Grid Modernization: Beyond Smart Grid
The world is modernizing at such a rapid rate, everything has been upgraded from manual control to semi (nowadays mostly) automated systems. Such that electrical generation, distribution, and consumption is not far from this modernization. Hence, the Smart Grid concept has been introduced. Smart Grid (SG) does not have a unique definition to precisely describe the phenomena. However, the smart grid can be simply defined as an intelligent network that is automated and able to store, communicate, and make decisions. Different countries have different policies and concepts regarding smart grids but the integration of large-scale renewable energy, improvements in the reliability of services, and the achievement of higher levels of energy efficiency, etc. are common interests. The main need for the development of grid modernization is that the grids of today will not support the energy goals of the future. A few years back the challenge was producing sufficient energy supplies but now it is important to produce sufficient with minimal impact on the environment. ”The greener the better”, this concept has been prioritized.
Smart Grid Technologies
Numerous technologies can be implemented to achieve successful control and automation in smart grids. Such technologies are imperative to facilitate the transition toward a well-functioned
infrastructure from the perspective of grid designers and consumers. These technologies may include Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR), Energy Management System (EMS), Automatic Generation Control (AGC), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Meter Data Management (MDM), Distribution Management System (DMS), Geographical Information System (GIS), Outage Management System (OMS), Wide Area Management System (WAMS), and Demand Side Management (DSM).
Demand Side Management/Demand Response (DSM/DS)
Demand response has a vital role in shaping the future power grid in addition to the storage technologies, distributed generation, and communication infrastructure. Demand response can be classified into Price-based programs and Incentive-based programs. Attractive schemes can be launched hence, the changes in electric usage by consumers from their normal consumption behavior in response to new pricing schemes, elevated sense of responsibility, and incentive pricings that are mainly designed to induce lower electricity consumption during high price periods or when system reliability is jeopardized can be achieved.
Advanced DSM applications
- Maintenance and outage planning
- Retail power marketing
- Distribution Simulation
- Distribution power flow
- Short circuit analysis
- Optimal capacitor placement
- Feeder relay protection coordination
- Real-time DMS
One of the main characteristics of Smart Grid is the Data Management system. It consists of various approaches for the management of data collected. Data collection can be done remotely or through real-time tracking. Different AI has been developed for real-time data tracking of Generation, Distribution, and Consumption. It consists of various steps such as:
- Data Collection
- Data integration
- Data Storage
- Data Analysis
- Data Visualization
- Decision Making
Morden-day AI-based data management system allows online/on-time decision making. Several data loggers can transmit data in smart grids such as sensors data, power metrics data, mobile terminals, control devices, historical data, and reliability data. It saves a lot of time allowing the system to work a little faster and in a reliable manner.
Use of Smart Meter
The smart meters allow two-way communication between the end-users and the service provider. This enables consumers to control their energy usage and ensures more accurate billing. In addition, smart meters can provide power outage notifications and power quality monitoring. For a demand to be controllable, smart meters are often used since they possess a two-way communication that allows system operators or aggregators to effectively control loads. For instance, the ability of smart meters to control domestic demands for frequency regulation purposes. Hence, Smart Meter is a game changing device developed ensuring the future Grid modernization beyond Smart Grid.
- Improve the reliability and quality of the infinite grid.
- Optimize the smooth operation of the existing setup reducing the future expansion of backup plants.
- Increases the overall system efficiency.
- Improves cooperation of Distributed Resources.
- Enable automatic maintenance
- Lower greenhouse gaseous emissions.
- Improvement of the system to ensure and enhance system security
Challenges and Drawbacks
Every system or its development has its drawbacks and challenges. Battery backup systems and cybersecurity can be the major threats to the grid modernization system. Energy Storage Systems are fundamental parts when it comes to renewable energy resources integrated into smart grids. The application of energy storage is not new, yet the technologies require further developments. Their operation and size need to be carefully optimized.
The advanced automation and communication capabilities in smart grids expose the entire system to cyber threats. The consumer’s data are in constant threat and can be achieved by any person at any time. Therefore, the data need to be encrypted to avoid future threats.
According to various research articles, the paper published, and attended webinars, the future of modernization in the smart grid is the developed AI that facilitates two-way communication at every point of the system if possible.
Some of the important findings are listed below:
- Development of optimized battery size and service.
- Achievement of improved Cyber Security System.
- Need of integrated energy system with renewables like solar, wind, etc. for the reliable power source
- Smart generation, smart distribution, and smart consumption should be achieved.
- Need for development of more advanced AI.
- Automation and Visualization.
- Test, Test, and Test as there would be more time-consuming changing the system.
- Two-way communication from every point is necessary.
- Communication between Generation and Consumption
- Communication between Generation and Distribution
- Communication between Distribution and Consumption
Hence, if there is proper communication between the different systems then reliability in the power supply can be achieved. Problems that arose can be solved in less time and there won’t much hamper to the whole system and consumers.