowerMatcher cluster, the agents are organized into a logical tree. The leaves of this tree are a number of local device agents and, optionally, a unique objective agent. The root of the tree is formed by the auctioneer agent, a unique agent that handles the price forming, i.e., the search for the equilibrium price. In order to obtain scalability, concentrator agents can be added to the structure as tree nodes”.
5.3. Energy Storage
5.4. Unit Commitment Problem
“ADP is able to optimize the system over time under conditions of noise and uncertainty. If optimal operation samples are used to train the networks, ADP can learn how to commit the generators and follow the operators customs. When load is changed, it can change the operation according to the load changing".
“The implementation is divided into action network, critic network and model network. The function of action network is to determine the feasibility region of operation of the power systems and to detect the emergency state with corresponding violations under different contingencies. The function of critic network is for post-optimization process, evaluation and assessment of control options during contingencies. And the function of model network is to read power system parameters and obtain distribution function for state estimation of measurement errors inherent in data, ascertain and improve accuracy of data. The aim of all these kinds of methods is to approximate the cost-to-go function which is relative to the output of critic network".
6. Open Source Smart Grid Solutions
- IEC 61499 : Open Standard for Distributed Control, it provides a standard methodology to distribute control applications through different devices, thanks to a modular approach based on “Function Blocks”;
- IEC 61850 : Open Standard for Power System Automation, it defines an information model for power utility systems, and also the different communication services available between compliant devices;
- 4DIAC Framework for Distributed Industrial Automation and Control : an open 61499-compliant framework, which can be considered a reference implementation of the standard. It provides a runtime environment for embedded devices and a modelling IDE for engineering purposes;
- GNU Octave : an open source computational environment, compatible with MATLAB®.
- PSAT (Power Systems Analysis Toolbox): a MATLAB®-Octave toolbox, developed for the analysis of electric power systems. It provides several features like power flow analysis and computation, time domain simulations and support for DG.
7. Regulatory Aspects
- develop smart grids in order to increase Europe’s competitive position;
- increase collaboration between the Member States;
- set clear objectives for researchers.
- Deployment Priority 1: Optimizing Grid Operation and Use;
- Deployment Priority 2: Optimizing Grid Infrastructure;
- Deployment Priority 3: Integrating Large Scale Intermittent Generation;
- Deployment Priority 4: Information & Communication Technology;
- Deployment Priority 5: Active Distribution Networks;
- Deployment Priority 6: New Market Places, Users & Energy Efficiency.
“The European legislation for an open market in the electricity sector has been implemented in most Member and Associated States for several years. The resulting national legislation, however, varies and is fragmented. In particular, the degree of unbundling of network services from generation, supply and trading of electricity is still very diverse. Also, as a consequence of this, TSO and DSOs do not have clear incentives to evolve into service provider businesses. Harmonized regulation in the Member and Associated States is needed to speed up the necessary changes".
“The mission of the Task Force smart grids is to advice the Commission on policy and regulatory directions at European level and to coordinate the first steps towards the implementation of smart grids under the provision of the Third Energy Package".
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