Smart Grid System Stability with Broadcast Communications

Smart Grid System Stability with Broadcast Communications

  • Addresses system instability concerns related to using radio broadcasting to send prices to smart grid devices
  • Reviews basic, closed-loop system control theories and strategies
  • Considers implications for demand response, distributed generation, and transactive energy

Addressing system instability when broadcasting prices to devices

Radio broadcasting is a powerful and low-cost method of sending information — such as real-time wholesale, retail, predictive, or critical prices — to a large number of smart, energy-consuming devices in order to get those devices to respond, such as by reducing or increasing electricity consumption. However, if the system propagation of that information is too slow, the information might trigger responses out of phase with actual grid needs (e.g., a “load shed” at a time when a “load up” is desired). While few U.S. household devices currently receive and act on real-time grid information, designers of communication systems and smart grid devices nevertheless need to think about utilizing stabilizing pricing algorithms, synchronous cycling, and other ways to prevent system instability.

This document reviews basic control theories (with an in-depth look at some of the key reference papers) and presents various control strategies to enable optimization of operational goals while ensuring system stability.

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