Selected Articles from IEEE Xplore - July 2016

Introduction by Steven E. Collier, Director of Smart Grid Strategies, Milsoft Utility Solutions, Member IEEE Smart Grid Initiative

The Internet could not have existed without the electric power grid. Every component of the Internet, wired or wireless, required electricity to operate. For well over a century in the developed economies this electricity was provided through a synchronously connected network of utility-owned electric generators, high-voltage transmission lines, substations, medium-voltage distribution lines, and meters.

Now the tables are turning. The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly important, in fact essential, for a reliable, secure, economical, safe, sustainable, intelligent modern grid. The legacy grid is not only showing its age through increased costs and decreased reliability, it has limited capability to handle the rapidly proliferating swarm of small, autonomous, stochastic customer-owned Distributed Energy Resources (DER). These range from conventional and renewable energy production to battery and thermal energy storage to new kinds of energy utilization (e.g., electric vehicles), and energy management.

The number of things connected to the IoT long ago surpassed the number of people in the world and its endpoints extend well beyond the geographic limits of legacy bulk power grids. IoT nodes number in the tens of billions while all of the electric grids in the world represent less than two million nodes of interest. As Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of the Ethernet, has suggested, the electric grid is converging with the Internet to become an energy internetwork, an Enernet.

The first article in this collection describes the erosion of the legacy grid model, the emergence of new grid model, and reasons why the Internet of Things will be important. The second article describes some specific ways that the Internet of Things can enable smart functions and services in the electric grid. The third article in the collection covers some of the ways that the Internet of Things enables customers to help develop and benefit from a Smart Grid.

For more information from IEEE on the Smart Grid visit IEEE Smart Grid. For more information from IEEE on the IoT visit IEEE IoT.

IEEE Xplore Article References

  1. S. E. Collier, "The Emerging Enernet: Convergence of the Smart Grid with the Internet of Things," Rural Electric Power Conference (REPC), 2015 IEEE, Asheville, NC, 2015, pp. 65-68.
  2. Xi Chen, Jianming Liu, Xiangzhen Li, Limin Sun and Yan Zhen, "Integration of IoT with smart grid," Communication Technology and Application (ICCTA 2011), IET International Conference on, Beijing, 2011, pp. 723-726.
  3. E. Spanò, L. Niccolini, S. D. Pascoli and G. Iannacconeluca, "Last-Meter Smart Grid Embedded in an Internet-of-Things Platform," in IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 468-476, Jan. 2015.


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