Thursday, 24 February 2011

Smart Grid

Smart Grid

There are many topics to be covered on the Smart Grid however I would like to focus on the technological aspect (especially Smart Grid and Mobile Networks) but I also realise there is a need to have an overview of everything to do with the Smart Grid.

In the recent years the United States , Europe and other developed nations have all made a vision for the future to have a reliable, secure and affordable utilities system.
All of us want the electric power to be accessible , abundant and affordable especially in this age when we are always using it and increasing dependent on it for our everyday use. In last few 5 years or so the leaders of many developed countries saw the need to modernize their electric delivery system for economic and national
The aging electro-mechanical electric grid which is more than 50 years old cannot keep pace with the new innovations in the digital information and telecommunications network. The occasional power outages and power quality disturbances has cost the economy billions of dollars annually. Therefore there is a need for an electric superhighway to support our information superhighway.

The Smart Grid is defined as an integrated communication and power system infrastructure which allows for robust two - way communications , advanced sensors and distributed computers to improve the efficiency , reliability and safety of power delivery and use.

Most of the technologies available are compatible to work with the Smart Grid infrastructure and billion of dollars or pounds are going to be invested over the next decades for upgrading works on the power grid to ease grid congestion , to harness the new sources of renewable energy , encouraging lower carbon footprint, progress in technology and to better position the network for the next 50 years of operation etc.

Smart Grids enabling technologies :

1. Active distribution of networks, revealing characteristics of today’s transmission grids

2. New network technologies that facilitate increased power transfers and losses reduction (eg. GIL(Gas Insulated Line) , superconductivity , high operating temperatures , FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission System) technologies etc.)

3.Wide deployment of communications to enable grid automation ,on-line services ,demand response and DSM (Demand Side Management).

4. Power electronic technologies for quality of supply
     DC-DC converter used for harvesting photovoltaic energy and the UPS
     (Uninterrupted Power Supply)  are some examples.

5. Stationary energy storage device.
    Stationary energy storage device can substantially enhance the recovery of braking
    energy in DC systems.
The Smart Grid’s objectives is  to develop a shared vision for the future , identify research needs and build support for an increased  research effort on electricity networks, conclusion  and follow up actions on implementation of strategic research agenda and deployment plan.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Smart Grid and Mobile Network

Smart Grid are usually associated with private operators however with the rise of the mobile broadband and the  on going revolution towards 4G and LTE  (Long Term Evolution) there are many mobile operators like AT&T ,Verizon, Sprint, T- Mobile etc. who want the share of the utilities business that Smart Grid has to offer.

The advantages of the mobile operators are :

     1. Bandwith capacity and they deliver more bandwidth than wireless mesh.

     2. Data needs for Smart Grid is poised to increase rapidly as end users and utilities become increasing
         connected with two-way IP networks , meter reading will be constant and the data being monitored
         will be more complex.

     3. Mobile operators have recognised that Smart Grid services are cheaper to run. The cost of doing
         business is low , no device subsidies are needed to drive demand and even the embedded chips to
         connect meters to the network are cheaper now.

     4. Mobile networks are more than able to meet the needs of the of utilities .
      T- Mobile has partnered with Smart Meter maker Echelon and developed its SIM card for the meters.
       The agreement is that T-Mobile wireless network will connect the Echelon smart meters to the utility
       control centre.
      There is a gradual pattern of mobile operators increasingly being involved with Smart Grid.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Customised Application for Mobile network Enhanced Logic (CAMEL)

CAMEL is not service but  a feature that create services and it provides a mechanism by which services may be implemented within the GSM , GPRS and UTMS networks.

The service provider's network requires the addition of functional entities when CAMEL is introduced  into its network eg. gsmSCF , gsmSRF, gsmSSF and gprsSSF.