IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014 - 43

The article aims to provide readers with
a comprehensive understanding of the communications
issues surrounding the smart grid.

1) numerous devices, including sensors, actuators, and
microcontrollers, are used for controlling and monitoring the gS component. In the design process, the
engineers have to deal with numerous design issues
by answering the following questions: Which types
of devices are needed? how many of each are needed
to achieve optimal performance? how should they
be placed in a particular gS? With these questions
answered, the engineer should look at the lan connecting the devices and determine its structure and the
protocols that could be used based on the communication requirements for this lan (discussed above).
2) on the boundary of the gS component, there is a gateway and a protocol translator. It is critical for the design
engineers to answer these questions: how should the
gateway be built and configured so that an optimal
trade-off between security and processing delay can
be achieved? how should the protocol translator be
designed for optimal performance? Since compatibility is a critical issue in designing the operation
network, the engineer must also take care in deciding
which protocols the protocol translator should support.
3) By repeating the first two procedures starting from
the bottom of the tF and SS components, respectively, numerous design issues can easily be identified by engineers. With those issues addressed, the
WaMcn can be designed in such a way that the
communication requirements discussed in earlier
sections are satisfied.
4) ccs lie above the WaMcn. as has been discussed
above, when ccs become distributed, intercommunications among different ccs are critical. In designing this part of the operation network, engineers must
answer the following questions: Will middleware
technologies be good for cc? If the answer is yes,
which types of middleware will be needed? If not,
then what are the other options? Will the existing
intercontrol center communications protocol work
well enough in a distributed cc scenario?
5) the cng and Bng can be spotted at the boundary of
gS. In addition to addressing how the two gateways
should be designed, an engineer also needs to carefully investigate whether the communication protocols
used inside and outside the operation network are the
same. If not, then protocol translators may be needed.
a second issue is how these two gateways transmit
may/june 2014

data between the operation and consumer networks
and between the operation and business networks,
respectively. Should they be directly connected to the
WaMcn? or should they be allowed to communicate
with specific components inside the operation network
only, as indicated in Figure 3?
after completing the process described above, a sequence
of design issues will be clearly identified. the design issues
for the business network, consumer network, and interentity
communication systems can be identified in a similar manner.
With the design issues appropriately identified and addressed
according to customer requirements, engineers may find it
easier to design communication systems for the smart grid.

Acknowledgment
this work was supported in part by the collaborative research
Fund of the research grants council, hong Kong Special
administrative region, china, under grant hKU10/crF/10.

For Further Reading
M. h. F. Wen, K.-c. leung, and V. o. K. li, "communication-oriented smart grid framework," in Proc. IEEE SmartGridComm 2011, Brussels, Belgium, oct. 2011, pp. 61- 66.
NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 1.0, national Institute of Standards and technology (nISt), Jan. 2010.
F. F. Wu, K. hoslehi, and a. Bose, "Power system control centers: Past, present, and future," Proc. IEEE, vol. 93,
no. 11, pp. 1890 -1908, nov. 2005.
c. h. hauser, d. e. Bakken, and a. Bose, "a failure
to communicate: next-generation communication requirements, technologies, and architecture for the electric power
grid," IEEE Power Energy Mag., vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 47-55,
Mar./apr. 2005.
IEEE Standard Communication Delivery Time Performance Requirements for Electric Power Substation Automation, Ieee Standard 1646-2004, Mar. 2005.
IEEE Draft Standard for Utility Industry Metering Communication Protocol Application Layer (End Device Data
Tables), Ieee P1377/d11, Mar. 2012.

Biographies
Miles H.F. Wen is with the University of hong Kong, china.
Victor O.K. Li is with the University of hong Kong,
china.
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