Smart Generation and Transmission with Coherent, Real-Time Data

Bakken, D., Bose, A., Hauser, C., Schweitzer, E., Whitehead, D., Zweigle, G.

Technical Report TR-GS-015, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University, August 2010.


In recent years much of the discussion involving “smart grids” has implicitly involved only the distribution side, notably advanced metering. However, today's electric grids have many challenges involving the rest of the grid — the bulk power system — that can be mitigated by making it more intelligent. An enabling technology for helping the bulk power system that has emerged in recent years is coherent, real-time data such as synchrophasors. In this paper we describe major challenges facing electrical generation and transmission today, including distributed generation (both microgrids and renewables), that availability of these measurements can help address. We overview applications utilizing coherent, real-time measurements that are in use today, or proposed by researchers. We then describe, normalize, and then quantitatively compare key factors for these power applications that in fluence how the delivery system should be planned, implemented, and managed. These include whether a person or computer is in the loop; and for both inputs and outputs: low latency, rate, criticality, quantity, and geographic scope. This represents a significant expansion of the NASPInet Service Class concept. From this, we derive the baseline communications requirements of a data delivery system supporting these applications and suggest implementation guidelines to achieve them. Next, we overview the state of the art in the supporting computer science areas of networking and distributed computing (including middleware), and analyze gaps in available network protocols, commercial middleware products, and utility standards in this area. We finally overview the emerging NASPInet as well as WSU’s GridStat project, which since 1999 has been defining, designing, developing, and deploying middleware to meet these emerging needs of the bulk power system.

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