Elements of the Smart Grid
In alphabetical order
Asset Management Systems and Condition Monitoring Devices
Help optimize the OpEx and CapEx spending of utilities. Condition-based maintenance, for example, allows the reduction of maintenance costs without sacrificing reliability. Furthermore they can maximize the use of transport capacity due to better cooling of primary equipment, e.g. transmission lines on winter days.
Building Automation and Control System (BACS)
Include the instrumentation, control and management technology for all building structures, plant, outdoor facilities and other equipment capable of automation.
Decision Support Systems and System Integrity Protection
Protect the primary
equipment (e.g. transformers) from fatal fault currents, and power systems from instabilities and black-outs.
System Integrity Protection Schemes will enhance the target of protection devices, and guard primary equipment (e.g. transformers) from fatal fault currents. It helps to avoid uncontrollable chain reactions that are initiated by protective actions and avoids limited load shedding actions
Distribution Automation and Protection
Whereas automated operation and
remote control is state of the art for the transmission grid, mass deployment of distribution automation has only recently started. This concept is particularly useful in countries where overhead lines are frequently used.
Advanced distribution automation concepts promote automatic self configuration features, reducing outage times to a minimum ("self-healing grids"). Distributed energy resources are able to create self-contained cells ("MicroGrids"), which in turn can help to assure energy supply in distribution grids even when the transmission grid has a blackout.
Distribution Management System (DMS)
Is the counterpart to the EMS and is therefore the control centre for the distribution grid. In countries where outages are a frequent problem, the Outage Management System (OMS) is an important component of the DMS. Other important components are fault location and interfaces to Geographic Information Systems.
Energy Management System (EMS)
Is the control centre for the Transmission Grid. Today customers require an open architecture to enable an easy IT integration and a better support to avoid blackouts (e.g. phasor measurements, visualization of the grid status, dynamic network stability analysis).
Information and Communication Technology
Throughout the Smart Grid the increased use of IT technologies allows to improve the interaction and integration of formerly separated systems. Buildings respond to occupants not vice-versa. Utilities increase their ability to detect and correct problems in their system. All of this leads to cost and energy savings.
Is currently not a large component, however it is proposed as a future driver of Smart Grid requirements.
Is an important part of the control mechanisms of the power grid. Systems like HVDC and FACTS enable actual control of the power flow and can help increase transport capacity without increasing short circuit power.
Power Quality and Power Monitoring Systems
Act in a very similar way to Quality Management Systems in companies. They are independent from Operation, Control and Management Systems and supervise all activities and assets/electrical equipments in a corresponding grid. Therefore such systems can be used as "early warning systems" and are a must to analyze faults and to find out the corresponding reasons.
Security of a critical infrastructure has always been an issue. However Smart Grid solutions will see an enormous increase in the exchange of data both to improve control and observation. The security of this data exchange and the physical components behind it will have be increasingly important.
Will enable demand response and lies at the interface between distribution management and building automation.
Uses power electronics to control harmonics, fault ride-through and fluctuating generation from renewables. It helps increase the flexibility of conventional fossil fuel power plants enabling their use to counter-balance intermittent power generation.
Are houses which are equipped with a home automation system that interconnects a variety of controls including lighting, security, appliances and other devices in a common network infrastructure that also allows it to become more energy efficient.
Is a generic term for electronic meters with a communication link. "Advanced Metering Infrastructure" (AMI) allows remote meter configuration, dynamic tariffs, power quality monitoring and load control. Advanced systems integrate the metering infrastructure with distribution automation.
Substation Automation and Protection
Is the backbone for a secure transmission grid operation. During recent years serial bus communication has been introduced (IEC 61850). Security is based on protection schemes.