One of the more challenging issues in Smart Grid (SG) communications is in handling the ever-increasing number of new SG applications that are being provisioned by the utility companies. These applications are resulting in an exponential increase in the amount of data that utility companies are collecting. Appropriate communication infrastructure and its management is vital for providing this data to unlock the full potential of the SG. Typically, these applications generate different types of data traffic that can be divided into multiple traffic classes with different QoS parameters (priority, throughput, latency etc.). Traditionally, these classes are handled with static network configuration based on individual application policies. However, due to increasing network dynamism, the problem arises as to how to adjust these configurations, based on changing traffic situations. In this paper, a software defined networking (SDN) based solution for distributed and dynamic Smart Grid network management is presented. Proposed solution responsiveness to complex dynamicity of Smart Grid communications is evaluated on a developed evaluation platform for the following cases: (1) Automatic Generation Control (AGC) during peak load, (2) Volt/Var optimization (VVO) during peak load, (3) steady-state operation with static (background) traffic load, (4) stress-state under continuous background traffic overload and (5) dynamic prioritization of traffic for data disaggregation. The presented solution provides significant benefits, when compared with traditional networking in tested scenarios, including: over 70 times lower latency for the most time-sensitive traffic (AGC), 25% increased VVO system observability and 5% to 7% decrease in unprivileged traffic bandwidth consumption whenever privileged traffic QoS is threatened. Additionally, it is shown that dynamic prioritization can provide requested QoS on demand as long as overall capacity is larger than the privileged traffic offered load.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Data aggregation
- Smart grid