IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - 65

These components define the microgrid configuration and
determine how it can be managed by the community.

Stage 0
Building a Suitable Team

SCADA Systems and Microgrid Architecture
a sCada system is actually a software application that allows
monitoring, operation, and control of a system with dispersed
components when centralized data acquisition and control are
important. it also includes the required analytical capabilities
in a calculation engine and a set of custom-made interfaces for
interacting with operators and the field equipment.

Stage 1
Technical and Social Feasibility
Stage 2
Participatory Planning

The Social SCADA Proposal

The social sCada concept integrates the community with
the energy domain, starting with identification of the former's energy needs and recognizing that the system depends
on the community for its maintenance and operation. in
other words, it is a traditional sCada system completed
with a nonspecialist component that helps support decision
making by the local community.
The social sCada system offers a set of tools and interfaces that support interaction with the community in managing and operating the microgrid. These tools and interfaces
cover the following aspects:
✔  real-time operation of the microgrid
✔  maintenance of the generation units
✔  resource management and optimal dispatch of the
generation units
✔  support to the community in the decision-making process regarding the development of the system, e.g., in
the planning of the new generation units.
To perform these tasks, the social sCada architecture
includes three modules that differentiate it from traditional
sCada with respect to its interaction with the community:
1) a supervision module that monitors and supervises
the microgrid's performance. The information is then
communicated to the community, enabling it to participate in the operation of the system by also displaying
information regarding system status. This information
includes alarms and alerts when preventive maintenance is scheduled or when corrective actions in the
generation units are required.
2) a decision-support module that provides support to
the community's inhabitants regarding development
of the system.
3) an optimal-dispatch module that adjusts the set
points of the generation units by calculating them and
sending them to the local controllers with the aim of
improving the use of natural resources.
Communications Architecture of a Microgrid

figure 7 shows the proposed communications architecture of the
microgrid as a part of the local system. it includes either single
or multiple distributed generation (dG) units. each dG unit has
its own local controller to handle the relevant electrical variables.
each local controller receives a set point when its generation unit
july/august 2014

Stage 3
First Impression
Stage 4
Trial Phase

figure 5. The methodology for the development of
microgrids.

is running and the required instructions when the power plant
has to start operation. figure 7 also shows the load, which has a
control to ensure efficient energy management, and the communications equipment for sending signals to customers to promote
energy savings and efficient use of the resources.
The system also has a historical server to store data such
as control variables, alarms, and events. The energy management system (ems) is hosted in the application server
and provides set points for the generation units, signals for
consumers based on demand response, and the hmi for displaying the operation of the microgrid.
The overall costs of a social sCada system integrated
in a microgrid include the software licenses, a basic server
(a conventional pC), the hmi (for example, an interactive
whiteboard), and additional visualization devices.

Huatacondo Case
This section presents the microgrid of the huatacondo community as a case study for social sCada systems. huatacondo is a small, isolated village in the atacama desert in
northern Chile that is home to about 30 families. The atacama desert region presents unique conditions that inform
the design of this project. according to several studies,
northern Chile is one of very few regions in the world with
annual global irradiance values exceeding 2,500 kWh/m2

Social
(Community)

SCADA
(Technical)

Social
SCADA

figure 6. The components of social SCADA.
ieee power & energy magazine

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014

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