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Reliable overlay topology design for the smart microgrid network

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3 Author(s)
Erol-Kantarci, M. ; Univ. of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada ; Kantarci, B. ; Mouftah, H.T.

Integration of the advances in information and communication technologies to the power grid technologies is changing the architecture and operation of the traditional grid, leading the grid to gradually evolve into a smart grid. Generation in the smart grid will be different than it is in today's grid, mainly due to the high penetration level of distributed renewable power generators. The distributed generator (DG) is favorable for its low transmission losses and low emissions. On the other hand, control of a high number of DGs is challenging. Almost a decade ago, microgrids were proposed to tackle the challenge of handling the growing number of DGs and fault isolation. A microgrid is a medium voltage or low voltage electrical power system that contains DGs, storage units, controllable loads, small-scale combined heat and power units, and an energy management system. In this article, we revisit the microgrid concept in light of survivability approaches borrowed from high-speed networks. We provide an analogy between survivability in metroaccess networks and reliability of the overlay topology for the smart microgrid network (SMGN). We develop the idea of resource sharing among smart microgrids for the sake of increased reliability. In our case, reliability corresponds to supplying power to the loads using the energy generated in the SMGN, without importing power from the utility grid. We provide a reliable overlay topology design scheme that maximizes the usage of renewable energy in the SMGN.

Published in:

Network, IEEE  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

September-October 2011

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