Introduction Smart grids implement the latest control


Smart grids
implement the latest control and telecommunication technology to fulfill the
requirements and capabilities of all the network stakeholders (power
generation, transmission, distribution and end-users) to operate the network
efficiently which means less cost, less environmental impact with maximum
stability, reliability and availability. The smart grid is smart because it
allows two-way of communication (using smart meters and sensor) and two-way of energy
flow (using energy storage and distributed generation), whereas the traditional
network has only one way on information and energy flow which is from the
centralized power generation to the transmission then end user.

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In addition, smart
grids can accommodate and integrate new type of energy sources (renewable
energy) and a new type of energy customer services (electrical vehicle), which require
communication, dynamic control daily analysis. Moreover, the smart grid allows
the end user to adjust their consumption to obtain the best electricity price.

Figure 1.1 Smart grid overview

Smart Grid Definition

The definition
of smart grid varies across the countries and the energy institutions. In the
US the smart grid is considered as the mean of renewable energy sources integration,
energy storage deployment, load management, system transparency, and cyber and
physical security of the electric energy system. Whereas in Europe the Smart
Grid is defined as an electricity network that can intelligently integrate the
actions of all users connected to it (generators, consumers and those that do
both) to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity
supplies. In other definition he US Department of Energy focus on the uses
digital technology to improve reliability, security, and efficiency (both
economic and energy) of the electric system from large generation, through the
delivery systems to electricity consumers and a growing number of
distributed-generation and storage resources.

Characteristics of the
Smart Grid

the active participation by consumer where they can detriment to increase/decrease
their consumption base on the dynamic pricing system.

smart grid can accommodate different generation and storage such as the renewable

new products, service and market (green power, electric vehicle and dynamic pricing).

power quality and reliability to the digital economy.

Optimizes asset utilization
and operates efficiently

Anticipates and responds to
system disturbances (self-heals)

Operates resiliently against
attack and natural disaster.

Smart Grid Motivation

The motivation
of the smart grids development is mainly to overcome the challenges related to
the electrical networks such as the old infrastructure, demand growth,
integration of new energy sources and loads with new features and requirement.
In addition, the to the existing challenges the motive for smart includes
improving the quality of the power supply and reduce the carbon emission driven
by the increase global awareness about the global warming and the rapid
development in the communication and technology.

Economic and

The concerns about the CO2 emission,
the price of the fossil fuel and the safety concerns around the nuclear plants
specially after Fukushima accident motivates the trends to obtain the energy
from renewable sources such as the wind and solar energy, reduces the network
losses and increase its efficiency.

Aging and
underinvested infrastructure

Most of the
electrical networks in the US and Europe were constructed in the 1950s, and now
they are beyond the expected lifetime. So, most of the infrastructure shall be
replaces which considered an opportunity to upgrade it with the latest
technology related to the smart grid requirement.



generation methods and new load requirement

The existing
electric networks operate with large centralized generation (fossil fuel,
nuclear or hydropower) which is distributed in one direction through
transmission and distribution grid to the load. However, the new methods are to
have distributed generation (wind, solar or storage) which has some fluctuation
and need smart network and technology to control it and integrate it to the
network. In the other side of the network lies the modern society with
increased requirement of reliable and stable source of supply as more critical loads
are introduced such as smart homes, smart building, data centers and electrical

Communication technology

The rapid
development the information technology and communication are one of the essential
factors to implement the smart grid. With the internet, sensors and controllers
it become easy to monitor, control and adapt the network to the dynamic of the
smart networks. Figure 2.1 shows how the communication and flow of information
is important to the smart network.

Figure 1.2 Smart grid and communication

Benefits of Smart Grid

reliability and power quality: using the communication and control technology
the smart grid will less, and shorter power outage and it will have the
self-healing ability.

and cyber security: by self-mentoring and detection of any unsafe activity.

efficiency: by reducing the peak demand and the network losses.

by reducing the greenhouse gases with the integration of the renewable energy

financial: by reducing the operation cost, dynamic pricing and reducing the
required infrastructure.


Smart Grid Technologies

The smart grid technology
contributes to the efficiency and flexibility of an electricity system’s
operation. It includes a varied range of communication, control technologies and
information management and can be classified into four functional categories. 

Metering Infrastructure

This includes the smart meters, sensors and the
communication required to transfer this data to the network operators such as price
signals, connect/disconnect signals and Demand Response information. The smart
meters have more features comparing the traditional meters. Smart meters have higher
resolution, more frequent update (close to real-time) and ability to
communicate in both way using different media like Internet, radio, Wi-Fi, BPL,
cell modem, or satellite.


Advanced Metering Infrastructure facilitate the integration
of the renewable energy by providing the measurement, communication, pricing scheme
and demand response gateway. Morver it reduces the cost of the workers readings
the traditional meter as the advance meter has the automatic meter reading function.

Electricity Pricing

In the traditional network the power will be dispatched from
the least expensive source (baseload plants), as the load increase the second
least expensive source and then the most expensive source will dispatch the
power with no storage availability. Therefore, the price of electricity is more
expensive during the peak hours and the tariff will apply for every kWh regardless
the source of dispatch which is not very economical solution and does not
reflect actual cost of production.


Advanced electricity pricing provides several methods and
pricing programmes to deliver the power with more accurate price which reflect
real-time production costs. In this manner customers can shift their consumption
to the time with less production price. Three mothods are suggested for the
advance electricity pricing  


Time-of-Use Pricing

This method will define the peak time for certain area and
increase the price during this time, which will encourage the users to shift their
consumption manually or using Home/Building energy management system, to avoid
the peak time to profit from the less expensive tariff.


Critical Peak Pricing

In this method a signal will be send from the utilities to
the consumers when the load approaches the annual peak, the consumers who
reacts and reduces the load will be compensated.


Real-Time Pricing

This method is also known as the dynamic precising where the
price is updated and the signal is sent to the consumers on real time on
intervals, where the intervals can be hours to days. This is quite complex method
which will result on very economical consumption specially with the penetration
of the renewable energy (solar and wind) and the implementation of Home/Building
energy management system.