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  • Writer's pictureAlibek Jakupov

Smart Grids Data Processing Analysis [Step 8]

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

Communication protocols in Smart Grids

Among the protocols used to implement dispatching control within a power network, the CPQ working on top of HTTP or HTTPS can also be distinguished. Accordingly, all requests are made using the standard GET and POST methods.

The communication system consists of three levels. The lower level is the collection of information from sensors, the intermediate level is the data transmission server, and the upper level is the server for data storage and processing (polling server). Communication is carried out through the Internet, the local network of the enterprise or radio channels.

Communication between power consumers and the network is possible using common data transfer protocols and a common application layer. CPQ, as one example, is a communication protocol that mainly influences changes in the data transmission system, which makes it possible to exchange data in real time between different communication layers regardless of distance and hardware differences. As a result, the amount of data transmitted, its timeliness and security of transmission are increased.

Communication channel scheme

The communication channel between the power supply network operator and the hub is an example of a regional network. The Ethernet protocol is used to implement the network with the help of fiber-optic communication means, while one of the cellular protocols is used with wireless technologies. Typically, smart power system designers use cellular or WiMAX to communicate between the network operator and hub.

The channel of communication between the meter and the hub is an example of a local network. To implement a network, engineers resort to wireless communication, or communication over dedicated power lines. Usually, one hub communicates with meters within the network (from several to hundreds of meters) using the power supply lines. The IEEE 802.15.4g standard is used for wireless communications; the IEEE P1901, OPEN meter and ITU-T G.hnem standards are used in cases where information is exchanged over power lines.

Utilities organizations use the home network to communicate with devices inside the home. The list of functions of this network includes disconnecting air conditioners during peak loads, displaying information about the volume of power consumption on home displays, and paying for utilities with cards. Communication protocols are being created to send information to charging systems for electric vehicles/hybrid cars, as this class of devices requires a special protocol for home networks.

Architecture of a communication channel in a smart network

Home networks in smart grids support P2P communication between devices such as remote controls, water and gas meters. These networks typically use communication protocols such as RS-485, Z-Wave or HomePlug.

It should be noted that utility organizations strive to use technologies and protocols aimed at solving certain problems and providing the minimum necessary system indicators with the least cost of energy and monetary resources.


  1. European Technology Platform. Strategic Deployment Document for European Electricity Networks of the Future. - Smart Grids, 2010. – 69 p.

  2. George W. Arnold. NIST Interoperability Framework for the Smart Grid. - National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2015. – 6 p.


To be continued

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