The smart grid is an intelligent network based on digital technology. The smart grid includes a variety of operational and energy measures such as renewable energy resources, smart appliances and smart meters. Open and emerging issues in Smart Grid information and Communication technology have been discussed in the article for researchers.
“Smart Grid is an electricity supply network that uses digital information and communication technology to detect and react to a change in usage”
It is a digital technology which plays a role in provisioning two-way communication between the utility and consumers.
“Smart Grid is a modernized electricity network which uses the modern information and communication technology to meet integrated communications and technological needs”
It offers an opportunity to move the energy industry into the new era of availability, efficiency and reliability. While going through transition it will be critical to carry out testing, consumer awareness, development of standards, technology improvements and information sharing to ensure the benefits of smart grid to become reality.
Merits of Smart grid infrastructure are as under
- Efficient transmission of electricity
- Quicker restoration of electricity, if power fails
- Reduction in operations and management cost
- Improved security
- Reduced peak demand to control rates
- Increase integration of renewable energy systems
Information Communication Technology of Smart Grid
It has created a new way through which electricity is generated, distributed and consumed by integrating advanced sensing, communications and control operations of the grid.
Dynamic pricing, distributed generation and demand management have significantly impacted the operation of services in particular communication networks and data centers.
Energy efficiency and operational expenditure reduction efforts in communication networks and data centers have gained another dimension with those smart grid concepts.
See also: Machine Learning Master Thesis topics
Open and emerging issues in Smart Grid information and Communication technology
Cyber-attacks must be avoided to enable secure information exchange and data storage. Many solutions have been introduced by the researchers so far to deal with it. These solutions include cryptography protocols, authentication and key agreement protocols etc. Wrapping, spoofing, phishing and injection attacks are possible due to exposed analytical programming interface in the search engine is another open issue because of security weakness. In key distribution process risk of key disclosure is also a threat. However delayed performance due to large key size is another open issue in information communication technology of smart grid. Financial losses are more common as the user is not fully aware of the security of the communication network and suffer loss as some software are not genuine and may provide malware. On the other hand, hackers do get information about the account and credit card details which leads towards theft and physical danger
The smart grid has a hybrid network architecture. This architecture is composed of Home Area Network (HAN) Building Area Network (BAN), Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) and Wide Area Network(WAN) etc. Each of these networks has their own challenges such as scalability integration and implementation.
Weak signals and Power issue
Weak signals, power issues, distortion, low connectivity and noise issues are the main problems in power line communication of smart grid. Moreover, due to abrupt fluctuation in data rate, it has become very difficult to meet desirable result.
Lower bandwidth and low frequency
Wireless communication is affected by the interference of multiple frequencies i.e medical and industrial. it has low bandwidth and frequency as compared to wired communication technology.
Downlink and network design issue
Wireless communication also suffers from downlink and network design issues as well as provisioning, self-healing, QoS differentiation.
Slow Wireless communication
The high voltage of Electricity can also slow down wireless communication and can cause disruption in wireless signals.
Discontinuity of Service
Discontinuity of service is another open issue which occurs due to upgrade and damage in the base station of wireless communication and cellular network
No direct control over the services
The smart grid has no direct control over services and authority on cellular network provider as the network itself has full responsibility and control over its operations
Multi-cell environment and Cooperation
In a cellular network, high data transmission is not accomplished by simply increasing signals due to inter-cell interference. Smart antenna configuration, cross-layer optimization, signaling protocol and multi-cell environment and cooperative communication are open issues of a cellular network.
Difficult to inter size circuit capacity
Virtual private network converts an established network into the high-speed private network. It suffers a major drawback because overlay models require fully meshed up circuits for optimal routing making it difficult to inter size circuit capacity
Scalability problem is another open issue which makes managing and storing large VPN files difficult as it does not provide robust connection due to the absence of communication performance over an internet network
Errors and Equipment Failures
Errors and Equipment Failures attacks by adversaries and compromises in the security of information technology of smart grid is another open issue in this regard
Other major issues of smart grid of information technology are jittering, inflexibility, disconnection, packet corruption, packet reordering and time delay properties of communication networks
Complexity in systems is growing through inter connectivity and extension of the electric parameter. Security upgrade for the existing system is limited due to limitations in equipment and architecture. Control networks were thought to be secure and protected through private networks, serial connections and propitiatory protocols are extremely vulnerable when Open and emerging issues in Smart Grid information and Communication technology networks are connected
Organizations and state regulators are unconvinced of the value of smart grid technology due to lack of performance and cost benefit. Lack of consumer understanding of smart grid infrastructure and opportunity is another open issue.