Tuesday, September 29, 2009

U.S. Smart Grid development gets support from Europe

AREVA’s Transmission and Distribution division (T&D, based in France) announced the other day that it will deliver crucial components (IEDs - Intelligent Electronic Devices) to support Smart Grid research by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

AREVA provides 13 different IEDs, to be used in the Institute’s labs. The devices will help EPRI to implementing the ‘Smart Grid’: distance protection, transformer protection, line current differential management, feeder management, phasor measurement and GPS time synchronization.
The devices provided by AREVA and other companies, will be used to build a small Smart Grid so that various scenarios and tests can be performed. One of the building blocks will be the IEC 61850 process bus and station bus for system wide interoperability. 

“The goal of this project is to provide a test bed for new ideas to address the challenges facing the Smart Grid,” noted Paul Myrda, Technical Executive at EPRI. “Ultimately, we expect to couple this facility with our existing ‘living lab’ that primarily deals with end-user devices and with our ‘Sensor’ lab that is focused on asset health assessment.”

Smart Grids will be composed of devices, systems and tools from multiple vendors. The key issue in multi-vendor projects is the Interoperability of all components that provide or consume information for the many tasks.

An interoperability test lab based on the IEC 61850 station bus has been build up by STRI (Ludvika, Sweden):

Click HERE for an overview about the IEC 61850 Interoperability lab.
Click HERE for a story on "The true meaning of IEC 61850 - Interoperability!"
Click HERE to see what's next on the agenda of training for multi-vendor systems.

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