The Smart Grid: It’s the IIoT of the Power Sector (Part 2)

SG IIoT Logo Powerpoint 10.12.15Part 2: The SG Is the First and the Largest Implementation of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Dom Geraghty

Excerpts from Part 2 of “The SG National Necessity Series

  • The IIoT refers to the integration of complex physical machinery with networked intelligent sensors and software -- it draws together fields such as machine learning, big data, machine-to-machine communication and cyber-physical systems to ingest data from machines, analyze it (often in real-time), and use it to adjust operations
  • The goals of the SG and the IIoT are the same -- to create automated, interconnected, intelligent networks
  • The SG is the first IIoT and unique within the IIoT because it spans an entire industrial sector – electric power generation, delivery, and end-use
  • We are in the midst of a transition from traditional Operating Technology (OT) to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology manifested by intelligent automation and control systems with real-time capabilities -- for several decades, industrial control and automation have increasingly consisted of project-specific systems that used such technology as wireless asset identification, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, intelligent sub-systems, advanced sensors, wireless communications and/or other IIoT elements -- examples of these systems in the context of SG applications are discussed
  • As we transition from an OT perspective to the IIoT, we need to think differently about how we manage the electric grid. Examples of new applications which the IIoT can support to address the emerging needs of the power sector include:
    • Delivery of highly granular situational awareness data simultaneously to multiple SG applications
    • Conversion from point-to-point, client/server, publish/subscribe, queuing architectures to data-centric architectures, e.g., DDS
    • Substitution of closed solution approaches by iteratively convergent methodologies leveraging high-performance computing
    • Development of advanced control algorithms with co-optimization functionality
    • Delivery of system-wide, nodal  synchronized measurements across all voltage levels
  • The SG is also the largest IIoT implementation, both physically (nation-wide) and financially (a $2.1 trillion investment) - this represents an immense business opportunity – the power sector is one of the most capital-intensive, highest operating leverage sectors of the economy
  • Creating the SG IIoT is an enormous technical challenge – it involves transitioning a huge, interconnected, pulsing, sentient synchronous network that must continuously remain in dynamic equilibrium – its reactions to stimuli obey the implacable laws of physics
  • Examples of this interconnectedness in action in the electric power grid include:
    • In November 2006, the European grid collapsed into three separate domains that were thousands of kilometers apart as phase angles sharply separated between the north, south and east due to insufficient inter-transmission service operator coordination and non-fulfilment of an N-1 contingency criterion
    • The proven ability of a simple 120-volt wall socket in a University of Austin building to sense disturbances in the ERCOT grid caused by the outage of a electricity generator over 350 miles away
  • It will take 25 - 30 years to achieve something close to the SG IIoT

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.

        -Alan Turing, 1912 - 1954

There is geometry in the humming of the strings; there is music in the spacing of the spheres.”

        -Pythagoras, 569 B.C. – 500 B.C.

As always, comments are welcome and appreciated.

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