EUCI’s upcoming conference on “Distribution Management Systems: Enhancing Reliability and Improving Operations,” will feature seminars taught by two of S&C’s smart grid experts. Mike Edmonds, S&C’s Global Smart Grid Strategies director, will teach a class on why an architectural hybrid of distributed and centralized intelligence will best support successful smart grid deployments. Ken Monro, S&C’s vice president—Communication Systems, will discuss how a “network of networks” — a combination of new communications technologies successfully blended with existing networks—provides the optimal approach for an effective smart grid communications system.
While Smart Grid technologies have been evolving, an honest debate has been ongoing in the industry as to where the intelligence necessary to make the grid smarter should ultimately be located; i.e. centralized or distributed among the grid devices at the feeder level. This is especially true in the realm of Distribution Management Systems (DMS) applications, where both approaches are at least in theory equally promising. This paper will highlight the salient benefits of both architectural types to illustrate that the solution is not really an “either/or” but optimally a “both”. The paper will further discuss where each type of architecture currently performs best and outline the probable trajectories they will both tend to track until they eventually merge as advanced grid technologies continue to get smarter and the electric grid more and more comes to mirror the modern internet.
A Network of Networks; Communications for the Smart Grid
Ken Monro, Vice President—Communication Systems, S&C Electric Co.
The selection of one or more communication technologies is typically the largest Smart Grid challenge, since you often need to deal with the convergence of many applications some of which are already fully or partially implemented using a mix of quasi-dedicated media. You know that security is mandatory, but the standards are still very much in flux at best or outright TBD at worst. So what’s a conscientious smart grid architect supposed to do?
This session will discuss one methodology for working through the swamp, by admitting from the get-go that there is no panacea and by recognizing that in many instances a network of networks will often work out to be the optimum solution. Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all or a rip-it-all-out-and-start-all-over-approach, a consultative methodology that first takes stock of the status of current networks and then builds a bridge to where you ultimately need to arrive is often the best overall approach.
This session will focus on a number of technologies that can be blended together into a network of networks with bridges to existing infrastructure that can be very useful in getting out of the SG Communications labyrinth.