Smart Grid Communication System to be developed in Pakistan

Smart Grid Communication System to be developed in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: (APP) Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications is working on a project to develop an Opportunistic Large Array (OLA) networks for smart grid communications.

The project costing Rs 7.42 million, deals with application of wireless sensor networks for smart grid communication systems which is an infrastructure that enables delivery of power from generation sources to end-users to be monitored and managed in real time.

Official sources at National ICT Research and Development Fund, an attached department of the Ministry on Sunday said sensors and sensor networks have an important impact in meeting environmental challenges. Sensor applications in multiple fields such as smart power grids, smart buildings/meters and smart industrial process control significantly contribute to more efficient use of resources.

The sources said wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSANs) are networks of nodes that sense and potentially also control their environment. They communicate the information through wireless links enabling interaction between people, devices, or computers and the surrounding environment.

The data gathered by the different nodes is sent to a sink, which either uses the data locally, through for example actuators, or which is connected to other networks (e.g. the Internet).

They said to address various issues present in smart grid communication technologies this project presents a simple form of cooperative communication technique, known as Opportunistic Large Array (OLA), as a potential candidate for smart grid communications.

OLA is a simple strategy that provides a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) advantage from the spatial diversity of distributed single-antenna radios. These distributed single-antenna radios can be taken as sensors that are placed along the grid or on smart meters for efficient monitoring and two-way communication between customers and the central office.

OLA-based approaches have been shown theoretically to have significant advantages over conventional multi-hop networks in terms of total energy transmitted, lower node complexity, connectivity, and end-to-end delay. However, the sources said current approaches are only limited to over-simplified cases, which assume an infinite node density in an area or one-dimensional sensor network, offering limited applications in real world scenarios. A realistic and practical approach to deploy OLA in smart grid systems needs to be investigated thoroughly, designed, tested and then implemented.

The sources said smart grids must be deployed in both existing systems (which in some cases are over 50 years old) as well as within totally new systems. Nevertheless, significant barriers must be overcome in order to deploy smart grids at the scale they are needed.