Academic journal article Informatica Economica

Informatics Solutions for Smart Metering Systems Integration

Academic journal article Informatica Economica

Informatics Solutions for Smart Metering Systems Integration

Article excerpt

1 Introduction

Smart grid concept is not a new one; it has been defined since October 1997 by three pioneers Khoi Vu, Miroslav M. Begovic, Damir Novosel in Grids get smart protection and control, published in IEEE Journal Computer Applications in Power [1]. Since 1997, thousands of papers, books and thesis have been written.

Smart grids include modern systems and equipment governed by informatics technology that collect data and take decisions based on electricity consumers and prosumers in order to improve efficiency, reliability, economic aspects and sustainability of generation, transmission, distribution and energy supply of electricity consumers.

The most known smart grid components are protections through relays and automatics, Energy Management System/Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition EMS/SCADA, smart meters, integrated communication systems, decision support systems and advanced interfaces.

Smart metering systems allow electricity consumers to have an active role, by managing programmable consumption, by using storage equipment and supplying as prosumers the national grid with electricity produced by small size wind generators or solar panels according to the electricity price fluctuation.

Smart metering systems allows grid operators and suppliers to better plan their resources, reduce energy losses, estimate necessary energy that should be acquired in order to cover losses, eliminate costs regarding meters reading and integrate a higher volume of renewable energy sources.

In Romania, there are 9,000,000 electricity consumers, out of which 8,380,000 household electricity consumers, 600,000 small and medium size non-household electricity consumers and 20,000 big non-household electricity consumers. Only 75,000 consumers have smart metering with automatic reading (AMR - automatic meter reading) and approximately 15,300 consumers have complex smart meters (AMI - advanced metering infrastructure and AMM - advanced metering management) [2]. Meters communicate with concentrators and central points of network operators by optic fibre installed on overhead lines PLC (Power Line Communication), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), etc Only 1% of Romanian electricity consumers have installed smart meters.

European strategies regarding integration of renewable energy sources and implementation of smart metering systems have been taken over into Romanian legislation as national targets. For implementation of smart metering systems, Romanian National Regulatory Authority approved gradually implementation of these systems by grid operators so that until 2020, about 80% of energy consumers should benefit from smart metering systems.

2 Operational Requirements of Smart Meters and Informatics Solutions

One important integration issue of smart metering systems consists in interoperability of these systems and their architecture. We should consider that smart metering systems usually belong to different grid operators; therefore a proper approach is to implement an open standard communication protocol.

Interoperability of smart metering systems could be performed by setting minimal operational requirements. These requirements were established by several regulations at European level [3]. They have been taken over into national level [4].

Operational requirements have been divided into five categories: requirements for electricity consumers, grid operators, suppliers, security and data protection, distributed production.

The first category includes supplying updates of records or other information such as electricity price. Based on updated information, consumers can change behaviour: reduction of the peak consumption, increasing of offpeak consumption as a consequence of financial incentives. Electricity consumers' behaviour influences grid investment due to flattening of load curve, renewable energy sources integration, greenhouse emissions reduction, etc.

Information updates should be performed at certain intervals so that to allow consumer to react. …

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