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BW Businessworld

Grid Of The Future

A smart grid is an electricity network that can integrate in a cost-efficient manner the behavior and actions of all users connected to it

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We are at the cusp of a technological revolution with the Smart Cities. A big part of this revolution is a phenomenon called Smart Grid. “Smart Grid” has been a buzzword for years now but the detailed understanding of the framework had been missing for a long time. However, in recent years, the architecture for smart grids has become clear and the stakeholders are ready to dive into the space to transform the way we see and interact with electricity.

A smart grid is an electricity network that can integrate in a cost-efficient manner the behavior and actions of all users connected to it (producers, consumers and prosumers) to ensure economically efficient, sustainable power system with elevated levels of quality and security of supply and safety. It allows consumers to produce electricity (for example – using rooftop photovoltaic panels) and sell it on to other consumers through existing infrastructure.

As per SGAM (Smart grid Architecture Model) framework developed by SG-CG (Smart Grid Coordination Group), a typical Smart Grid architecture will have power system and energy conversion equipment. These can be classified into Generation, Transmission, Distribution, and Prosumer Domains. The Prosumer domain consists of both the Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and the energy consuming end users. The energy flows from the Generation domain to the Consumption domain in a conventional scenario. However, the distributed or democratized resources have pushed the world towards bidirectional flow of power.

The architecture further has classifications depending on the granularity of zones under discussion viz. Process, Station, Operation, Enterprise and Market. The Process Zone includes primary equipment and the energy conversion systems. The Station Zone represents the aggregation of fields, such as substation automation. The Operation Zone represents power system control operations such as energy management systems and electric vehicle fleet management systems. The Enterprise Zone represents commercial and enterprise level applications such as customer relation management and billing and procurement. The Market zone represents the operations possible along the energy conversion chain, such as energy trading, mass market and retail market.

And finally, the architecture clarifies the interoper ability among different layers that exist in the Smart Grid framework: Component Layer, Communication Layer, Information Layer, Function Layer and Business Layer.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Year End 2017 energy and power opinion

Akhilesh Kumawat

The author is is an Energy professional, working with Amplus Energy to create the Information and Communications Technology layer for the energy infrastructure. Akhilesh Kumawat has worked in various international locations in Oil and Gas sector, Renewable Energy sector and now is working on the immersion of disruptive technologies, such as machine learning and Big Data into the energy sector framework

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