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TowardsaSmarterGrid:Why BridgingtheCommunications GapisKey

WhitePaperbyViolaSystemsOy January2010

T ABLE OF C ONTENTS
DRIVERSBEHINDTHESMARTGRID.................................................................................................................................................1 THEARCHITECTURALLAYERSOFTHESMARTGRID............................................................................................................................ 2 THEAPPLICATIONSLAYER:CUSTOMERSIDEAPPLICATIONAREASANDBENEFITSOFSMARTGRID..............................................................3 GridoptimizationorDistributionautomation(DA):......................................................................................................... 3 Advancedmeteringinfrastructure(AMI):......................................................................................................................... 4 Demand/response(D/R):..................................................................................................................................................4 EnergyStorage:.................................................................................................................................................................4 MeterDataManagement(MDM):...................................................................................................................................4 CHALLENGESRELATEDTOSMARTGRID..........................................................................................................................................4 WHYISTHECOMMUNICATIONSLAYERAPRIORITY?.......................................................................................................................... 5 LayingtheGroundworkFirst.............................................................................................................................................5 AppliancesareReliantonCommunicationsandConnectivity.......................................................................................... 5 InternalImprovementsofGridaLogicalStartingPoint .................................................................................................... 5 KEYCUSTOMERCHALLENGESINCONNECTIVITY................................................................................................................................5 LargeNumberofNodesbeyondPrimarySubstations...................................................................................................... 6 Interoperability.................................................................................................................................................................6 Reliability..........................................................................................................................................................................7 FutureProofingSystemsArchitecture............................................................................................................................... 7 Security..............................................................................................................................................................................7 DESCRIPTIONOFVIOLASSOLUTION ...............................................................................................................................................8 EndtoEndCommunication..............................................................................................................................................8 TechnologyAgnostic.........................................................................................................................................................8 FlexibleIntegration...........................................................................................................................................................9 TwoWayCommunication .................................................................................................................................................9 RealTime,AlwaysOnCommunication............................................................................................................................. 9 ProtocolConversion..........................................................................................................................................................9 BuiltwithanOpenArchitecture........................................................................................................................................9 KEYBENEFITSOFVIOLASSOLUTION............................................................................................................................................10 CostEfficient...................................................................................................................................................................10 Reliable............................................................................................................................................................................10 Secure..............................................................................................................................................................................11 Scalable...........................................................................................................................................................................11 FutureProof....................................................................................................................................................................11 Flexible............................................................................................................................................................................11 BASICELEMENTSOFANELECTRICGRID........................................................................................................................................12 Substations......................................................................................................................................................................12 Reclosers.........................................................................................................................................................................12 CapacitorBank................................................................................................................................................................12 VoltageRegulators..........................................................................................................................................................12 Disconnectors..................................................................................................................................................................12 DistributionTransformers(DT).......................................................................................................................................12 RingMainUnits(RMU)...................................................................................................................................................12 APPLICATIONSOFSMARTGRIDCOMMUNICATION.......................................................................................................................... 13 BUSINESSCASEEXAMPLE:OUTAGEMANAGEMENT........................................................................................................................ 14

I NTRODUCTION TO THE P OWER G RID OF THE F UTURE : T HE SMART G RID


In recent years, regulators, politician and energy companies have been pushing the development of a phenomenon called the Smart Grid. In principle, the Smart Grid is an upgrade of the 20th century power gridswhichgenerally"broadcast"powerfromafewcentralpowergeneratorstoalargenumberofusers.Now theconvergenceofthreeindustries;energy,telecommunicationsandIT,areturningthetraditionalpowergrid into an intelligent utility network of the 21st century, capable of routing power in more optimal ways to respond to the changing requirements of todays energy sector. Fundamentally, the traditional strictly hierarchicalgridwillbecomeamorecomplexdynamicnetworkconsistingofmutuallyinteractingislands. Smart Grid technology is sometimes referred to as the Internet for power due to its potential to fundamentally shift the way wethink aboutelectricity production, distributionand consumption. Whereas the Internet changed the information paradigm from a onetomany to a manytomany view, the Smart Grid has the potential to achieve a similar change in the way electricity flows. The result will be a more flexible power grid which is largely automated, will draw on intelligent monitoring and control mechanisms, and allow for twoway communication between different nodes in the network. The shift from the traditional power grid to theSmartGridisillustratedinFigure1.
Traditional Power Grid Smart Grid

Figure1:IllustrationofthetraditionalpowergridandtheSmartGrid

The Smart Grid will be more responsive, transparent and reliable, and better equipped to answer to the demands of the future. The key differences between the traditional power grid and the Smart Grid are summarizedinTable1.

DriversbehindtheSmartGrid
Thereareseveralmajorongoingtrendsthatdrivethedevelopmentofamoreintelligentutilitynetwork: TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY Needtorundistributiongridsmoreefficiently Growingneedfordistributedgenerationofelectricity,e.g.fromrenewablesources Customer participation in energy consumption both in terms of consumers wanting to control their energyconsumptionandutilitieswishingtocutpeakpowerdemand 1

Growingdemandforenergy,andespeciallyelectricity Governmentsincreasinglywanttoensureenergyindependenceandgridsecurity Regulatorypressurefore.g.environmentalsustainabilityandqualityofservice

Table1:SummaryofdifferencesbetweenthetraditionalgridandtheSmartGrid

Communication

TraditionalPowerGrid Noneoronewayonly,notrealtime

SmartGrid Twoway,realtimeinformation Bothcentralizedanddistributedpowergeneration Intermittentanddecentralizedgenerationfrom renewablesources Possibleforconsumerstoparticipateinthemarket

PowerGeneration

Centralizedgeneration

Operational information Reliability Faultrestoration Systemstructure

Operationsbasedonhistoricaldata Receptivetofailures Manualrestoration,reactivemaintenance Hierarchical,strictlyonewaypowerflow

Operationsbasedonrealtimedata Automaticandproactiveprotection,remote restorationwhenneeded Remoterestoration,correctivemaintenancereduces outages Networklike,multiplepathsforpowerflow

Efficiency is one of the leading drivers of the Smart Grid. Even in modern systems the electricity lost between power plants and the customer can be in the range of 820 %. Thus efficiency improvements through grid optimization can have a considerable impact both on the cost of electricity as well as on the environment. Investmentingridoptimizationhasevenbeensaidtorepresentoneofthemostlucrativeinvestmentsintothe reduction of CO2emissions.1 If, for example, the U.S. could improve grid efficiency by only 5 % (which is consideredfeasible)theycouldpermanentlyeliminatetheequivalenceoffuelandgreenhousegasemissionsof 53 million cars2. Another noteworthy driver of the Smart Grid is the growing supply of renewable energy sources that currently face considerable operational challenges in the traditional grid due to their intermittent and distributed nature. Without Smart Grid infrastructure these energy sources will remain niche as they cannotbelinkedtothegridinanefficientway. Regulatory andpolitical support for Smart Grid initiatives has been considerable. Both the US government and the European Commission have set investments in Smart Grid technology as a top priority for upcoming years, andPresidentBarackObamaemphasizedtheneedforatransformationinthepowermarketinFebruary2009: Today,theelectricityweuseiscarriedalongagridoflinesandwiresthatdatesbacktoThomasEdisonagrid that cant support the demands of clean energy. This means were using 19th and 20th century technologies to battle21stcenturyproblemslikeclimatechangeandenergysecurity.

TheArchitecturalLayersoftheSmartGrid
Contrary to what it may seem, the Smart Grid will not be a revolution over night, and the entire existing physical power transmission and distribution network will not need to be replaced. The intelligent utility network will largely use existing infrastructure, and new technology will be added gradually over the years to
1 2

TheSmartGridin2010:MarketSegments,ApplicationsandIndustryPlayersGTMResearch,July2009 TheSmartGrid:AnIntroduction,U.S.DepartmentofEnergy

TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY

incorporatemoreintelligentandeffectivefunctionalities.TheSmartGridcanbeviewedascomprisingofthree architectural layers (see Figure 2): the physical power layer including transmission and distribution; the data transport and control layer (or communications layer); and the application layer, i.e. the applications and servicesthegridperforms. The physical layer is already largely existent and only needs minor modifications, and the applications are alreadybeingdevelopedoratleastenvisioned.Thecommunicationslayeriscurrentlybeingenhancedbymany utility companies, but not very rapidly considering that all applications and services are heavily reliant on the existence of an endtoend, twoway communications layer. The communications layer is the glue that holds thephysicalpowerlayerandtheapplicationstogether,andmakestheSmartGridfunctionalitiespossible.

AMI Billing

DR DA

FLISR MDM

SCADA

APPLICATION LAYER

LAN M2M Private 3G

WAN Satellite WiMax

FAN RF Mesh

COMMUNICATION LAYER

PHYSICAL POWER LAYER

Figure2:ThethreearchitecturallayersoftheSmartGrid

The first step in moving towards a smarter grid is effective communications infrastructure connecting all the elements in the grid. Violas business is focused on exactly this building up communications to enable grid enhancing applications. The transition from the electric grid of today to the Smart Grid of tomorrow will be profoundbutforallbenefitstomaterializeitfirstandforemostneedsaneffectivecommunicationsystem.

TheApplicationsLayer:CustomerSideApplicationAreasandBenefitsofSmartGrid
TheSmartGridchangesthewayenergyisdistributed,purchasedandused.Addingintelligencethroughoutthe grid challenges the status quo for each stakeholder in the market the customer can participate in the energy market, SCADA can remotely control grid devices and energy companies can adopt new pricing models and services. These functionalities rely on the development of Smart Grid applications. Utility companies are alreadydevelopingarangeofdifferentapplicationsandservicesfortheSmartGrid: Grid optimization or Distribution automation (DA): Grid optimization includes a broad range of improvements that energy companies can implement to turn their old grid into a dynamic Smart Grid. By adding IT, communicationandadvancedtechnologyutilities willbe abletoe.g. remotelyoperatefielddevices, draw more information from the field and quickly locate and isolate outages in the network (known as Fault TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY 3

Detection, Isolation and Restoration, FDIR), thus optimizing the use of the existing infrastructure. Since the benefits to be had from grid optimization do not depend on changing customer behavior, these returns are regarded as more predictable and certain than the returns from other applications, making investment in grid optimization very attractive. The focal point of Violas offering lies largely in grid optimization and Viola has specializedinoperationssuchasassetmanagement,faultisolationandrestoration,andfeederautomation. Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI): AMI refers to the replacement of old mechanical meters with advanced smart digital meters. These smart meters allow for twoway communication, but require a communications infrastructure to transfer the data. Endtoend connectivity between the utility and the customerislikelytobringaboutlargechangesinanindustrywheredirectcustomercontacthasbeenlimited. Demand/response(D/R):D/Rreferstoinvolvingthecustomerdirectlyinlevelingoutdemandforelectricity. Customers are provided with incentives through e.g. pricing schemes to reduce their power consumption during peak hours of demand, which allows for the utility to handle more customers with the same infrastructure,avoidingthebuildingofunnecessary,expensiveandlessenvironmentallyfriendlyextracapacity. Thelast5%ofenergyproductioncapacity,i.e.peakdemand,isbyfarthemostexpensivecapacitysinceitstays idlemostofthetime.Soifpeakenergycouldbereducedevenslightly,thefinancialresultwouldbesignificant. Energy Storage: Historically, power grids have had effectively no storage capacity, and in developing a modern, more intelligent grid energy storage has emerged as a necessary component of the future. Energy storagenot only reducesdemand for new power plants and transmission lines, but also solvesthe operational problemrenewableenergysourceshavebeendealingwithduetotheirintermittentnature. Meter Data Management (MDM): MDM quite literally involves the management of the data smart meters produce, be it data processing, analytics or storage. Since most of the large players offering smart meters do not historically have much experience in handling large amounts of data, this is a market segment where a lot ofsmallstartupcompanieshavebeengainingmarketshare.

ChallengesRelatedtoSmartGrid
Beforetheseapplicationscanbecomeoperational,SmartGridimplementationholdsseveralcriticalchallenges. GreentechMedia(GTM)ResearchsummarizedthethreemainSmartGridchallengesasfollows: Interoperability standards An intelligent grid requires that a multitude of independent actors are able to operate and communicate with each other. If technologies and systems are created incompatiblealargepartofthepromisedbenefitswillnevermaterialize. Future proofing As utilities (and governments) are investing astronomical sums into Smart Grid initiatives,akeyrequirementisthatthesystemarchitecture(andespeciallycommunications)isbuiltto bescalableandmodifiableinthefuture. Redefining business models and incentives With the rules of the game changing in the energy market, regulations and businesses need to change relatively fast to provide the right incentives for eachactorinthesystemtoengageinrealizingthebenefitsattainablefromanintelligentutilitygrid.

We have previously concluded that an effective communications layer lies as a vital intermediary between the physical power grid and the envisioned Smart Grid applications. We can now also see that two of the major challengesrelatedtoSmartGridarecloselyconnectedtoanddependentonthecommunicationslayer.Endto endconnectivityandcommunicationsthusemergesasthekeyareafordevelopinganintelligentpowergrid. TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY 4

C ONNECTIVITY AND C OMMUNICATIONS : T HE F OUNDATIONS FOR THE S MART G RID


It is hardly uncommon for mankind to plunge head first into new ideas and visions. People have the unfortunatetendencytojumpataboldplan,onlytorealizelaterthatpoorplanningandbadlylaidgroundwork forces them to start from the beginning, often at a much higher cost. The same applies to Smart Grid applications; e.g. smart meters are revolutionary but require an endtoend communications anddata transfer network to make the information accessible, and demand/response holds great potential but the utility will needtohavebettercontroloveralldevicesinthenetworktomakeithappen. Connectivity and communication in the Smart Grid refers to a network where each node is linked to a central system, and where information can flow freely between the different parts. Violas competence lies precisely here: in creating an extensive communications layer that enables contact to even the most remote field devices.

WhyistheCommunicationsLayerapriority?
Utilitiesshouldprioritizeinvestmentsinthecommunicationslayerforanumberofdifferentreasons: LayingtheGroundworkFirst Fred Butler, Chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC, an association comprised of the commissioners for utility regulation from each U.S. state) has pinpointed this problem by warningutilitiesofprioritizingwronglyandstartingbyinvestinginAMI.Instead,utilitiesareadvisedtostartby investinginthedistributioncommunicationsnetwork, andfocusondesigningittosupportfutureapplications. This represents not only a smaller upfront investment but is also much more likely to create immediate benefits. AppliancesareReliantonCommunicationsandConnectivity For all Smart Grid services and appliances one component is essential: communications and connectivity. To enabletheapplicationsandahigherdegreeofservice,movinglargeamountsofdatafromonepartofthegrid to another is vital. This is easily visualized in the three architectural layers of the Smart Grid (see [Figure 2]), where the communications layer connects the physical power layer and the applications. Connectivity to all partsofthenetworkandcommunicationbetweentheseisthecornerstoneofSmartGridappliances. InternalImprovementsofGridaLogicalStartingPoint EarlierweidentifiedthattheSmartGridwillimplyarevolutionintheenergymarket.Changeswilltakeplacein regulations,companiesbusinessmodels,intheconsumermarketandinpowergeneration.Whilenotall,alot of the changes are external that is, not directly dependent on the actual infrastructure. The infrastructure is, however, the starting point for efficient energy distribution, and internal improvements should thus be a priority for energy companies. With wellmanaged internal operations, facing the external changes will result easier. Internal improvements will happen through grid optimization, a market segment that is especially reliantonendtoendcommunicationsandconnectivitytoallpartsofthenetwork.

KeyCustomerChallengesinConnectivity
To gain control over an entire distribution grid involves many challenges for utilities, and due to the intermediate nature of the communications layer between the infrastructure and the applications, these TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY 5

challenges are especially important to tackle and solve. A summary of the central connectivity problems is presentedinTable2. LargeNumberofNodesbeyondPrimarySubstations Traditionally, utilitieshavehadinternal systemsfor transportingdata within thecompanyandto and fromthe primary substation level. The missing links, however, have been firstly the connection to devices beyond primary substations, to e.g. reclosers and disconnectors, and secondly, the connection to the enduser. The number of nodes grows, however, drastically after the primary substation level for one substation there can be 23 reclosers, 50 distribution transformers, and thousands of customers. In Figure 3 a small part of the US electric grid illustrates clearly the highly complex and networked structure of the grid. Building a communications layer to cover all these nodes is thus not a small project, and sets strict requirements on the technology used as well as on the installation process. Utilities may ask themselves: How can we achieve cost efficiencyandfastinstallationinaprojectencompassingtens(orhundreds)ofthousandsofnodes?

Figure3:AsmallpartoftheUSelectricgrid.Source:NewYorkTimes

Interoperability The challenge of interoperability can be tackled on two levels: internal interoperability (compatibility of existinggriddevices)andexternalinteroperability(gridcompatibilitywithothersystems,e.g.regulators). I NTERNAL I NTEROPERABILITY The total asset base of most utility companies has been developed over a longer period of time, and large utilities have often been formed by merging many smaller utilities into one. Thishasmoreoftenthannotresultedintheutilityassetsofonecompanycomprisingofaveryfragmentedset of different technologies and standards. This mixture of old and new technology from a multitude of vendors leads todevices having their own physical and logical interfaces, making it very hard to find a universal way to connect the devices. Moreover, communication is inhibited by the fact that devices tend to speak different languages without a way to convert between protocols devices are not able to communicate even if they are connected. The challenge is: How can distribution grid devices withheterogeneous interfaces be connected centrally? An additional hindrance is brought about by the abundanceof proprietary systems that persist in the industry. These systems are seldom easily compatible with other technologies and simply do not provide the flexibility anintelligentgridneeds. TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY 6

E XTERNAL I NTEROPERABILITY Moving beyond one companys assets and looking farther into the future we encounter the challenge of getting a multitude of actors in the energy market to fluently communicate with each other across grid borders. In essence, the grid is not particularly smart if all major players develop their systems and technologies independently, resulting in poorly compatible interfaces. We are faced with the following problem: How can we make sure that the technology of different actors and stakeholders communicateseamlesslywitheachother? Themissinglinkhereisuniversalstandards.Somestandards,liketheopencommunicationIEC61850standard, have received wide support, but due to the broad field Smart Grid encompasses, it will bevery difficultto find commonstandardsforenergydistributors,consumers,applicationmanufacturersandregulatorsalike.
Table2:SummaryofkeychallengesrelatedtoSmartGridconnectivity

Largenumberofnodes Internalinteroperability Externalinteroperability Reliability Futureproofingsystems architecture Security

How can we achieve cost efficiency and fast installation in a project encompassing tens (orhundreds)ofthousandsofnodes? Howcandistributiongriddeviceswithheterogeneousinterfacesbeconnectedcentrally? How can we make sure that the technology of different actors and stakeholders communicateseamlesslywitheachother? How can we reduce network downtime in terms of occurrence, duration, extent and economicimpact? How can we obtain a system that is flexible and scalable enough to meet any future needs? Howcanweprotectthesystemfrombeinghackedbyunauthorizedpeople?

Reliability People,businessesandcommunitieshavebecomehighlydependentonreliablepowersupply,andaregrowing more dependent on it by the day just imagine the devastation of a blackout in e.g. a hospital or a cell phone network.Regulations onacceptablenetworkdowntimearealso tightening,andthepenaltiesforblackouts are immediately felt in utilities financial results. Reliability of the power grid refers to eliminating faults and minimizing the effect of any disruption in the distribution system. Utilities are thus faced with the problem: Howcanwereducenetworkdowntimeintermsofoccurrence,duration,extentandeconomicimpact? FutureProofingSystemsArchitecture As mentioned earlier, Smart Grid is not an overnight revolution, but a gradual evolution with continuous upgrades.Thus,utilitycompaniesnotonlyneedtodevelopcommunicationstosupportpresentneeds,butalso future ones. Developing a scalable and flexible communications platform to adapt to any future need is thus vital in order to avoid having to redo todays investments in the future. The challenge is pinpointed in the question:Howcanweobtainasystemthatisflexibleandscalableenoughtomeetanyfutureneeds? Security Despite the sound logic behind open communications and use of common standards, the open approach has itsdrawbacks.Previously,whencommunicationssystemswerepredominatedbyproprietary,closedsystemsit wasalmostimpossibleforanoutsidertopenetratethesystemandcauseasecuritythreat.Nowasconnectivity is increasing dramatically and the data is (literally and metaphorically) flying through the air, the security questionismoretopicalthanever:Howcanweprotectthesystemfrombeinghackedbyunauthorizedpeople? TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY 7

V IOLA S S OLUTION TO C USTOMER C HALLENGES


Viola offers a complete connectivity solution for electricity distribution companies that tackles precisely the problemsdescribedabove.HerewewillpresentthebasicfeaturesandthebenefitsofViolassolution.

DescriptionofViolasSolution
The basic functionality of Violas Connect solution concept is outlined in Figure 4, and is in fact very simple. Eachfielddevicethecustomerwantstohaveundercentralmonitoringandcontrolisequippedwithawireless router, most often from the Arctic product family. These routers are then wirelessly connected to and integrated by a gateway located in the utility company, which connects to the utilitys applications, e.g. billing or SCADA. In the solution, Viola delivers on its value proposition Any device can be connected via any networktoanycustomerapplication.

Substation

Recloser

Disconnector

Distribution Transformer

RMU

Network

ViolaM2MGateway CUSTOMER APPLICATIONS

Billing

Customer Care

Distribution Automation

EnergyAudit

Figure4:BasicfunctionalityofViola'sConnectsolution

ThemainfeaturesofViolaConnectareaccountedforbelow. EndtoEnd Communication Viola offers a complete endtoend connectivity solution for distribution companies, with the intention of extending communication beyond the substation level. Violas business is to wirelessly connect geographically dispersed devices and sites, which provides for a complete endtoend system. As Violas products are small, costefficient and easy to install, equipping a large number of field devicestothecommunicationssystemisnolongeraproblem. TechnologyAgnosticViolastrivestonotlimititsproductstoanyonetechnologyorplatform,andthusleaves the door open for different options. Customer critical decisions, such as deciding on the communications TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY 8

technology or network is considered casebycase, and any alternative the customer decides upon can be implementedwiththeViolacommunicationsolution. Flexible Integration One of the first challenges any utility planning to build out their communications layer stumblesuponisthediversity oftheassetsbase and theheterogeneous interfaces ofdifferentdevices. Violas products are, however, designed to provide a smooth interface to ANY available field device, no matter who themanufacturer.Anydistributiongriddevicethecustomerhas,Violahasthemeanstoconnectit. TwoWay Communication The Viola M2M Gateway provides field devices with static IP addresses that enabletwowaycommunicationandasecureconnectionthroughaVPNtunnel.Violasproductsthusestablish atwowaycommunicationrelationshipbetweentheutilityandthefielddevices,meaningthatnotonlycanthe field devices collect and send information about events in the field, but the devices can also be remotely controlledbytheutility. RealTime, AlwaysOn Communication Violas communication solution leverages public mobile networks when possible, which means that the connection is alwayson and realtime, which enables very fast and effective remote control and monitoring of the distribution grid. All field communication is handled wirelessly, which in comparison to traditional modembased connectivity increases the data transfer capacity immensely and does not require continuous reestablishing of the connection (and thus induce delays) as modems did. In termsofgridoptimizationactivities,thischaracteristicisvitalforincreasingtheefficiencyofthegrid. Protocol Conversion Field devices typically use old serial protocols such as IEC 101, DNP, Modbus or SPA for communications. When using GPRS and TCP/IP technologies, so called packet based communications, these protocols no longer work. Communication in this manner has thus previously not been possible without a separateprotocol converter. Tocircumventthisobstacle Violas products havebeenequipped with aninternal protocol conversion functionality, serving as a builtin multilingual translator between devices and technologyusingdifferentprotocols,e.g.convertingbetweenIEC101andIEC104. Built with an Open Architecture Historically, many communication networks in utilities were based on proprietary systems. Not only did these systems result costly, they were also rigid, difficult to scaleup and impossible to integrate with other systems. The mantra today is to use open standards and leverage existing communications technology. Viola does exactly this Violas solution is built on an open architecture, and leverages the massive investments put into TCP/IP Internet. The products are therefore easily connectable to othersystemsanddevices,makingitflexibleandveryeasilyscalableforfutureneeds.

EndtoEnd Communication

Technology Agnosticism

Flexible Integration

TwoWay Communication

Viola'sConnect SolutionFeatures
RealTime AlwaysOn Connection Protocol Conversion Open Architecture

Figure5:MainfeaturesofViolaConnectsolution

TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY

KeyBenefitsofViolasSolution
Violassolutionholdsmanybenefitscomparedtocompetitorsandalternativetechnologies.Thebenefitsare summarizedinError!Referencesourcenotfound.andexplainedbelow.

BENEFITS OF VIOLA 'S COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION CostEfficient Reliable Secure

Scalable

FutureProof

Flexible

Figure6:Summaryofsolutionbenefits

CostEfficient Violas communications solution lowers capital expenditure by leveraging existing technology, so the technology does not need to be tailored for a specific customer. As the network can be operated more efficiently investment in new capacity are deferred or even completely eliminated. Operating costs are reduced through lower maintenance and installation costs, and reduced regulatory penalties paid out due to outages.Whenapplicable,theuseofpublicmobilenetworksalsoimpliescostsavingsnoinstallationcharges are needed, and even with large amounts of data transfer, the communication costs do not skyrocket such as with radio modems. Thus, the total cost of ownership in the longterm will be smaller. To quantify these benefits, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has estimated that Smart Grid initiatives have a cost benefitratiobetween4:1and5:13. Reliable A utility needs to be certain that once thousands of routers are installed in remote locations, the products will work and do not need to be serviced. Sending a maintenance guy to a remote location to climb up a pole just to press a reset button is a timeconsuming and costly procedure and should be avoided at all cost. A key benefit of Violas solution is its reliability. The products have been designed to be inherently rugged, and the solution has been field proven in many customer projects Violas products are thus reliable by experience. The products also have several functionalities designed to support mission critical applications; the devices monitorsthemselvesinordertopreventproblemsandarecapableofperformingcorrectiveprocedurestostay functional,inadditiontothepossibilityofremotecontroltofixproblems. Violas products have also delivered on their promise of reliability. In 2005 a distribution network project was carriedoutdelivering1000routerstoautility.Tothisdate,notasinglecommunicationfailurehasoccurred.

TowardaSmarterGridABBsVisionforthePowerSystemoftheFuture,ABB,July2009

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Secure Viola leverages a range of different data security tools to improve the security of the communications system. All Viola products are equipped with an internal firewall and all information sent to and from the distribution gridisencryptedandcomplieswithInternetsecuritystandards.TheViolaM2MGatewayusedtointegratethe products in the field provides the products with a secure VPN tunnel for secure communication. The security system is capable of supporting highly sensitive, mission critical applications, and traceability is a key element ofthesystem. Scalable As Violas solution leverages existing, widely used technologies such as GPRS and TCP/IP, the system is easily scalable for future needs. The solution is architected for a widely dispersed network, and Violas solution supports a partial, a phased or a fullblown implementation of the communications system, based on the customersneed. FutureProof Violas solution is, above all, open. Violas solution relies on an open architecture and commonly accepted standards, and Viola shuns away from limiting the products to any particular technology or application. It is thusveryeasytointegratethesystemwithothernetworksortechnologiesinthefuture,andthefunctionality oftheproductsisextensibletosupportfuturerequirementsandbuilduponthesysteminthefuture. Flexible Violas solution is designed to be as flexible as the customer needs, and Viola aims to support a healthy technology agnosticism. All customer grid devices can be connected through Violas solution, any communicationstechnologyornetworkmaybeusedandthecommunicationmaybedirectedtoanycustomer applicationavailable.HenceViolasvalueproposition:Anydevice,anynetwork,anyapplication. How Violas communications solution answers to and solves the central customer challenged related to connectivityaspresentedinKeyCustomerChallengesinConnectivityissummarizedinTable3.
Table3:SummaryofcustomerconnectivitychallengesandViolasolutioncharacteristics Highlevel challenge Operational challenge Largenumberofnodes Cost efficiency Usesexisting infrastructure Viola solution character istics Open architecture Usespublic networks when applicable Installation time Pre configuration ofproducts Remote configuration Installation support throughlocal partners Internalinteroperability Differing interfaces Analogand digitalI/Os Serialand Ethernet interfaces Differing protocols Protocol conversion External interoperability External communications Openarchitecture Reliability Network downtime Connection monitoring Internal watchdog features Rugged design Future proofing Flexibility Any network Anyphysical device interface Anylogical device protocol Security Future threats SecureVPN tunnel Builtin firewall

Usescommon standards Interoperability testingwith majorplayers

Endtoend

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C ONNECTIVITY AND C OMMUNICATION A PPLICATIONS IN A D ISTRIBUTION G RID


We have now presented Violas solution to the Smart Grid connectivity problem on a high level. Next, we will take a step down the abstraction level and focus on the actual grassroot level solutions, i.e. the customer applications that are enabled thanks to an effective communications layer. Next, the electrical components of thedistributiongridthatcanbenefitfromhavingtwoway,realtimecommunicationarepresented.

BasicElementsofanElectricGrid
Substations Distribution level substations (or primary substations, henceforth only substations)serveasaconnectionbetweentransmissionanddistribution.Themain function of a distribution substation is to lower the voltage of the electricity to suit thedistributionnetwork.Most substationscontaintransformers,switches andcircuit breakerstocontroltheflowofelectricityandprotectthenetworkfromfaults. ReclosersReclosersareatypeofcircuitbreakerslocatedinpoletops.Reclosersare used on feeder lines to isolate a section of the feeder in the event of a fault, in order to reduce the number of endcustomers left without power. Reclosers also have the abilitytorestorepowerintemporaryfaultsituationsbyreclosingthecircuit. Capacitor Bank Capacitors help adjust the power factor and voltage and allow electricity to be distributed more efficiently. They can often be remotely controlled and switched into and out of the system as needed, or automated to turn on or off accordingtotemperatureortimeofday. Voltage Regulators Voltage regulators help maintain a constant voltage level along theentirefeeder.Theyraiseorlowerthevoltageonthedistributionlinetoprovidea more or less constant voltage as the amount of load on the line changes. Voltage regulatorsautomaticallyadjusttolowandhighloadsituationstoassureallcustomers havepropervoltagetoruntheirelectricalequipment. Disconnectors A disconnector is a type of switch that can be found in poletops along a feeder. Disconnectors are used to open an electric circuit, but can only be usedwhenthereisnocurrentrunningthroughit.Disconnectorsareusedforexample toisolateapartoftheelectricgridtoensuresafeconditionsformaintenancestaff. Distribution Transformers (DT) Distribution transformers operate like large substation transformers they reduce the voltage from the distribution level to the voltage required by the customer. These transformers are thus located close to the endcustomer and are sized to meet the needs of all customers connected to it. Distributiontransformerscan eitherbe locatedoverhead as poletop transformers or onthegroundaspadmounttransformers. Ring Main Units (RMU) Distribution networks are normally structured using a numberofinterconnectedringshapedgrids.Distributiontransformersareconnected tothesystembyTshapeddistributionlines,Toffs.ThecomponentsrequiredforaT off are integrated in a device called a ringmain unit (RMU), often comprising of switches and fuses in order to provide protection to distribution transformers. RMUs are especially used in compact places with large electricity needs such as airports, hospitalsandsmallindustries,andarenormallyrelatedtoundergroundcables. TOWARDSASMARTERGRID:WHYBRIDGINGTHECOMMUNICATIONSGAPISKEY

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ApplicationsofSmartGridCommunication
Asnotedearlier,utilitieshavehistoricallynothadcommunicationorcontrolcontactbeyondsubstations.Smart Grid communications technology extends the reach to secondary substations and other devices in the electric grid,allowingformanySmartGridapplicationsandoperationalimprovementstobeimplemented. O UTAGE M ANAGEMENT With realtime data on all relevant events in the grid and the power to control reclosers, disconnectors and RMUs,utilitiescannowmanageoutagesinthenetworkmuchmoreefficiently: Reduced total outage time Realtime information facilitates more rapid location of the fault, and remotecontrolwillallowforfastisolationandrestorationoffaults ReducednumberofoutagesFieldinformationallowsforbettermaintenancetoavoidoutages ReducedmaintenanceRemotecontrolimpliesthatoftennomaintenancecrewsareneededatthesite

A SSET M ANAGEMENT With a communications layer employed in large parts of the network, utilities will be able to obtain huge amountsofdatafromtheirfieldassets,openingupawholenewworldofimprovementpossibilities: Continuous monitoring of the condition of network components, allowing for replacement investmentstobetimedoptimallyandoutagesprevented. The ability to optimize corrective maintenance based on the actual condition of the equipment, insteadofonaprescheduledplan.

R EACTIVE P OWER AND V OLTAGE M ANAGEMENT By remotely controlling, automating and centralizing the information from capacitor banks and voltage regulators,utilitiescanimproveefficiencythroughsocalledvolt/VArOptimization. Reducingtheamountofreactivepower(thatonlyheatsupconductors)inthewires,infavorofactive power(thatdoestheactualwork).4 Keepingvoltageattherightlevelinordertoavoidenergylossesthatarisefromtoohighvoltage.

L OAD M ANAGEMENT Load management practices are important tools for energy companies in markets where demand often exceeds supply, leading to customers being left without electricity. This phenomenon especially visible in fast growingemergingcountriessuchasIndiaorChina.Loadmanagementcanbeimplementedby: Collecting information on electricity flows in different parts of the network to determine where and whenelectricityismostneededinordertosatisfyallcustomersandavoidoutages. Addingswitchestothenetwork,whichcanturnpowersupplyonoroffaccordingtoneed.

A DVANCED M ETERING Advanced metering is an important tool in engaging the consumer to take part in the energy market. The followingbenefitscanbeattained:
4

Sophisticated pricing and billing as meters can be used to introduce a connection between the consumerandtheutility. Reductionofpeakdemandascustomersareprovidedwithincentivestoconsumeelectricityoffpeak.

ASmartGridisanOptimizedGrid,ABB,September2009

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BusinessCaseExample:OutageManagement
In the end, efficiency increases is about improving operations and cutting costs. To demonstrate the financial benefits of automation and communication in the electric grid, we will quantify the impact of outage management to reduce the regulatory penalties distribution companies incur. Consider a typical feeder design beyond the substation level we position a recloser halfway Substation along the feeder line, and two disconnectors at 25% and 75% of thefeeder(seeFigure7). Due to network operators holding a special position in a natural monopoly,utilities arepenalized by regulators for outages. In our caseweapplyFinnishregulatorypenaltiesforunplannedoutages: Theinstancebasedfeeis1,10/kW Thetimebasedfeeis11/kWh
D C

25%

25%
R C

Additionally,wemakethefollowingassumptions:
D

25%

25% R Thefeederlinehasacapacityof5000kW C Recloser C Thefeederhasonaverageonefaultperyear D C Disconnector The remotely controlled reclosers and disconnectors can be quickly used to isolate the fault to the correct 25% of Figure7:Examplefeederdesign thefeeder As a result, we conservatively assume that the total restoration time for the fault is reduced to half of whatitwaspreviously,i.e.from3hoursto1,5hours.

Before automation of the recloser and disconnectors the annual penalty paid for this type of feeder was 170500. With the reclosers and disconnectors locating and isolating the fault the total penalty for the same feederis26125,areductionof85%.Thereductioninpenaltyarisesfromtwosources: 1. from the fault being isolated to 25% of the feeder, reducing the affected capacity from 5000 kW to 1250kW,and 2. fromthereductionofmaintenancetimetohalfoftheprevious. Now, if we consider the investment cost of the reclosers and the disconnectors, as well as the cost of the communication devices that make remote control possible, we arrive at a total investment of 540005. Thus, the investment payback of the complete system when only considering one year of operation is a mere 4,5 months. Here we havent considered installation costs, but neither have we considered the savings attained in further operational years, so all in all, equipping poletops with communication and remote control proves to beaverylucrativeinvestment.

Energiamarkkinavirasto,Finland:Bookvalueofarecloser21000,bookvalueofadisconnector15000.Viola:costofone communicationdeviceapproximately1000.
5

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BusinessCaseofOneAutomatedFeeder
200 000 160 000 120 000 80 000 40 000 0 5 500 Noautomated devices 20 625 5 500 Automation: One recloser,two disconnectors 165 000 Penalty(time based) Penalty(instance based)

Figure8:Savingsinregulatorypenaltiesofoneautomatedfeeder

Additionalcostreductionsincurredfromoutagemanagementnotconsideredinthisexample: Reduction in maintenance costs as faults can be located and isolated remotely, thus reducing manual maintenancetime. Reduced penalties that distribution companies are obligated to pay directly to consumers in outage situations that exceed a certain time limit. E.g. in Finland this time limit is 12 hours, but some distributioncompaniespayvoluntarycompensationcostsalreadyafter6hours.

Thepenaltiesdistributioncompaniesneedtopaydirectlytocustomerscanbesignificant.In2008anelectricity distribution company in Finland with around 90000 customers had to pay out penalties of 0,5 million for outagesfollowingastorm.

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S UMMARY
In the energy industry, efficiency involves getting as much energy as possible from power generation to the endcustomer. Even in the most modern systems today around 68% of electricity is lost on its way from the power plants to the consumer, and a large part of this loss is due to inadequate infrastructure and operations. The traditional electricity grid we have in use today no longer has the needed functionalities to support 21st century power generation and the modern power consumer. The Smart Grid is supposed to update our traditionalgridtobecomeamoreefficient,transparentandflexiblegridofthefuture. Smart Grid services and applications have been envisioned in large quantities, ranging from active customer participationintheenergy market toan intelligentdistributionnetwork with selfhealingabilities. Thephysical power gridandthese applications are,however, separated by a layer ofcommunication anddata transferthat is needed to make the visions and benefits Smart Grid initiatives are promising real. Utilities thus need to prioritize their effort of building a comprehensive communications system upon which all future applications canbebuilt. Violaisaforerunnerindevelopingwirelesscommunicationsolutionsforelectricutilities,inordertobringreal time visibility and control into every corner of distribution grids. Violas Connect solution answers to the customersconnectivitychallengesbyofferingacostefficient,twowayandrealtimecommunicationssolution that stands the test of time to provide security, flexibility and scalability not only today but also in the future. By being able to connect any customer device independent of age or manufacturer, through any wireless network to any customerapplication that needs realtime field information, Viola standsby its value proposal: Anydevice,anynetwork,anyapplication.

AMI

DR DA

FLISR MDM

SCADA

ANY APPLICATION

Billing

VIOLA PROVIDES
ANY NETWORK
Private LAN 3G M2M WAN Satellite WiMax FAN RF Mesh

THE COMMUNICATION

ANY DEVICE

Figure9:Anydevice,anynetwork,anyapplication

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