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3. Business Case
6. Success Factors
7. Next Steps
- In most areas, the existing U.S. power grid is operated with proprietary systems that are fragmented and isolated. Attempts to create interoperable systems often fail because there is no third-party certification of conformance.
- Two ways to network the smart grid have been commercially implemented:
- One solution is neighborhood-sized mesh networks of smart meters and other devices, all communicating with radios using unlicensed spectrum, all owned and controlled by the utility in question. This approach led by Silver Spring Networks has become the technology of choice for utilities installing millions of smart meters around the United States. Silver Spring, along with companies such as Trilliant and smart meter maker Itron, has gotten utilities' attention with a technology that's cheap and reliable. What they've had to trade off on are some of the capabilities of that network, such as greater bandwidth and lower latency, that is, higher speed of communications.
- Another approach typified by San Francisco-based Grid Net, on the other hand, is backing WiMax, a contender for the next-generation of technology for public wireless networks. While still sparse in North America, a WiMax network could offer utilities a high-speed, high-bandwidth network, built on mass-produced, standards-based equipment, all operating on licensed spectrum that they could rent, instead of build. While WiFi is seen as too expensive and power-hungry to serve as a cost-effective communications technology for individual meters, it does make sense as an aggregation network in denser, more urban areas.
- Still another startup, SmartSynch Inc. in Jackson, Mississippi, has joined forces with AT&T Inc. to shoot data across that carrier’s cellular telephone network.
- Standards development has been fragmented in different groups across the industry due to the diversity of environments, with no formal architecture in place. Standardized interfaces for devices are lacking. In addition, there is no communications standards oversight committee to ensure compliance and certification of data sensor devices, communication network devices, and applications.
- A variety of proprietary solutions are available – OK as long as boundaries (well defined points of interoperability) are standards based
- Standards exist, but not always suitable. Customers in dense urban environments need different technologies than those scattered across rural islands of power delivery, and reading meters every 15 minutes or hourly is a lot different than throwing distribution grid switches on a fraction of a second's notice.
- Cable, cellular, telephone, ISPs are trying to be there
- 4.9 GHz Band - In 2003 the FCC assigned the 4940-4990 MHz frequency band for Public Safety use.
- ANSI C12.19 - Table-based data model for electricity metering products
- ANSI C12.22 - Networked communications standards for electricity metering products
- ASHRAE SSPC 135 - American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Standing Standard Project Committee 135 – Developed and supports BACnet - A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks. BACnet is an American national standard, a European standard, a national standard in more than 30 countries, and an ISO global standard.
- CIM – Common Information Model – Collective definition for information exchange standards with the goals of permitting model exchanges, load flow calculation exchanges, and driving toward operation and control data exchanges.
- IEC61968 - contains the CIM for business-to-business exchanges of information
- IEC 61970 - Generic Interfaces Definition (GID) and the CIM
- COMTRADE - Fault Capture file format
- DNP3 - Distributed Network Protocol - For actual device level communications and interfaces, DNP3 is typically used now and it is expected that this will continue for some time. Most popular in North America.
- ICCP TASE.2 – Inter Control Center Protocol - Telecontrol Application Service Element - Has been standardized under the IEC 60870-6 specifications and allows for data exchange over WANs between a utility control center and other control centers and utilities.
- IEC TC8 - International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 8 - System aspects for electrical energy supply. They have groups focused on the technical standard aspects of attaching generation and storage to distribution systems
- IEC 61850 – Object models, self-describing, high speed relaying, process bus. Originally for substation equipment monitoring, operation and control and currently being expanded.
- Substation automation (IEC 61850-7-4)
- Large hydro plants (IEC 61850-7-410)
- Distributed energy resources (DER) (IEC 61850-7-420)
- Distribution automation (under development)
- PHEV and additional DER (under development)
– Size and capabilities of the DER system itself
– Distribution system configuration and characteristics
– Location of the DER PCC with respect to the circuit’s configuration
– Sizes and capabilities of neighboring DER systems
– Requirements of the transmission system for support from the distribution systems
– The regulatory and financial environment of the utility, including utility economics, energy infrastructure and legacy systems.
Working to advance the application of information and communications systems within the electric power industry.
3. Business Case
- NIST has received input identifying issues and priorities both individually from the many stakeholders. Based on this preliminary input, the priority areas in transmission and distribution for the development of the Smart Grid are:
- Integration of distributed energy resources (DER), and demand response (DR), including renewable energy sources, energy storage, and electric vehicles
- Grid reliability and management.
- Latency in grid monitoring - A delay of 2 seconds or more before a grid operator sees an event is not uncommon, and this may be too late to take action to control system instability, leading to a blackout.
- Legacy Integration -Utilities that attempt to deploy Smart Grid applications universally across their service area must first deal with the automation they have already deployed. Most utilities have several “islands of automation” in place, developed on a project-by-project basis over the years. Automation projects have tended to be “spotty” and incomplete due to a lack of a business case, especially in the distribution environment. Now that the business environment for widespread automation is improved, system engineers must find ways to incorporate these legacy systems into the new Smart Grid.
- Technology Obsolesce - Many of the technologies used in legacy systems are becoming obsolete and are no longer supported. The “technology time warp” in the power industry is such that many technologies considered “advanced” by utilities are already considered to be aging and on the way out in general computing environments. Examples of such technologies are SONET, Frame Relay, 10Mbit Ethernet, trunked radio and even leased telephone lines. Many older technologies, such as Bell 202 modems, are now essentially only found in utility automation. Smart Grid deployments must find a way to either integrate or replace these systems.
- Enterprise application integration. This area represents a particular interoperability weak spot because the current state of the art is an extremely manual, labor-intensive process that is very dependent on the utility’s existing information infrastructure and the utility’s business practices.
- IP Bandwidth Requirements - Difficult to deploy Internet Protocols. Must solve the cost/range/speed/reliability puzzle.
- Lack of Common Definitions - There is a clear need for developing a common semantic representation for distribution assets, equipment, interfaces, and characteristics. This would include building a semantic bridge between the two most widely implemented standard data models -- MultiSpeak and IEC 61968 CIM.
- Transmission Substations and Intertie Stations Issues
- Advanced standards for field equipment automation are proposed, but lack designs and implementations that use these standards.
- There are legacy standards that at present cannot meet Smart Grid requirements. Standards are also in different stages of maturity with no migration pathways yet established to reach Smart Grid goals
- Accuracy & Timeliness - Utility managers need an architecture that provides access to a universal set of timely data, and visibility of system operations of the entire organization. Accuracy and timeliness depend not just on which database the data is drawn from, but when that database was refreshed and so on.
Without such a management system, utility management has what one utility executive has described as “ten thousand versions of the truth.” At any particular point in time, a utility manager in an energy control center must ask, “What is real, right now?” With inadequate, incomplete, and/or out-of-date information, the definition of reality becomes skewed and highly subjective. At a minimum, management decisions that rely on a subjective interpretation of reality lose effectiveness, with risks escalating from there.
- Common Library of Definitions that is used across all Smart Grid systems and use cases.
- Model Driven Approach that improves human understanding of Smart Grid domains and links human readable models with implementations.
- Internet Protocols where applicable and practical. Capable of running on any conceivable IP network (i.e., wired networks such as fiber and Ethernet, or wireless networks such as 3G, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, or LTE).
- Low Latency - Capable of operating at near real-time speeds -- at 100 milliseconds or less. Instant communication will be needed to support the functionality of an advanced smart grid.
- Interoperability - Support all electric devices (e.g., transformers, feeders, switches, capacitor banks, meters, inverters) from any vendor, because utilities are unlikely to settle for a reduced set of options when it comes to finding the right devices and applications to run their grids.
- Testing Framework - A robust, accepted conformity testing framework to allow stakeholders to test products for compliance with a particular standard with a reference implementation to test the standard as it is being developed.
- Affordabilty - It has to be economically competitive on a total cost of ownership basis: it must be more affordable than a dedicated multi-network solution it intends to replace and offer the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO).
- Develop a Common Semantic Model – - The two major standards players in this area, the IEC 61968/61970 CIM standards and MultiSpeak, approach these problems from different directions.
- The CIM standards do not attempt to provide plug-and-play interoperability, but instead define a “tool kit” that can be used to develop a set of essentially new protocols. An analogy for this process is that CIM defines a common set of words, but utilities must create their own rules for creating sentences from these words. One utility’s implementation cannot talk to that of another utility if they have not worked together from the start of the project to define the same rules.
- MultiSpeak developed for and by smaller co-op utilities with no resources to develop their own protocols, takes the opposite approach. It rigidly defines an interface in a very clear manner but this interface does not take into account the possible variations of information infrastructure at the utility. Although it provides interoperability between vendors very quickly, its feature set is limited and not easy to expand.
- The solution to these problems of course lies somewhere between these two extremes, and both technologies will likely converge. However, the problem is time.
- Working Group 14 of IEC TC57 has developed a roadmap for development of the IEC 61968 CIM to support distribution smart grid applications. This includes implementing a CIM profile for MultiSpeak. Accelerating this development will permit interoperability between a wide variety of smart grid applications that require access to common data and information and will also provide interoperability between MultiSpeak- and CIM-compliant applications. Such interoperation will make it easier for electric utilities to leverage investment in enterprise applications.
- DLMS User Association - (Device Language Message Specification) Maintains a liaison since 2002 with IEC TC 13 WG 14, the standardization body responsible for establishing standards for electricity meter data exchange. The User Association provides registration and maintenance services for the IEC 62056 DLMS / COSEM standards suite, performs pre-standardization work. In addition, the DLMS UA operates the conformance testing scheme. The DLMS/COSEM standard suite (IEC 62056 /EN 13757-1) is the most widely accepted international standard for utility meter data exchange. This global acceptance is clearly demonstrated by the continued fast growth of the membership, now exceeding 150, and an increase in the number of meter types certified to be DLMS / COSEM compliant.
- Green Energy Corp. Denver, Colorado - Provides products and software engineering services to utility, energy, and communication companies to enable the Smart Grid. The GreenBus® platform allows for rapid development of utility applications and is the only open source solution that supports interoperability of legacy and new applications. GreenBus was designed to provide a clear pathway for utilities to incrementally adopt smart technology without disrupting the performance of today’s dated, but still reliable grid. At the core of GreenBus is a secure middleware platform that captures extremely high-volume, real-time field device data and interconnects that data with operations and business systems. The GreenBus real-time data collection system includes data capture adaptors that are standards-based (DNP3, Modbus and IEC 61850), or customized for hundreds of legacy devices.
- Grid Net- San Francisco- Makes open, interoperable, policy-based network management software and 4G wireless communications products for the Smart Grid. Motorola, GE and Grid Net are part of a group of companies looking to bring a WiMax 4G-based smart grid program to Australia. Officials with the companies say the initiative will be the first smart grid based on the WiMax wireless platform. The program includes the installation of smart meters in almost 700,000 households and businesses in Australia by 2013.
- Qualcomm - San Diego, CA - In July, Qualcomm launched a joint venture with Verizon Wireless to bring new "machine-to-machine" devices and services to market, as part of what Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs insisted was a major push by the San Diego-based company into the "Internet of thing
In Qualcomm's case, those things include electricity grid distribution equipment built by Swiss giant ABB, hydrogen fueling stations by Air Products, water treatments monitoring systems from Siemens, and systems to monitor air compressors from Gardner Denver
At the heart of the new joint venture is Qualcomm global smart services, a name for the business Qualcomm took over when it bought nPhase, a pioneer in the business of getting machines to talk to each other over wireless networks, in November 2006.
- Silver Spring Networks - Redwood City -
- Tropos Networks, Sunnyvale, CA, A long-time municipal WiFi provider which is making a push into networking utility smart grid projects, providing the link between neighborhood smart meter networks and utility "backhaul" networks. In May 2011, Tropos announced new fixed mesh and mobile mesh routers, increasing its line of products that support the 4.9 GHz spectrum. Today, licensed spectrum choices often come with limitations such as narrow spectrum availability and poor performance characteristics. Earlier this year, the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) proposed changes to the FCC that would make it easier for utilities to utilize the 4.9 GHz band currently allocated for use by public safety agencies. But even without the rule changes proposed, a municipal utility can apply to obtain access to the 4.9 GHz licensed spectrum in their area.
In August 2011, Tropos Networks and Taiwan-based Billion Electric Co. announced they will merge their network and communications technologies to provide Asian power utilities with a hybrid smart communications network they say is reliable, scalable and high-performance.
Under the terms of the new partnership, Billion will market and support Tropos' secure wide-area network smart grid solution. The offering means utilities can take advantage of Billion's PLC/BPL and Tropos' IEEE 802.11 mesh broadband network technologies to aggregate communications for a variety of smart grid applications like advanced metering, distribution automation, substation security, mobile workforce and more. Also, the Tropos Wi-Fi mesh system can be used as reliable backhaul communications infrastructure for Billion's existing PLC/BPL-based neighborhood communications technologies.
- Draft NIST Smart Grid Issues Summary