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Blockchain, IoT and Smart Grids Challenges for Energy

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A1: Smart Grids and Microgrids".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 16421

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

New challenges in energy arise with the introduction of smart grids, blockchain and IoT technology to manage energy transactions. Due to the introduction of renewable energy and electric vehicle charging, there is a need for flexibility in consumption, and intelligent systems play an important role. The open energy market and new market players due to micro-generation create new problems that must be solved. The amount of data associated with energy transactions is growing, alongside the associated problems of security concerns for the whole system and for individual users (single point of failure, data privacy, security, robustness, etc.). The topics of interest for this Special Issue include but are not limited to:

  • Edge and fog computing for smart grids;
  • Advanced control and optimization algorithms for smart grids;
  • Demand-side management and uncertainty management of energy systems;
  • Distribution management systems/SCADA. Resilience and cascading effect;
  • Distributed control technology;
  • Innovative forecasting methods for smart grid systems;
  • Smart devices and intelligent grid participants for energy management;
  • Integration of DER devices, storage, and intelligent loads;
  • DER, intelligent buildings, smart homes, storage, charging devices;
  • IoT and data analytics for energy;
  • Distributed control technology;
  • Innovative forecasting methods for smart grid systems;
  • Smart devices and intelligent grid participants for energy management;
  • Integration of DER devices, storage, and intelligent loads;
  • DER, intelligent buildings, smart homes, storage, charging devices;
  • Blockchain-based security, privacy, and trust for energy systems;
  • Blockchain architectures, protocols, theories, and algorithms for energy systems;
  • Blockchain-enabled energy systems techniques;
  • Blockchain standardization for energy systems;
  • Blockchain tools, simulators, and test-beds for energy systems;
  • Distributed ledger technologies for energy systems;
  • Energy market and smart contracts for energy systems;
  • Electric vehicle charging processes and associated problems

Prof. Dr. Joao Ferreira
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 2120 KiB  
Article
Smart Contracts-Based Demand Response Bidding Mechanism to Enhance the Load Aggregator Model in Thailand
by Anchisa Pinyo and Athikom Bangviwat
Energies 2023, 16(8), 3606; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16083606 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1666
Abstract
In 2022, Thailand’s Demand Response (DR) business model was shifting from the Traditional Utility (TU) model to the Load Aggregator (LA) model in accordance with Thailand’s smart grid master plan. This research studied the current demand response model and mechanism to draw possible [...] Read more.
In 2022, Thailand’s Demand Response (DR) business model was shifting from the Traditional Utility (TU) model to the Load Aggregator (LA) model in accordance with Thailand’s smart grid master plan. This research studied the current demand response model and mechanism to draw possible gaps in operations. This research deals with the data system owned by the individual load aggregator. The load aggregators collect meter data and evaluate demand adaptations before sending the results to claim compensation on behalf of their customers. This approach lacks transparency and facilitates distortion of the facts. Hence, this research introduces the data execution by smart contracts and data records on the blockchain that enhance transparent data sharing among multiple parties and maintain data integrity. Moreover, the proposed bidding algorithm allows customers to offer an expected price under the maximum incentive payment determined by the avoided costs of running the peaking power plants. Hence, the bidding helps reflect the DR operation costs on the customer side and control the budget for incentive payments. This study emphasized the smart contracts and decentralized application layer, so the public blockchain is a reasonable network for the test. However, implementation in real cases using the public blockchain requires careful considerations, such as network fees, transaction speeds, and the security of smart contract codes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain, IoT and Smart Grids Challenges for Energy)
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25 pages, 6512 KiB  
Article
Blockchain-Based Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation of a Decentralized Controller for Local Energy Communities
by Marco Galici, Mario Mureddu, Emilio Ghiani and Fabrizio Pilo
Energies 2022, 15(20), 7623; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15207623 - 15 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1498
Abstract
The development of local energy communities observed in the last years requires the reorganization of energy consumption and production. In these newly considered energy systems, the commercial and technical decision processes should be decentralized in order to reduce their maintenance costs. This will [...] Read more.
The development of local energy communities observed in the last years requires the reorganization of energy consumption and production. In these newly considered energy systems, the commercial and technical decision processes should be decentralized in order to reduce their maintenance costs. This will be allowed by the progressive spreading of IoT systems capable of interacting with distributed energy resources, giving local sources the ability to be optimally coordinated in terms of network and energy management. In this context, this paper presents a decentralized controlling architecture that performs a wide spectrum of power system optimization procedures oriented to the local market management. The controller framework is based on a decentralized genetic algorithm. The manuscript describes the structure of the tool and its validation, considering an automated distributed resource scheduling for local energy markets. The simulation platform permits implementing the blockchain-based trading process and the automated distributed resource scheduling. The effectiveness of the tool proposed is discussed with a hardware-in-the-loop case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain, IoT and Smart Grids Challenges for Energy)
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23 pages, 7747 KiB  
Article
Roaming Service for Electric Vehicle Charging Using Blockchain-Based Digital Identity
by Joao C. Ferreira, Catarina Ferreira da Silva and Jose P. Martins
Energies 2021, 14(6), 1686; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14061686 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4242
Abstract
We present a suitable approach to address the electric vehicle charging roaming problem (e-roaming). Blockchain technologies are applied to support the identity management process of users charging their vehicles and to record energy transactions securely. At the same time, off-chain cloud-based storage is [...] Read more.
We present a suitable approach to address the electric vehicle charging roaming problem (e-roaming). Blockchain technologies are applied to support the identity management process of users charging their vehicles and to record energy transactions securely. At the same time, off-chain cloud-based storage is used to record the transaction details. A user wallet settled on a mobile application stores user verified credentials; a backend application in the vehicle charging station validates the user credentials to authorize the energy transaction. The current model can be applied to similar contexts where the user may be required to keep several credentials from different providers to authenticate digital transactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain, IoT and Smart Grids Challenges for Energy)
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Review

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35 pages, 591 KiB  
Review
Blockchain-Based Applications for Smart Grids: An Umbrella Review
by Wenbing Zhao, Quan Qi, Jiong Zhou and Xiong Luo
Energies 2023, 16(17), 6147; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16176147 - 24 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
This article presents an umbrella review of blockchain-based smart grid applications. By umbrella review, we mean that our review is based on systematic reviews of this topic. We aim to synthesize the findings from these systematic reviews and gain deeper insights into this [...] Read more.
This article presents an umbrella review of blockchain-based smart grid applications. By umbrella review, we mean that our review is based on systematic reviews of this topic. We aim to synthesize the findings from these systematic reviews and gain deeper insights into this discipline. After studying the systematic reviews, we find it imperative to provide a concise and authoritative description of blockchain technology because many technical inaccuracies permeate many of these papers. This umbrella review is guided by five research questions. The first research question concerns the types of blockchain-based smart grid applications. Existing systematic reviews rarely used a systematic method to classify these applications. To address this issue, we propose a taxonomy of these applications, first by differentiating them based on whether the application is focusing on functional or non-functional aspects of smart grid operations, and then by the specific functions or perspectives that the application aims to implement or enhance. The second research question concerns the roles that blockchain technology plays in smart grid applications. We synthesize the findings by identifying the most prominent benefits that blockchain technology could bring to these applications. We also take the opportunity to point out several common technical mistakes that pervade the blockchain literature, such as equating all forms of blockchains to data immutability. The third research question concerns the guidelines for deciding whether a blockchain-based solution would be useful to address the needs of smart grids. We synthesize the findings by proposing benefit-based guidelines. The fourth research question concerns the maturity levels of blockchain-based smart grid applications. We differentiate between academic-led and industry-led projects. We propose a five-level scale to evaluate the maturity levels. The ranking of the industry-led projects is performed through our own investigation. Our investigation shows that more than half of the industry-led projects mentioned in the systematic reviews are no longer active. Furthermore, although there are numerous news reports and a large number of academic papers published on blockchain-based smart grid applications, very few have been successfully embraced by the industry. The fifth research question concerns the open research issues in the development of blockchain-based smart grid applications. We synthesize the findings and provide our own analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain, IoT and Smart Grids Challenges for Energy)
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26 pages, 3260 KiB  
Review
Status, Challenges and Future Directions of Blockchain Technology in Power System: A State of Art Review
by Tanus Bikram Malla, Abhinav Bhattarai, Amrit Parajuli, Ashish Shrestha, Bhupendra Bimal Chhetri and Kamal Chapagain
Energies 2022, 15(22), 8571; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15228571 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2326
Abstract
Intermittent distributed energy resources (DERs) add challenges to the modern power system network. On the other hand, information and communication technology (ICT) is changing traditional electricity grids into smart grids, which facilitates a decentralized system in which prosumers may participate in energy trading. [...] Read more.
Intermittent distributed energy resources (DERs) add challenges to the modern power system network. On the other hand, information and communication technology (ICT) is changing traditional electricity grids into smart grids, which facilitates a decentralized system in which prosumers may participate in energy trading. Smart grids, DER integration, and network connectivity are adding complexity to the power system network day by day; Blockchain technology might be a great tool to manage the network’s operational complexity. The Blockchain provides for quicker, frictionless, secure, and transparent transactions. With the addition of smart contracts, it may be utilized to manage the expanding complexity of the contemporary power system. In this study, the authors focus on the scope, challenges, and potential future direction of Blockchain technology application in the power system. Blockchain has received interest and has been used for decentralized power system applications in recent years, but it is still young and has scalability, decentralization, and security concerns. This article discusses the interfaces and the possibilities that can assure trust, security, and transparency in decentralized power system applications and make a decentralized power system and power market possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain, IoT and Smart Grids Challenges for Energy)
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27 pages, 10073 KiB  
Review
Impact of Blockchain Technology on Smart Grids
by Hamzah Khan and Tariq Masood
Energies 2022, 15(19), 7189; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15197189 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3725
Abstract
Energy systems are transforming due to the incorporation of multiple distributed energy resources, such as renewable energy and battery storage systems. This transformation has triggered a need to shift power distribution from a low efficiency centralized model with high coordination costs to a [...] Read more.
Energy systems are transforming due to the incorporation of multiple distributed energy resources, such as renewable energy and battery storage systems. This transformation has triggered a need to shift power distribution from a low efficiency centralized model with high coordination costs to a decentralized distribution system comprising smart grids. Researchers have discovered a number of uses for blockchain technology in the energy sector because of its decentralized structure and possibility for safe transactions. In order to pinpoint current trends and important research directions in this area, this article thoroughly examines the effects of blockchain technology on smart grids and distributed energy resources. The aim of this paper is also to identify research gaps and future research initiatives in the area of blockchain-based energy distribution. To do this, 92 research publications were subjected to a comprehensive literature review based on predetermined criteria. Transactive Energy, Electric Vehicle Integration, Privacy and Security, and Demand Response, together with some other relatively fresh and unexplored topics, were, therefore, highlighted as four major focal areas of blockchain energy research. We have also drawn attention to the gaps in the research that has already been done and the constraints imposed by present systems that must be removed before blockchain technology can be widely used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain, IoT and Smart Grids Challenges for Energy)
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