A Realistic ICT Network Design and Implementation in the Neighbourhood Area of the Smart Grid


The Smart Grid has three main characteristics, which are to some degree antagonistic. These characteristics are: provision of good power quality, energy cost reduction and improvement in the reliability of the grid. The need to ensure that they can be accomplished together demands a much richer ICT monitoring and control network than the current system. In this paper we particularly investigate the design and deployment of the ICT system in the urban environment, specifically in a university campus that is embedded in a city, thus it represents the Neighbourhood Area Network (NAN) level of the Smart Grid. In order to design an ICT infrastructure, we have introduced two related architectures: namely communications network architecture and a software architecture. Having access to the characteristics of a real NAN guides us to choose appropriate communication technologies and identify the actual requirements of the system. To implement these architectures at this level we need to gather and process information from environmental sensors (monitoring e.g. temperature, movement of people and vehicles) that can provide useful information about changes in the loading of the NAN, with information from instrumentation of the Power Grid itself. Energy constraints are one of the major limitations of the communication network in the Smart Grid, especially where wireless networking is proposed. Thus we analyse the most energy efficient method of collecting and sending data. The main contribution of this research is that we propose and implement an energy efficient ICT network and describe our software architecture at the NAN level, currently very underdeveloped. We also discuss our experimental results. To our knowledge, no such architectures have yet been implemented for collecting data which can provide the basis of Decision Support Tools (DSTs).

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Z. Pourmirza and J. Brooke, "A Realistic ICT Network Design and Implementation in the Neighbourhood Area of the Smart Grid," Smart Grid and Renewable Energy, Vol. 4 No. 6, 2013, pp. 436-448. doi: 10.4236/sgre.2013.46050.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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