Distributed Generation and Transmission

Electric power is everywhere present in unlimited quantities and can drive the world’s machinery without the need of coal, oil, gas, or any other of the common fuels.

—Nikola Tesla

8.1 Introduction

This is the third chapter in Part Two, Communication and Networking: The Enabler, focusing upon distributed power generation and transmission. Note that these are, in a sense, anticorrelated components because as DG becomes ubiquitous the need for a classical power transmission system disappears; there is no need for long-distance bulk-power transfer if power sources are distributed within close proximity. However, there may always be a use for a highly connected power network in order to increase reliability and draw power from distant power sources in an emergency.

The chapter begins by discussing DG and the issues of integrating a growing number of highly variable, relatively small, renewable generators with the power grid. The question to consider throughout this section is what type of communication is required and how does it best integrate with DG as well as the transmission system. Note that this chapter considers DG to reside in the distribution system either with, or relatively near, the consumer. This means that the distribution system will need to become more like today’s transmission system in terms of coupling power from generation facilities and handling bidirectional power flow. Thus, this chapter takes the unique position of ...

Get Smart Grid: Communication-Enabled Intelligence for the Electric Power Grid now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.