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Smart Grid Architecture Basics | Smart Grid Architecture Working

This article on Smart Grid Architecture covers basic block diagram and components of Smart Grid architecture. It also mentions working of smart grid architecture used by electricity company for smart metering for home and business premises.

What is Smart Grid?

• An electricity distribution network which uses digital communication means to detect local changes in usage of power and react automatically without any human interactions is known as smart grid.
• It uses smart meters and appliances, renewable and efficient energy resources.
• The system delivers electricity via 2-way digital communication. It allows consumers to interact with the grid.
• The smart grid overcomes many drawbacks of traditional electrical grids and provides benefits to consumers, electricity company and government establishments.
• It reduces energy consumption and reduces cost to the consumers by smart means. Electric supply companies make efficient usage of energy and consecutively will be able to meet the varying load demands of the consumers.

Generic Smart Grid Architecture Components

Generic Smart Grid Network Architecture Components or modules

The figure-1 depicts generic Smart Grid Network Architecture components or modules with different reference points. As shown typical smart grid network consists of following components.
• Grid domain (Operations include bulk generation, distribution, transmission)
• Smart meters
• Consumer domain (HAN (Home Area Network) consists of smart appliances and more)
• Communication network (Connects smart meters with consumers and electricity company for energy monitoring and control operations, include various wireless technologies such as zigbee, wifi, HomePlug, cellular (GSM, GPRS, 3G, 4G-LTE) etc.
• Third party Service providers (system vendors, operators, web companies etc.)

Smart Grid Architecture Working for smart metering application

Smart Grid Architecture

• The figure-2 depicts Smart Grid Architecture for smart metering application used by electricity company.
• As shown smart meters are installed at home, office and factory premises. These smart meters communicate with DCU (Data Concentrator Unit) located on the electric pole near the residential layout. Meters can provide parameters which include instantaneous consumptions, cumulative energy, time of day energy data, Maximum Demand (KW) etc.
• The Data concentrator units installed in the area collects the energy usage and other parameters related to status of meters. These collected information is transmitted to the data servers located at utility company or at third party premise using wired or wireless means. The transport mechanism can be DSL, Fiber optic or wireless network (2G, GPRS, 3G, 4G-LTE etc.).
• The complete smart grid network information can be updated/monitored by web site or web portal using laptop/mobile/tablet/PC. Web portal communicates with DCUs in real time for data collection and data processing. It reports tampering of meters, billing information, energy usage, load status etc.
Refer advantages and disadvantages of smart grid system >>.

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