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Smarter Smart Grids

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Electrical transmission towers.

Researchers are analyzing data gleaned from the smart grid.

Credit: Mapawatt

North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers are using cloud computing resources to analyze smart grid data from thousands of sensors, called phasor measurement units, which are distributed across the transmission grid and connect a wide range of electrical generating plants.

The research leverages resources developed through the U.S. National Science Foundation's ExoGENI project, which is part of the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) initiative. The ExoGENI platform combines computation, storage, and network capabilities with open cloud computing and dynamic circuit fabrics to address complex scientific and network engineering problems.

The NCSU researchers linked real-time sensor data to on-demand virtual computing resources at nodes across the U.S. "We want to show how processing, analyzing, and monitoring power system data can be done using a distributed architecture instead of traditional centralized methods," says NCSU professor Aranya Chakrabortty.

The researchers currently are extending the testbed to a completely closed-loop sensing and control system for wide-area control of power grids.

"As the number of phasor measurement units in the North American grid grows exponentially over the next five years, such a distributed data processing architecture will become imperative for monitoring and control, and eventually for initiating actions to solve problems," Chakrabortty says.

From National Science Foundation
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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