Software defined utility: A step towards a flexible, reliable and low-cost smart grid

Author(s):Ramon Martin de Pozueloa, Miguel Ponce de Leonb, John Howardc, Alan Brionesa, Jerry Horganb, Julia Sáncheza
a Engineering Department, Universitat Ramon Llull (URL) - La Salle, Quatre Camins 30, 08022, Barcelona, Spain
b Telecomunications Software and Systems Group, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Cork Road, Waterford, Ireland
c ESB Networks, 27 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, Ireland
International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy, vol. 5, no. 4, October 2016: pp. 280-289
ISSN: 2315-4462 (Print)
ISSN: 2373-3594 (Online)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.12720/sgce.5.4.280-289

Abstract: The Smart Grid relies in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) but usually there is still a lack of integration in their deployment. They are designed as separated systems and managed that way too. In addition, the changes in the electric network are so complex and dependable on a very rigid hardware architecture. Based on the work done in the European project FINESCE, this paper presents the “Software Defined Utility “(SDU) concept, which advocates the migration of the utility infrastructure to software systems instead of relying on complex and rigid hardware based systems. This new approach provides a prospective view on the evolution of power systems that will benefit from software systems and high-speed data network infrastructures. More concretely, as a first SDU building block, the paper proposes a data storage and management system based on a hybrid cloud infrastructure to meet the storage requirements of electric utilities. In this regard, the following dimensions have been analysed: the most appropriate methodology to select where data resources should be allocated; security requirements and threads taking into account its deployment in a critical infrastructure like a Smart Grid.

Keywords: Smart grids, software defined networks, hybrid cloud, resource allocation, security

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