Smart Grid ICT Research Lines out of the European Project INTEGRIS
The Smart Grid is at the same time a part of the Internet of Things and an example of a cyber-physical system where the physical power grid is surrounded by many intelligent and communication devices that allow for an enhanced management of the power network itself.
The Smart Grid may bring great performance benefits to the society in terms of enabling the massive introduction of renewable energy sources in the power grid, the reduction of carbon emissions and improved sustainability among others. However, it may also bring big computer networking challenges to achieve the needed high reliability and low latency and even risks in terms of cybersecurity since it opens the power system to at least the same threats faced by the Internet. In fact, it is reasonable to think that the vulnerabilities will be still larger, considering the novel, heterogeneous and distributed nature of the Smart Grid. Furthermore, cybersecurity in Smart Grids is essential for the survival and feasibility of this electricity concept, thus making the risks still more relevant.
Such ICT systems and computer networks supporting the Smart Grid concept need to be very efficient and to comply with very stringent requirements, at least for some of the services to be provided. They also need to efficiently integrate and manage in a single network a vast array of technologies among which diverse link layer technologies, meshed and non-meshed Ethernet networks, different cybersecurity protocols, networking at different layers, cognitive systems and storage and replication of data.
The objective is to provide a system capable of providing adequate service to the wide array of applications foreseen for the Smart Grid but the complexity of the problem is really impressive and it is not possible to focus all of its aspects in a single paper or even project.The present paper presents these requirements, the solutions and results developed and tested in the FP7 European Project INTEGRIS as well as the future challenges and research lines identified as a result of the project and some prospective solutions.
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