Smart Grid is a network that uses info-communication technologies to collect information on energy consumption and production, store the data received, interpret it and distribute energy in accordance with the findings.
The development of "smart grids" is a logical consequence of the changes that affect the processes associated with generation, storage, redistribution, utilization and payment of electricity, including that received from renewable sources.
Renewable Energy Sources (RES) are characterized by a certain complexity of connection and utilization due to the dependence on random natural factors. Due to the depletion of fossil fuel resources and environmental problems, the role of RES and more intelligent power distribution systems will increase.
Analysis of specifics of Smart Grid operation, data exchange protocols will allow to develop appropriate data parsers from the distribution system to the RES monitoring system and development of data analysis and system management services.
Key differences in the SmartGrids architecture
Environmental problems as well as the growing needs of the population have led to the need to use renewable energy sources (RES). Advantageous forms of RES, such as wind and solar power, are very flexible in use but require more sophisticated control systems.
Using Smart Grid involves reorganizing the network architecture and redesigning utility services. Implementation of this technology implies consideration of technical infrastructure of the region.
In terms of development, Smart Grid is in the transition phase from basic concept development and development of national and international standards to the creation of pilot projects, including a large number of industrial projects.
The current power supply system is characterized as passive and centralized, i.e. the network is centralized and there are no real-time changes on the part of both users and customers. Smart Grid is designed to improve network principles by offering new tools for active and distributed interaction.
In classic networks, the client (consumer, building) in the context of the role performed in the distribution network (110/10/0.4 kV) can not be an active element, because it can not affect the main parameter - power consumption. First of all, it is determined by the ability to control the amount of generated, consumed and distributed energy. The client is not able to directly control neither the volume of electrical power nor the elements of transformer stations. Moreover, the power distribution networks themselves are not engaged in real time monitoring, and often do not have data on consumption in real time. From a commercial point of view, the system is also unidirectional, i.e. the client is not allowed to regulate the terms of his tariff plan. The networks (in this case, energy sales organizations) learn about customers and their level of activity once a month, during the period of payment for public utilities, i.e. consumers pay for public utilities at unified tariffs that apply to the whole settlements. Any changes in tariff plans take place at the level of regional authorities, and sometimes at the level of the state, and take a long time. It is not possible to interact with the system in real time, as well as to adjust and monitor the volume of consumption by the client.
In terms of energy distribution, the system is also unidirectional. The energy comes only from the supplier to the consumer and cannot be redistributed.
Obviously, when large energy providers distribute resources centrally and without data on actual consumption and, as a result, the real needs of customers at the moment, the relationship between consumers and suppliers is not regulated by the laws of supply and demand. Also important is the fact that in this case the system is technically vulnerable, as suppliers are not able to react to network failures in time and allocate resources optimally during peak hours.
This statement is true not only for individual buildings, but also for entire communities. It is especially important for large cities with a centralized energy distribution system, where uniform tariffs are offered for completely different consumers with different consumption volumes.
Smart Grid is an advanced end-to-end solution that combines the principles of participant-to-device interaction and optimal use and allocation of resources within the network with the power storage systems being developed.
At a time when population growth, rising prices for utilities and increased requirements for service quality cause additional costs for infrastructure development, the development of smart distribution networks is one of the solutions to the problems that arise.
J. Torriti, Demand Side Management for the European Super grid // Energy Policy. – 2012. – Vol. 44. – P. 199–206.
Smart Grid Working Group. Challenge and Opportunity: Charting a New Energy Future, Appendix A: Working Group Reports // Energy Future Coalition. – Washington, 2003. – P. 42-118.
To be continued