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Distributed generation is a clean and renewable

alternative to or enhancement of traditional large-
scale centralized generation to improve energy
efficiency and reduce CO2 greenhouse gas
emissions. Smart appliances at factories or homes
can be switched off at peak hours and on when
power is less expensive. They act as peak
curtailment and can lessen peak demand surges
during the day so that less energy is wasted in order
to ensure adequate reserves. All these new
technologies, on both generation and demand sides,
have environmental and economical benefits, but
also need more complicated electricity network, the
bridge in between, to connect and maintain them
together. Smart grid is a major solution to modernize
current electricity network to facilitate connecting
distributed energy resources (DER) and smart
appliances with electrical power grid. The information
integration solutions (nS) which integrates and
upgrades the presently separate functionalities of
EMS, DMS, OMS, and GIS, is one of the key

technologies of smart grid. Smart grid will bring huge
benefits to both power utility industry and customer.

Large-scale centralized generation and high-voltage
long-distance AC/DC transmission are the two basic
features of present electric power energy
production.This paradigm has excellent economies of
scale. It solves the bulk power energy problem of our
age.Meanwhile it also has some negative factors,
such as environmental damage, transmission and
distribution loss, grid stability, and etc. As the scale
of power grid getting larger, people's requirement of
power quality getting higher, and public
consciousness of
environment protection getting stronger, these
issues become more and more urgent. Distributed
generation is a different development idea of power
system. It applies small-scale power generation
technologies (typically in the range of 3 kW to 10,000
kW) used to provide a cheap and clean alternative to
or an enhancement of the conventional centralized

power generation. It reduces the amount of energy
lost in transmitting electricity because the electricity
is generated very near where it is used, perhaps
even in
the same building, and also reduces the size and
number of power lines that must be constructed.
Because of the inherently intermittent nature of
distributed generation, more advanced and
complicated automation technologies should be
introduced into the current electrical network, so that
the updated electrical network can efficiently
connect and control so many DERs to maintain the
stability of the whole power system. Smart grid is a
total series of concepts and solutions of these
innovative technologies. In principle, smart grid is a
simple upgrade of 20th century power grids which
generally "broadcast" power from a few central
power generators to a large number of users, to
instead be capable of routing power in more optimal
ways to respond to a very wide range of conditions,
and to charge a premium to those that use energy at
peak hours. Smart grid will modernize traditional
power grid to improve energy consumption

efficiency, real time management of power flows, to
transform urban environments for sustainability, to
provide the bi-directional metering needed to
compensate local producers of power, and to offer
consumers more energy options.Smart grid will
introduce a great deal of new technologies into
today's power grid, and bring a revolutionary change
to it. It will set up a model for the next generation of
electricity delivery for 21 st century. Once smart grid
comes true, it will be beneficial to all participants -
the electric utility industry, the manufacturer and,
most importantly, electric utility customers.
II.Two Problems with Current Energy Production

There are two basic problems with today's energy

production process, on both generation side and
transmission side.
1) On the generation side, it's a basic physics
principle that electricity is the only commodity
simultaneously produced and consumed, unlike the
gas and water. The load changes from time to time in
24 hours of a day,as shown in figure 1. Normally, in

most utilities, the base load accounts for about 60%
of the peak load and the peak hours cover about
10% of the entire time of a day. Meanwhile the
installed generation capacity can't
change from time to time. It must at least meet the
peak load. That is to say, in most utilities, in the 90%
of the time of a day, the 40% of the total generation
capacity is running at a state of spinning reservation.
And because the highest peak load happens on the
hottest day of the year, this means almost 50% of
capacity sits idle most of the year[21.
Moreover, as the peak load increases dramatically,
more and more plants should be constructed only for
the very limited peak hours in a day, and they are
in the most of the time. This embarrassment wastes
many resources and leads to much unnecessary
environment pollution.

2) On the transmission side, because the overhead
lines cover long distance and wide area, they suffer
from lots of hazards from time to time, not only of
natural facts, such as lighting, thunder, snow, and
etc, but also of security threats, such as manually
damaging or cyber attacking. Once the power
delivery channel is damaged and before it's fixed in
time, the electrical power energy can't be carried to
customer's site, although the plants have enough
capacities and the customer's facilities for receiving
electrical power are healthy. From a customer's
perspective, the reliability and availability of
electrical power supply is in constant danger. These
two problems have been bothering utilities and their

customers in the past. As customer's expectations of
fewer outages, shorter outage durations and
informative timely outage updates getting higher,
and the government and the public casting more
focus on global warming and environmental
protection, these problems become more and more
tough. In the past decades, pumped-hydro site and
continental or national interconnection are the two
major ways for them. Both have many benefits, but
for the above two issues they are not perfect
solutions, because they still follow the idea of large-
scale centralized generation and long-distance

III. Distributed Generation, Smart Appliance and

Smart Grid

Currently, the low-carbon electricity generation and

efficient end-use technology are the two hot topics
for solving the problems of today's power system,
emphasizing the new ideas of energy independence,
emergency resilience and demand side management
(DSM). The former mainly means the distributed

generation and the smart appliance is for the latter.
Distributed generation mainly refers to the solar and
wind generation. This two tends to be
complementary to each other because on days there
is no sun there tends to be wind and vice versa. Once
they are connected with power grid, they can be
used in the following two ways: 1) In the normal
operational time, the centralized large-scale
generation covers the base and firm part of the total
load, and the distributed generation (maybe in a
form of electricity storage) covers the incremental
part of the total load at peak
hours. It can help effectively manage peak electrical
demand without increasing supply from fossil fuel
generation and lessen peak demand surges for
centralized large-scale generation capacity of a day.
Also it can reduce the energy losses that is wasted as
power is moved from power generation plants to
homes, because the electricity is generated very
near where it is used, perhaps even in the same
building. 2) During electrical fault conditions, the
electricity network can be decoupled into several

sections, so that the available distributed generation
can supply power to the customers in the unfaulted
sections. This will aid in reducing power outage
durations, directly increasing customer
satisfaction.After the fault is eliminated, these
sections can be reunited. Thus the reliability of power
supply increases, the customer suffers less loss and
the utility makes more profits. So, in theory, due to
its two basic
features of small-scale generation and locally
installation, the distributed generation technology
can make strong contributions to solving the above
two problems of current power system.In the future,
smart appliances at factories or homes,such as
dishwashers, electric dryers, refrigerators and pool
pumps, will be programmable devices that can be
switched off at peak hours and on when power is less
expensive, at customer's direction, automatically and
remotely. For utility, they act as peak curtailment
and can lessen peak demand surges during the day
so that less energy is wasted in order to ensure
adequate spinning reserves, also the need to build
more generation can be delayed. And customer

himself can reduce peak electricity usage
substantially and enjoy significant savings.
The distributed generation and smart appliance can
obviously solve the above two problems of today's
power system to a great extent. However, everything
has double facets. By its nature distributed
generation resources provide non-dispatchable
intermittent power supply to grid, which is
dependent on weather conditions, unlike the
conventional dispatchable power of thermal and
hydro eneration. As large blocks of this type of
generation are connected to the grid, a problem is
that it makes maintaining the stability and reliability
of power transmission and distribution network
harder and more complex. The installation of millions
of smart appliance means that
the direct utility-to-home network communications
are needed. That is to say, a more advanced power
grid is
essential for making use of distributed generation
smart appliance, both with environmental and
economic benefits.

Today's alternating current power grid evolved from
19th century. Because the power grid is a critical
infrastructure to every country, the utility industry
holds a relatively conservative attitude to new
technology innovations. In the past 50 years, the
modernization of most of the other industries came
to realization. However, the electrical power industry
itself which supports this process, has not finished its
own modernization. It is aging, inefficient, congested,
and incapable of meeting the need of large-scale
connection with distributed generation resources and
smart appliances, and effectively maintaining its own
stability. The low-tech electricity grid must be
upgraded to support a high-tech world of 21 st
century.Smart grid is a total series of concepts and
ideas to modernize today's electrical power grid. In
concept,smart grid is an intelligent two-way network
used to
deliver base load and alternative energy supply to
customer. It integrates energy efficiency, demand
response and distributed-resources technologies to
enable the grid operators to make intelligent

decisions that help them run the grid more
efficiently, reliably and at a lower cost.

IV. Key Technologies of Smart Grid

The goal of smart grid is to eventually construct

next-generation power grid on the foundation of
presently existing grid, not from scratch. It will
introduce many innovative components, such as bulk
energy-storage facilities, FACTS equipments, smart
recloser and switch, grid frequency regulation
devices, and so on, into the traditional power system,
both primary and secondary subsystems. But
technically, the secondary subsystem, i.e., the
subsystem, will be the major active domain of smart
grid, on both transmission and distribution sides. The
smart meter, network communication, and network
management solutions are three key technologies for
smart grid.
1) Smart meter. At present customer receives
electrical power from utility uni-directionally, and is
always the

energy consumer. In the coming smart grid age, the
DERs installed at factory or home can generate more
power energy than the actual demand of customer
himself, then customer can sell surplus power back
to the utility, and at that time the customer can
change into an energy supplier. Smart meter must
support this type of two-way electrical power
transaction. In the future, all the smart appliances
and DERs at home will be interconnected to form a
home-area network (HAN). Smart meter must act as
a router between the HAN and the information
system in control center of
utility, providing real-time information about energy
consumption to utility and customer, so that the
control center can monitor and control the smart
appliances in HAN, and the customer can take
advantage of time-of-use pricing options to make
smarter decisions about his energy use and costs.
Smart meter is a necessity for advanced meter
infrastructure (AMI) , smart energy pricing (SEP) and
residential energy management (REM).
2) Two-way network communication. Communication
is the backbone for a smart grid operation. In the

future, inside the digital substation or OER farm
on IEC61850 standard, a high-speed and high-
availability communication network is needed to
connect so many relays and 1E0s. After smart
meters are deployed at factory or home, control
center of utility has to communicate not only with
hundreds of substations, but also with millions of
factories or homes, a robust high-speed two-way
communication is crucial to the interaction of the
information system in control center with the RTUs in
substation and the smart meters at home. Along with
traditional types of data, the voice or video
information will be carried in the communication
network. The power line communication (PLC),
wireless, and fiber-optic communication methods will
be used widely to consolidate and reinforce power
grid automation.
3) Information integration solutions (lIS). Currently
the network management is intensively referred to
as EMS/DMS, which focuses on the real-time
information and mainly seeks network security. In

the coming smart grid age, traditional EMSIDMS will
be expanded into a comprehensive suite of
information integration solutions (lIS), which covers
not only real-time information but also offline
information, not
only the information in substation but also the
information in HAN, and aims at not only the security
of power grid but also the economy of power grid and
customer's assets. lIS will continuously monitor
status, identify and automatically fix or dispatch
teams to outages and provide useful information to
improve reliability, efficiency and productivity from
generation through consumption. From the viewpoint
of technology, lIS incorporates all the currently
separate functionalities of different applications into
a comprehensive solution, so that power grid and
customer's assets can be managed
efficiently.Specifically, lIS will contain the following
1) Monitoring and control of SCADA,
2) Security analysis and network tracing to find key
network elements of EMS,

3) Network reconfiguration and fast fault isolation
service restoration (FISR) of OMS,
4) Power system simulating and dispatcher training
OTS, with 30 training modules.
5) Trouble call case management and faster outage
prediction and restoration of OMS, together with
interactive voice recognition (lVR) and automated
vehicle location (AVL) systems,
6) Facility locating and routing within service
for field personnel and asset health assessment of
with integrated GPS,
7) Other new functionalities, such as online security
forewarning analysis and its visualization of Online
Stability Solution (OSS), decision-making aids, and so
The architecture of lIS is shown in Figure 2.

All the information integration and exchange within
lIS will be based on IEC CIM standards. And its
software architecture complies with SOA, supporting
Web service. The architecture of lIS just lists its
conceptual components. It doesn't mean that a
practical information system will necessarily contain
all of them.

Benefits Of Smart Grid

It's the initial motivation and the biggest benefit of

smart grid to help enable distributed energy
resources and smart appliances to become an

integral part of a modernized power system.
However, with a fully modernized power grid
infrastructure, smart grid can bring to us much more
than that.
1) Improved energy efficiency can reduce the need
for base load, while demand response can be used to
reduce peak loads. These two means that
constructing more plants can be delayed.
2) The synchronous phasor measurement technology
with GPS adopted in smart grid could one day help
identify and prevent most potential cascading
regional power blackouts.
3) Smart grid is an autonomous and self-healing
system, that is, it can automatically detect, analyze
and respond to problems and restore electricity
The system will dynamically collect data from fields,
isolate the fault and restore some or all electricity
service from adjacent healthy parts in real-time
without manual intervention from system operators.
4) Smart grid allows us to begin the testing and
research of charging infrastructure necessary to
support next-generation transportation innovations,

such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The
large-scale growth in plug-in electric vehicles will
reduce a nation's petroleum consumption and also
play an important role in reducing carbon emissions.
5) Cyber security will be enhanced. In theory, a
digitized and automated power grid is vulnerable to
cyber intrusion. With the increasing frequency of
sophisticated malicious cyber attacks around the
world, enhancing data and communications security
is a top priority. Cyber security problem already
exists in today's power grid and so far there is no
complete solution for it. It'll be a bigger issue in the
coming smart grid age and will be seriously
addressed as
smart grid technologies and applications are
developed. Today many smart grid standards
working groups are offering frameworks and
recommendations for state-of-the-art security
technologies in order to mitigate such threats[3],
such as the NERC CIP 002-009 and the NIST Special
Publication (SP) 800-53 standards.

VI. Conclusion

In brief, Smart grid aims to enhance the
safety,reliability and efficiency of energy delivery
itself, as well as improve environmental protection,
through the deployment of innovative technologies.
Smart grid will bring tremendous changes to present
electrical network, not only in its business operation
mode but also in the economic relationship between
utility and customer. The technology itself is only the
first step for smart grid, and the national legislation
is crucial to it[4]. Only with the support from
corresponding laws, policies, and industrial
interoperability standards, the economic relationship
between power supplier, operation utility, and
customer can be defined clearly, the boundaries of
responsibility and right between
different economic entities can be clarified, software
and hardware components from different vendors
can work together seamlessly, and all participants
can truly benefit from smart grid. At that time a
conceptual smart grid can finally evolve into a real

[1] Wikipedia. Smart Grid.
wiki/Smart _rid.html
[2] Transmission & Distribution World. National Grid
Pilots DA. grid
2009090 l.html
[3] Transmission & Distribution World. Insecurity
About Smart Grid Security.
grid _ automation/smart-grid-security-report-09050
[4] Transmission & Distribution World. Creating a
Smart Grid. _
ent_ systems/creating_ smartgrid.html