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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Analysis and optimization of communication technologies for smart grid applications Aalamifar, Fariba


Several communication technologies including IEEE 802.15.4g, world-wide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX), and power line communication (PLC) have been suggested for smart grid implementation. As the successful arrival of smart grid traffic within their latency requirement is essential for the correct operation of the power grid, we focus on the optimization of different features of these communication technologies and also the development of aspects of an efficient network architecture such that the reliability requirement associated with smart grid traffic can best be assured. We first investigate an optimized configuration of WiMAX features, in particular, the choice of frame duration, type-of-service to traffic mapping and uplink and downlink allocations, under what we call the “profile configuration”. We also devise inter-class and intra-class scheduling solutions in order to prioritize time-critical traffic within both base station and customer premises equipments. We then evaluate the performance of the developed WiMAX profile configuration and scheduling scheme through our newly developed WiGrid (WiMAX for Smart Grid) module. From the performed simulations, we conclude that the proposed configurations for the WiMAX features can ensure the satisfaction of the reliability requirement. Next, we design advanced metering infrastructures (AMIs) based on the characteristics of the PLC and the IEEE 802.15.4g technologies. We use intermediary data collectors, known as data acquisition points (DAPs), in order to efficiently collect traffic from smart meters and forward them to the utility control center. We formulate an optimization platform for efficiently placing DAPs on top of the existing utility poles or transformers, in such a way that the required reliability for smart grid traffic is ensured and also the installation cost is minimized. In order to address the QoS requirements, we derive the latency based on the characteristics of the medium access control schemes of each of these technologies. Since finding the optimal DAP locations is an integer programming problem and NP-hard, we develop several heuristic algorithms for efficiently placing DAPs within large-scale scenarios. We observe that the DAP placement algorithms, proposed here for large-scale scenarios, return near-optimal results within a much shorter time, than that of the IBM CPLEX software for small scenarios.

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