Capacity analysis and data concentration for smart grid communication networks at the power distribution level
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The "smart grid" generally refers to a class of digital technology that allows for two-way communication between the electric power utility and its customers, as well as sensing along the transmission and distribution lines. Smart grids offer many benefits to utilities and consumers - mostly seen as large improvements in energy efficiency on the electricity grid and in homes and offices. Little is known about how different communication architectures compare, what data carrying capacities they offer, and how to solve data collection and management problems that may arise. This dissertation specifically focuses on these challenges from the perspective of the power distribution network. In the first part of this work, possible communications technologies for the power distribution level are suggested and compared, and a wireless mesh network architecture proposed and shown to meet the communication requirements of the power distribution system. In the second part of this dissertation, a linear chain multi-hop wireless communication architecture is proposed and shown through analysis and simulations to meet application requirements in terms of data-carrying capacity. Finally, in the last part of this dissertation, the looming issue of how to communicate and handle consumer data collected by electric utilities and manage available communication network resources is considered.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science