The Impact of Virtualisation Techniques on Power System Control Networks.

Kupzog, F.; Veichtlbauer, A.; Heinisch, A.; von Tüllenburg, F.; Langthaler, O.; Pache, U.; Jung, O.; Frank, R.; Dorfinger, P. (2020): The Impact of Virtualisation Techniques on Power System Control Networks. In: Electronics 2020, 9(9), 1433

Virtualisation is a concept successfully applied to IT systems. In this work, we analyse how virtualisation approaches, such as edge computing, brokerage and software-defined networking, can be applied in the area of electricity grid management and control systems. Power system information and communications technology is currently subject to significant changes. Networked power grid components including renewable energy units, electric vehicles and heat pumps need to be integrated into grid management systems. We studied how virtualisation techniques can support system operators in increasing an energy and communication system’s dependability and situational awareness, and how manual (mostly field-level) configuration and engineering efforts can be reduced. Starting from a working hypothesis, three concrete use-cases were implemented and the performance enhancements were benchmarked to allow for well-informed answers to the questions above. We took a close look at application-protocol-independent redundancy, grid-based routing and online system integrity control. In these study cases, we found significant improvements could be achieved with virtualisation in terms of reduced engineering effort, better system management and simplification in high-level system architecture, since implementation details are hidden by the virtualisation approach.

Keywords: network virtualisation; software-defined networking; redundant device deployment; feeder configuration; anomaly detection; reliability; smart grid; grid automation; programmable connectivity

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