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Special Issue "Sensors for Smart Grids"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Intelligent Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Toan Phung
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: condition monitoring of power system equipment; high voltage engineering; smart sensing devices and systems; signal processing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The electric grid is a vital infrastructure in present-day societies. It is becoming increasingly challenging to operate and control such a complex, continuously-evolving, dynamic system so that it can reliably deliver electricity from diverse generation sources to the end-users. Advances in sensing devices, digital technologies, and communications together make it possible to achieve accurate, online, real-time monitoring of the grid and intelligent, automated control of its operation. To this end, the sensors play a crucial role in the smart grid. The grid is a spatially distributed and interconnected network of a wide range of physical elements: conventional/renewable generation/storage sources, transmission/distribution systems, substations, end-user loads—each element itself is a complex system of hardware devices, components or equipment. Sensors deployed throughout the whole network to the grid edge enable capturing detailed information about the state of the grid, which includes not only time-synchronized electrical parameters but also many other physical parameters that are relevant to the health of the grid components for proper functioning. In this context, we are looking for contributions to the Special Issue “Sensors for Smart Grids” on novel developments in the science and technology of sensors and sensing systems. The scope also extends to associated aspects, such as signal processing, algorithms, and data analytics that enhance the sensor’s performance.

Dr. Toan Phung
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Sensors
  • Smart sensors
  • Sensing systems
  • Sensor networks
  • Smart grid
  • Condition monitoring

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Power-Based Non-Intrusive Condition Monitoring for Terminal Device in Smart Grid
Sensors 2020, 20(13), 3635; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20133635 - 28 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 911
Abstract
As a critical component in the smart grid, the Distribution Terminal Unit (DTU) dynamically adjusts the running status of the entire smart grid based on the collected electrical parameters to ensure the safe and stable operation of the smart grid. However, as a [...] Read more.
As a critical component in the smart grid, the Distribution Terminal Unit (DTU) dynamically adjusts the running status of the entire smart grid based on the collected electrical parameters to ensure the safe and stable operation of the smart grid. However, as a real-time embedded device, DTU has not only resource constraints but also specific requirements on real-time performance, thus, the traditional anomaly detection method cannot be deployed. To detect the tamper of the program running on DTU, we proposed a power-based non-intrusive condition monitoring method that collects and analyzes the power consumption of DTU using power sensors and machine learning (ML) techniques, the feasibility of this approach is that the power consumption is closely related to the executing code in CPUs, that is when the execution code is tampered with, the power consumption changes accordingly. To validate this idea, we set up a testbed based on DTU and simulated four types of imperceptible attacks that change the code running in ARM and DSP processors, respectively. We generate representative features and select lightweight ML algorithms to detect these attacks. We finally implemented the detection system on the windows and ubuntu platform and validated its effectiveness. The results show that the detection accuracy is up to 99.98% in a non-intrusive and lightweight way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Smart Grids)
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Article
Use of Sensors and Analyzers Data for Load Forecasting: A Two Stage Approach
Sensors 2020, 20(12), 3524; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123524 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 747
Abstract
The increase in sensors in buildings and home automation bring potential information to improve buildings’ energy management. One promissory field is load forecasting, where the inclusion of other sensors’ data in addition to load consumption may improve the forecasting results. However, an adequate [...] Read more.
The increase in sensors in buildings and home automation bring potential information to improve buildings’ energy management. One promissory field is load forecasting, where the inclusion of other sensors’ data in addition to load consumption may improve the forecasting results. However, an adequate selection of sensor parameters to use as input to the load forecasting should be done. In this paper, a methodology is proposed that includes a two-stage approach to improve the use of sensor data for a specific building. As an innovation, in the first stage, the relevant sensor data is selected for each specific building, while in the second stage, the load forecast is updated according to the actual forecast error. When a certain error is reached, the forecasting algorithm (Artificial Neural Network or K-Nearest Neighbors) is trained with the most recent data instead of training the algorithm every time. Data collection is provided by a prototype of agent-based sensors developed by the authors in order to support the proposed methodology. In this case study, data over a period of six months with five-minute time intervals regarding eight types of sensors are used. These data have been adapted from an office building to illustrate the advantages of the proposed methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Smart Grids)
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Article
Smart Distribution Boards (Smart DB), Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) for Load Device Appliance Signature Identification and Smart Sockets for Grid Demand Management
Sensors 2020, 20(10), 2900; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20102900 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Traditionally, the choices to balance the grid and meet its peaking power needs are by installing more spinning reserves or perform load shedding when it becomes too much. This problem becomes worse as more intermittent renewable energy resources are installed, forming a substantial [...] Read more.
Traditionally, the choices to balance the grid and meet its peaking power needs are by installing more spinning reserves or perform load shedding when it becomes too much. This problem becomes worse as more intermittent renewable energy resources are installed, forming a substantial amount of total capacity. Advancements in Energy Storage System (ESS) provides the utility new ways to balance the grid and to meet its peak demand by storing un-used off peak energy for peak usage. Large sized ESS—mega watt (MW) level—are installed by different utilities at their substations to provide the high speed grid stabilization to balance the grid to avoid installing more capacity or triggering any current load shedding schemes. However, such large sized ESS systems and their required inverters are costly to install, require much space and their efficacy could also be limited due to network fault current limits and impedances. In this paper, we propose a novel approach and trial for 3000+ homes in Singapore of achieving a large capacity of demand management by developing a smart distribution board (DB) in each home with the high speed metering sensors (>6 kHz sampling rate) and non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM) algorithm, that can assist home users to perform the load/appliance profile identification with daily usage patterns and allow targeted load interruption using the smart sockets/plugs provided. By allowing load shedding at device or appliance level, while knowing their usage profile and preferences, this can allow such an approach to become part of a new voluntary interruptible load management system (ILMS) that requires little user intervention, while minimizing disruption to them, allowing ease of mass participation and thus achieving the intended MW demand management capacities for the grid. This allows for a more cost effective way to better balance the grid without the need for generation capacity growth, large ESS investment while improving the way to perform load shedding without disruptions to entire districts. Simply, home users can now know and participate with the grid in interruptible load (IL) schemes to target specific home appliance, such as water heaters or air conditioning, allowing interruptions during certain times of the day, instead of the entire house, albeit with the right incentives. This allows utilities to achieve MW capacity load shedding with millions of appliances with their preferences, and most importantly, with minimal disruptions to their consumers quality of life. In our paper, we will also consider coupling a small sized Home Energy Storage System (HESS) to amplify the demand management capacity. The proposed approach does not require any infrastructure or wiring changes and is highly scalable. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the NILM algorithm and achieving high capacity grid demand management. This approach of taking user preferences for appliance level load shedding was developed from the results of a survey of 500 households that indicates >95% participation if they were able to control their choices, possibly allowing this design to be the most successful demand management program than any large ESS solution for the utility. The proposed system has the ability to operate in centralized as part of a larger Energy Management System (EMS) Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) that decide what to dispatch as well as in autonomous modes making it simpler to manage than any MW level large ESS setup. With the availability of high-speed sampling at the DB level, it can rely on EMS SCADA dispatch or when disconnected, rely on the decaying of the grid frequency measured at the metering point in the Smart DB. Our simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach for fast grid balancing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Smart Grids)
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Article
An Efficient Interface for the Integration of IoT Devices with Smart Grids
Sensors 2020, 20(10), 2849; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20102849 - 17 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1058
Abstract
The evolution of computing devices and ubiquitous computing has led to the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart Grids (SGs) stand out among the many applications of IoT and comprise several embedded intelligent technologies to improve the reliability and the safety [...] Read more.
The evolution of computing devices and ubiquitous computing has led to the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart Grids (SGs) stand out among the many applications of IoT and comprise several embedded intelligent technologies to improve the reliability and the safety of power grids. SGs use communication protocols for information exchange, such as the Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP). However, OSGP does not support the integration with devices compliant with the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), a communication protocol used in conventional IoT systems. In this sense, this article presents an efficient software interface that provides integration between OSGP and CoAP. The results obtained demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed solution, which presents low communication overhead and enables the integration between IoT and SG systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Smart Grids)
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Article
An Experimental Strategy for Characterizing Inductive Electromagnetic Energy Harvesters
Sensors 2020, 20(3), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20030647 - 23 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1030
Abstract
Condition monitoring of high voltage power lines through self-powered sensor systems has become a priority for utilities with the aim of detecting potential problems, enhancing reliability of the power transmission and distribution networks and mitigating the adverse impact of faults. Energy harvesting from [...] Read more.
Condition monitoring of high voltage power lines through self-powered sensor systems has become a priority for utilities with the aim of detecting potential problems, enhancing reliability of the power transmission and distribution networks and mitigating the adverse impact of faults. Energy harvesting from the magnetic field generated by the alternating current flowing through high voltage lines can supply the monitoring systems with the required power to operate without relying on hard-wiring or battery-based approaches. However, developing an energy harvester, which scavenges the power from such a limited source of energy, requires detailed design considerations, which may not result in a technically and economically optimal solution. This paper presents an innovative simulation-based strategy to characterize an inductive electromagnetic energy harvester and the power conditioning system. Performance requirements in terms of the harvested power and output voltage range, or level of magnetic core saturation can be imposed. Different harvester configurations, which satisfy the requirements, have been produced by the simulation models. The accuracy and efficiency of this approach is verified with an experimental setup based on an energy harvester, which consists of a Si-steel magnetic core and a power conditioning unit. For the worst-case scenario with a primary current of 5 A, the maximum power extracted by the harvester can be as close as 165 mW, resulting in a power density of 2.79 mW/cm3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Smart Grids)
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Article
High-Resolution FBG-Based Fiber-Optic Sensor with Temperature Compensation for PD Monitoring
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5285; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235285 - 30 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1412
Abstract
This paper presented a new sensor to detect and localize partial discharge (PD) in power transformers based on a fiber Bragg grating (FBG). The fundamental characteristics of the proposed sensor, as a PD detector, were temperature compensation and direction independence. The proposed high-resolution [...] Read more.
This paper presented a new sensor to detect and localize partial discharge (PD) in power transformers based on a fiber Bragg grating (FBG). The fundamental characteristics of the proposed sensor, as a PD detector, were temperature compensation and direction independence. The proposed high-resolution PD detector operated based on the FBG wavelength shift. It is necessary to evaluate the physical parameters of the sensor to achieve the best results. Therefore, in this paper, the detected signal strength was investigated for different angles and temperatures. A Teflon hollow mandrel and two FBGs attached to the inner and outer surfaces of the hollow mandrel were chosen as the inner transformer PD detector. The changes in the sensor output were less than 0.4 mV and 0.5 mV for direction variations and a temperature variation of 14 °C (degrees Celsius), respectively. Consequently, the proposed sensor could be successfully employed for the detection of a transformer PD signal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Smart Grids)
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Review

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Review
Dissolved Gas Analysis Equipment for Online Monitoring of Transformer Oil: A Review
Sensors 2019, 19(19), 4057; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194057 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2785
Abstract
Power transformers are the most important assets of electric power substations. The reliability in the operation of electric power transmission and distribution is due to the correct operation and maintenance of power transformers. The parameters that are most used to assess the health [...] Read more.
Power transformers are the most important assets of electric power substations. The reliability in the operation of electric power transmission and distribution is due to the correct operation and maintenance of power transformers. The parameters that are most used to assess the health status of power transformers are dissolved gas analysis (DGA), oil quality analysis (OQA) and content of furfuraldehydes (FFA) in oil. The parameter that currently allows for simple online monitoring in an energized transformer is the DGA. Although most of the DGA continues to be done in the laboratory, the trend is online DGA monitoring, since it allows for detection or diagnosis of the faults throughout the life of the power transformers. This study presents a review of the main DGA monitors, single- or multi-gas, their most important specifications, accuracy, repeatability and measurement range, the types of installation, valve or closed loop, and number of analogue inputs and outputs. This review shows the differences between the main existing DGA monitors and aims to help in the selection of the most suitable DGA monitoring approach according to the needs of each case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Smart Grids)
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