Performance Evaluation of Non-commercial LTE Network For Smart Grid Application : Modification of IEC 61850-90-5 Protocol stack and its Testing over Non-commercial LTE
Abstract: The introduction of smart grid technology has changed the way traditional power grid network function. It made the grid structure more dynamic by enhancing electrical usage management capability. Also, it has increased the scope to enhance communication infrastructure in a smart grid structure. The current smart grid solution is based on IEC 61850 architecture where the exchange of information between the electrical utilities is over the fast Ethernet LAN connection. This communication mechanism is fast, efficient but lacks scalability, flexibility and less susceptible to failure. Also, earlier technical paper from IEC 61850 standard was for communication within a substation. Wide Area Monitoring Protection and Control implementation which utilizes coherent real time synchrophasor information would play a vital role in realizing the utility physical status. IEC 61850-90-5, a new technical report from International Electrotechnical Commission provides the mechanism to transmit and receive the synchrophasor information using the advance IP protocol over a wireless communication infrastructure for WAMPAC application. IEC 61850-90-5 provide a way to exchange routable synchrophasor information over public IP network such as LTE, WiMax, WLAN, etc. Out of all the available wireless solution, LTE provides high flexibility, distance coverage, data rate with low latency and hence can play an important role in replacing the existing communication structure in a smart grid. The thesis work evaluates the performance and applicability of LTE for smart grid communication. An IEC 61850-90-5 communication model utilizing UDP/IP protocol to transmit and receive data over the LTE network was developed from the open source project. The modified model was used to benchmark the performance of LTE. Different communication metrics such as reliability, availability, latency, and throughput was evaluated to benchmark the performance of LTE for time critical smart grid application. The metrics were measured for different packet sizes and transmission rates combination. The result shares some interesting findings on the readiness of LTE for smart grid solution. It is concluded that cellular network can play an important role in realizing communication infrastructure in a smart grid application.
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