- freely available
Energies 2013, 6(2), 988-1008; doi:10.3390/en6020988
2. Objectives and Benefits of the Smart Grid
2.1. Targets of the Smart Grid
- solving problems related to numerous grid operations such as demand/response (DR), automated measurement and control, grid monitoring and physical surveillance, real-time load management, power theft identification, etc.
- ensuring interoperability and security of power supply;
- integrating and managing and all kinds of distributed power generation including renewable energy sources;
- leveraging the electricity market by allowing demand side participation, providing new tariff schemes and facilitating the consumers participation in the free energy market .
2.2. Benefits Offered to DSOs
- Operational: The enhanced observability and manageability of the power system offered by the Smart Grid will allow DSOs to reduce the frequency and duration of power interruptions and outages, thus enhancing system reliability. Also, the preventive grid maintenance facilitated by the Smart Grid is expected to result in fewer component failures ;
- Economic: DSOs will benefit from the significant reduction offered by the Smart Grid both with regard to the technical losses on the distribution grid and to the peak load. Significant economic benefits will also be offered from leveraging the business opportunities brought in by the Smart Grid due to DR, microgrid operation, etc. In addition to the improved smart metering accuracy and the significant reduction of failures and outages, electricity theft will be drastically reduced and cash flows will improve as a result of timely billing and revenue collection;
- Environmental/social: Lower losses on the transmission and distribution grid will come up due to network optimization. Also, the Smart Grid operation will enhance the seamless incorporation of closer-to-the-load power production from distributed renewable energy generation, thus reducing the proportion of fossil fuel based generation in the overall generation mix. This will result in fewer emissions due to the expected reduction in the use of fossil fuels. Moreover, the integration of intermittent renewable energy generators into the conventional power grid will also help the DSOs to improve their environmental profile by directing power generation towards environmentally friendly methods . Also, the adaptation of power consumption to generation will be beneficial to DSOs since it is important to avoid reinforcement for the integration of photovoltaic and wind generators by reducing the feed-in peak. Through an intelligent and more efficient control of distributed energy resources, backup reserves and other ancillary services, the Smart Grid will maximize the power system capability to manage intermittent power generation [11,12];
- Security-specific: The enhanced monitoring and physical surveillance of the electricity network will increase its robustness and resilience both from a physical and a cyber point of view.
2.3. Benefits Offered to End Users
- Operational: By enhancing the power system reliability, the Smart Grid will offer better QoS to the consumers. The consequent reduction in the frequency and duration of power interruptions and outages will be translated in less productivity and business losses for the consumers. Moreover, the ability to collect real-time information will give consumers the opportunity to control their consumption in practically real-time and engage themselves actively in the electricity market . The significant peak load reduction expected from smart grid operation will allow the DSOs to reduce their costs and eventually the prices enjoyed by the consumers;
- Economic: In addition to potential bill savings for all consumers, corporate users may enjoy significant indirect economic benefits as havoc situations that lead to severe losses of productivity will be prevented;
- Environmental/social: Going green will be facilitated as the Smart Grid will enable the consumers to migrate to a more dynamic consumption pattern, thus indirectly leading to reduced energy consumption coming from fossil fuels. Being an essential component of the Smart Grid, smart metering will give the end-users the opportunity to control—practically in real time—the amount of energy they consume and how much they spend every month on their energy bills [13,14]. Demand-side management will enable consumers to adapt their energy consumption and, consequently, the level of the generated power. Moreover, shifting demand away from the peak will lower the peak prices [11,12];
3. Regulatory, Technical and Business Considerations Related to the Smart Grid
3.1. The General Regulatory Framework for DSOs
3.2. Technical Considerations Related to the Smart Grid
3.2.1. Smart Grid Communications
- Wireless communication technologies, mainly for the last mile, to connect substations and provide services related to remote metering.
- The power system layer, responsible for the safety and reliability of the distribution network.
- The communications layer intended for the exchange of information between any nodes of the power grid.
3.2.2. Smart Grid ICT Services
18.104.22.168. Critical Services
- As the sole responsible for any investment decision on the Smart Grid are the DSOs, should they engage a Telco/ICT solution provider to procure smart grid services or do it on their own?
- What is the most suitable among the available ICT approaches each time?
22.214.171.124. Generic Services
3.3. DSO Business Models Related to the Smart Grid
4. Relating the Smart Grid Benefits to Power System Operation and Business Needs
5. Benefits Expected from Improved Distribution Reliability due to Smart Grid Operation
5.1. A Study Case
|Automatic Voltage and VAR Control (F01)||It can be implemented by a DSO based on operating strategies, or in response to local or regional contingency or outage events. It also includes the ability to adjust or optimize the distribution power factor to reduce losses or achieve specific power factor targets.|
|Automatic Feeder Reconfiguration—Single-Level (F02)||Individual feeders can be reconfigured and optimized, including coordinated switching on the primary feeder or its laterals, or with an adjacent feeder. This may be in response to an outage or for peak load control.|
|Automatic Feeder Reconfiguration—Multi-Level (F03)||Multiple distribution feeders in an area may be reconfigured and optimized, including those with tie points to one or more substations.|
|Optimum Power Flow Analysis (F04)||Real-time monitoring and analysis enables distribution operators to make decisions concerning system performance, reliability, power quality, losses and asset utilization.|
|Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Monitoring (F05)||Individual DER units are monitored for status and output; this information is available to the utility staff in near real-time.|
|DER Control by Unit (F06)||Individual DER units are controlled independently by utilities in near real-time to improve distribution system efficiency and performance.|
|DER Control by Class (F07)||Individual DER units are controlled in groups or classes, either by the utilities or third-party operators, in near real-time.|
|Automatic Protection Reconfiguration (F08)||It addresses circuit loading and two-way power flow issues associated with high DER penetration.|
|Isolation of Higher Impedance Faults (F09)||It enables faster isolation of high impedance faults in order to minimize safety hazards and reduce damage to equipment and property.|
|Automatic Switching—Local (F10)||It is used to isolate faulted segments of distribution circuits to reduce the duration and scope of power outages. It can also reduce the time and effort required for crews to travel between switch positions and operate the devices manually.|
|Automatic Switching—Central (F11)||Switches will operate automatically in response to signals from a central distribution management system.|
|Automatic Condition-Based Equipment Maintenance (F12)||Distribution units equipped with sensors that monitor the grid condition and report accordingly increase the reliability and reduce the cost of maintenance.|
|Low-Impact Fault Detection (F13)||It reduces the stress on the transmission and distribution infrastructure prolonging their expected lives and reducing equipment failures.|
|Automatic Islanding and Resynchronization (F14)||It is fundamental to microgrid operation; it isolates loads within microgrids, and enhances the operating flexibility of the utilities in certain areas.|
|Real-Time Communications from the Utility to the Customer (F15)||Utilities can communicate directly with customers in real time to provide information such as price signals, network conditions, restoration times, and safety advice.|
|Automatic Phase Load Balancing (F16)||It provides real-time measurements of customer consumption and manages the load through Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) supporting customers decisions.|
|Real‐Time Communications from the Customer to the Utility (F17).||As in F15|
|Assumptions Concerning the SAIFI Improvement||Partial (%) SAIFI Improvement|
|Automatic Switching (F10)|
|Percentage of SAIFI caused by mainline outages||P10,1 = 50%|
|Percentage of previously affected customers that do not experience an interruption||P10,2 = 50%|
|System percentage that employs automatic switching||P10,3 = 50%|
|Percentage of time adjacent feeder is capable of carrying transferable load||P10,4 = 75%|
|Partial SAIFI improvement due to Automatic Switching (P10 = P10,1P10,2P10,3P10,4)||P10 = 9.38%|
|Automatic Condition-Based Equipment Maintenance (F12)|
|Percentage of SAIFI related to distribution equipment failures||P12,1 = 44%|
|Percentage of equipment failures that are reduced due to early detection||P12,2 = 75%|
|Percentage of equipment that affects SAIFI by monitoring equipment||P12,3 = 75%|
|Partial SAIFI improvement due to Automatic Condition-Based Equipment|
(P12 = P12,1P12,2P12,3)
|P12 = 24.75%|
|Low-Impact Fault Detection (F13)|
|Percentage of SAIFI caused by this type of equipment failure||P13,1 = 0,5%|
|Percentage of failures reduced by low-impact fault detection||P13,2 = 90%|
|Percentage of relevant equipment employing this capability||P13,3 = 100%|
|Partial SAIFI improvement due to Low-Impact Fault Detection (P13 = P13,1P13,2P13,3)||P13 = 0.45%|
|Automatic Islanding and Resynchronization (F14)|
|Percentage of customers included in microgrids||P14,1 = 1%|
|Percentage of outages that would be avoided as a result of microgrid formation||P14,2 = 90%|
|Percentage of customers located within the microgrid that does not have lines down.||P14,3 = 50%|
|Partial SAIFI improvement due to Automatic Islanding and Resynchronization|
(P14 = P14,1P14,2P14,3)
|P14 = 0.45%|
|Aggregate SAIFI improvement PSAIFI =P10 + P12 + P13 + P14 − (P10P12 + P10P13 + P10P14 + P12P13 + P12P14 + P13P14) + (P10P12P13 + P10P12P14 + P12P13P14) − P10P12P13P14)||PSAIFI = 32.40%|
|1.066||Change in SAIFI (%)||32.4||New SAIFI (# outages)||0.721|
|108.3||Change in SAIDI (%)||32.4||New SAIDI (min.)||73.2|
5.2. Guidelines for the Assessment of a Smart Grid Investment
List of Abbreviations
Customer Average Interruption Duration Index
Distribution and Automation
Distributed Generation Operators
Distribution System Operators
Earnings before Interests and Taxes
Energy Transport service Providers
Information and Communication Technologies
Independent Power Producer
Net Present Value
Operation and Maintenance
Operating Cash Flows
Power Line Communications
Quality of Service
System Average Interruption Duration Index
System Average Interruption Frequency Index
Small and Medium Enterprise
Service Oriented Architecture
Transmission and Distribution
Transmission System Operators
Weighted Average Cost of Capital
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