2Smart Grid Communication Infrastructures

In this chapter, an information and communication technologies (ICT) framework will be explored to support the smart grid. The focus will be on the communication networks and their roles and requirements in the smart grid communication infrastructures.

2.1 An ICT Framework for the Smart Grid

2.1.1 Roles and Benefits of an ICT Framework

We have seen that the smart grid will have greatly improved communication networks compared to the traditional power grid. Two major achievements of the communication networks in the smart grid are 1) frequent and timely two‐way communication capability between customers and utilities and 2) real‐time monitoring and control of the vast majority of the power grid. In the current power grid, network communications are one‐way only, with little information exchange. A better two‐way communication network is required to control those detachable renewable energy sources, along with energy storage units, on the smart grid. Moreover, existing monitoring and controlling systems in the current power grid cannot provide the means to prevent system failures or blackouts such as the one in 2003. Given the massive scale and complexity of the smart grid, it is better to develop a unified ICT framework for the smart grid.

An ICT framework gives a clear view of the entire communication network and its integration with the physical components in the smart grid. It helps utilities to realize the interoperability of domains in ...

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