With the rapid development of smart grid technologies, communication systems are further integrated in the existing power grids. The real-time capability and reliability of the power applications are receiving increasing concerns. Thus, it is important to measure the end-to-end delay in communication systems. The network calculus theory has been widely applied in the communication delay measuring tasks. However, for better operation performance of power systems, most power applications require synchronous data communication, in which the network calculus theory cannot be directly applied. In this paper, we expand the network calculus theory such that it can be used to analyze the communication delay for power applications in smart grids. The problem of communication delay calculation for the synchronization system is converted into a maximum path problem in graph theory. Finally, our theoretical results are compared with the experimental ones obtained with the network simulation software EstiNet. The simulation results verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method.
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