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IEEE continues to support development of global smart grid standards

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, October 02, 2012

On Monday, October 1, IEEE announced it had updated four of its global standards for the smart grid as well as a new standards-development project, which is expected to improve the capabilities of new communication platforms and other operations that will drive further growth of the smart grid.

The four new standards are the latest to come from the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), which has already created a strong portfolio of 100 standards and other measures that will be necessary to drive innovation in the industry.

"IEEE is continually updating its standards and developing new standards to address the needs of utilities around the world as they integrate new technologies and upgrade their systems to meet current and future operational and service objectives for smart grids," said Bill Ash, strategic program manager, IEEE-SA. "These latest IEEE standards activities underscore the importance for new standards to support the growth and evolution of the smart grid industry globally."

The four new IEEE smart grid standards include the IEEE 1815-2012 - Standard for Electric Power Systems Communications - Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3), which provides in-depth analysis on DNP3 protocol structure, functions and interoperable application options for utility devices used to bring automation into communications systems. The standard addresses changes made to the earlier standard, IEEE 1815-2010, by creating new protocols that better focus on and alleviate hazards related to cyber security. The changes were made to ensure communications systems installed throughout the smart grid, as well as other critical infrastructure such as power, energy and water systems, are safe from external threats.

The next standard, IEEE 1366-2012 - IEEE Guide for Electric Power Distribution Reliability Indices, will be used by utilities and regulators to define distribution reliability identification, classification and indexes that that are needed to discuss how reliable distribution systems, substations, circuits and grid sections really are. The standard revises the earlier IEEE 1366-2003 by adding new indexes that better reflect today's smart grid industry.

The third new standard, titled the IEEE Standard for Utility Industry Metering Communication Protocol Application Layer (End Device Data Tables), outlines typical structures for encoding data that can be sent through advanced metering infrastructure and other smart grid communication platforms. The standard can be used to ensure data can be sent between smart meters, home appliances, network nodes and utility enterprise collection and control systems.

This standard is especially pertinent to SUBNET, which has developed a Unified Grid Intelligence solution that gives utilities the opportunity to combine the newest substation technologies with the most advanced networking and computing technologies. By doing so, these companies can create a smarter, more effective electricity grid. As more communication platforms are implemented and smart grid vendors' products become more disparate, utilities could see major difficulty and bringing all aspects of the grid together. However, SUBNET's products ensure data collection is efficient and effective, ultimately saving companies time and money.

The fourth new standard, IEEE Guide for Automatic Reclosing of Circuit Breakers for AC Distribution and Transmission lines, describes how transmission and distribution lien circuit breakers can be reclosed through automation, and discusses the benefits of automating such processes. The standard also explains how to launch these programs in coordination with other transmission and distribution networks.

"Additionally, IEEE-SA has approved a new standards development project to categorize and describe applications that are being considered as part of smart distribution system development and distribution management systems for smart grids," IEEE added in a statement. "The IEEE P1854 - Guide for Smart Distribution Applications will categorize the applications, describe their critical functions, define their most important components and provide examples."

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