Overview of Smart Grid Technology And Its Operation and Application (For Existing Power System)

Nowadays, the electric power system is facing a radical transformation in worldwide with the decarbonise electricity supply to replace aging assets and control the natural resources with new information and communication technologies (ICT). A smart grid technology is an essential to provide easy integration and reliable service to the consumers. A smart grid system is a self-sufficient electricity network system based on digital automation technology for monitoring, control, and analysis within the supply chain. This system can find the solution to the problems very quickly in an existed system that can reduce the workforce and it will targets sustainable, reliable, safe and quality electricity to all consumers.

Overview of Smart Grid Technology

The smart grid can be defined as a smart electrical network that combines electrical network and smart digital communication technology. A smart grid has capable of providing electrical power from multiple and widely distributed sources, like from wind turbines, solar power systems, and perhaps even plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Overview of Smart Grid Technology
Overview of Smart Grid Technology

Smart Grid Components

To achieve a modernized smart grid, a wide range of technologies should be developed and must be implemented. These technologies generally grouped into following key technology areas as discussed below.

Intelligent Appliances: Intelligent appliances have capable of deciding when to consume energy based on customer pre-set preferences. This can lead to going away along toward reducing peak loads which have an impact on electricity generation costs. For example, smart sensors, like temperature sensor which is used in thermal stations to control the boiler temperature based on predefined temperature levels.

Smart Power Meters: The smart meters provide two-way communication between power providers and the end user consumers to automate billing data collections, detect device failures and dispatch repair crews to the exact location much faster.

Smart Grid Components
Smart Grid Components

Smart Substations: substations are included monitoring and control non-critical and critical operational data such as power status, power factor performance, breaker, security, transformer status, etc. substations are used to transform voltage at several times in many locations, that providing safe and reliable delivery of energy. Smart substations are also necessary for splitting the path of electricity flow into many directions. Substations require large and very expensive equipment to operate, including transformers, switches, capacitor banks, circuit breakers, a network protected relays and several others.

Smart Substations
Smart Substations

Super Conducting Cables: These are used to provide long distance power transmission, and automated monitoring and analysis tools capable of detecting faults itself or even predicting cable and failures based on real-time data weather, and the outage history.

Super Conducting Cables
Super Conducting Cables

Integrated communications: The key to a smart grid technology is integrated communications. It must be as fast as enough to real-time needs of the system. Depending upon the need, Many different technologies are used in smart grid communication like Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), wireless, cellular, SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), and BPL.Key Considerations for Integrated Communication.


Key Considerations for Integrated Communication

  • Ease of deployment
  • Latency
  • Standards
  • Data carrying capacity
  • Secure
  • Network coverage capability
Key Considerations for Integrated Communication
Key Considerations for Integrated Communication

Phasor Measurement Units (PMU): This is used to measure the electrical waves on an electricity grid using a common time source for synchronization. The time synchronizer allows synchronized real-time measurements of multiple remote measurement points on the grid.

Benefits of Smart Grid

  • Integrate isolated technologies: smart grid enables better energy management
  • Protective management of electrical network during emergency situation
  • Better demand, supply/ demand response
  • Better power quality
  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Increased demand for energy: Requires more complex and critical solutions with better energy management
  • Renewables Integration

Disadvantages of Smart Grid

Privacy Problems

The biggest concern is Security in a smart grid system. Grid system uses some smart meters, which are automated and provides communication between power provider and customer. Here some type of the smart meters can be easily hacked and they may control the power supply of a single building or an entire neighborhood.

Grid Volatility

Smart Grid network has much intelligence at its edges; that is, at the entry point and at the end user’s meter. But the grid has insufficient intelligence in the middle, governing the switching functions. This lack of integrated development makes the grid a volatile network. Engineering resources have been poured into power generation and consumer energy consumption, which are the edges of the network. However, if too many nodes are added to the network before developing the software intelligence to control it, the conditions will lead to a volatile smart grid.

Applications of Smart Grid

Smart grid plays an important role in modern smart technologies. Following are the most common applications of smart grid technology.

      Future Applications and Services              Real Time Market
Business and customer care Application data flow to/ from end-user energy management systems
Smart charging of PHEVs and V2G Application data flow for PHEVs
Distributed generation and storage Monitoring of distributed assets
Grid optimization


Self-healing grid: fault protection, outage management, dynamic control of voltage, weather data integration, centralized capacitor bank control, distribution and substation automation, advanced sensing, automated feeder reconfiguration.

Demand response

Advanced demand maintenance and demand response, load forecasting, and shifting.
AMI (Advanced metering infrastructure) Provides remote meter reading, theft detection, customer prepay, mobile workforce management
Software Requirements

Keil compiler, Language: Embedded C or Assembly

Hardware Requirements

Pre-programed Microcontroller (AT89C51/S52), Energy Meter, Max232, Resistors, GSM module, LCD (16×2), LED, Crystal Oscillator, Capacitors, Diodes, Transformer, Regulator, and Load.

IOT  Based Electricity Energy Meter Reading Through Internet

The main objective of this project is to develop an IOT (internet of things) based energy meter reading displayed for units consumed and cost for consumption, over the internet in the chart and gauge format. In this project, we had taken a digital energy meter whose blinking LED signal is interfaced to a microcontroller of 8051 families through an LDR. Per 1 unit, The blinking LED flashes 3200 times. The LDR sensor gives an interrupt to the programmed microcontroller, at each time of the meter LED flashes.

Block Diagram of Smart Energy Meter IoT-based Energy Meter by www.edgefxkits.com
Block Diagram of Smart Energy Meter IoT-based Energy Meter by www.edgefxkits.com

The microcontroller takes this reading and displays it on an LCD duly interfaced to the microcontroller. This reading of the energy meter is also sent to a GSM modem being fed by the microcontroller via level shifter IC and RS232 link. A SIM used in the modem being internet enabled transmits the data directly to a dedicated web page for display or to the customer mobile phone, anywhere in the world in multi-level graphical format

Thus, this is all about an overview of smart grid technology. We hope that you have got a better understanding of this concept. Furthermore, any queries regarding this concept or to implement any electrical projects, please give your valuable suggestions by commenting in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, What are the advantages of using smart grid technology?

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