[IEEE Xplore] Readings on Smart Cities -- [Editorial] Vol. 1, Issue 10, November 2015

Smart Grids

By Rosaldo J. F. Rossetti

Energy efficiency is a priority goal in the exciting Smart Cities’ agenda! If on the one hand most electricity systems in highly populated urban areas face the problem of increasing demand over ageing infrastructures, on the other hand the integration of different renewable energy sources and the advent of electric vehicles bring about challenging issues. Smart cities demand for lower carbon emissions, improved security of supply, as well as flexible, adaptive and resilient infrastructures of electricity networks. Additionally, consumers can also play the producer role, which makes the energy market even more dynamic and competitive. In such an emerging scenario, smart grids make use of ICT and other advanced technologies to manage the transport of electricity more efficiently, meeting highly elastic electricity demands of end-users while minimising costs and environmental impacts of the system operation. This issue of our Readings on Smart Cities starts a discussion on the role of Smart Grids in enabling and fostering the smartification process of urban settings, exploring the concept and ways in which it can be effectively implemented.

In the work by Menniti and colleagues [1], authors agree that smart grids are emerging as a complex system that enables fine-grained monitoring and control of energy consumers and producers within the electricity network. With such a perspective in mind, they propose a new market platform in order to coordinate the energy exchanges among several micro smart grids aggregated in a virtual energy district. Their approach is illustrated in a simulated environment and some preliminary results are discussed. In a more applied point of view, Huerta-Medina and Corominas [2] report on the implementation of an energy simulator for the installation of a lighting smart grid. Their simulator allows for the assessment of different performance metrics of the system, such as monetary savings, consumption and CO2 emissions. Authors emphasise on the platform flexibility, which is able to simulate different set-ups such as wind and solar energy plants, as well as a city lighting grid. Finally, Zhong with associates [3] address machine-to-machine (M2M) communication issues in the context of smart grids. Authors identify important capabilities that need to be developed in M2M systems so as to fully realize and enable new smart services. The paper also provides an overview of M2M and its applications to smart grids, particularly discussing on technical areas where data mining and machine learning can play an important role in the realisation of future power grids.

Smart grids play an imperative role in the smartification process of urban areas towards energy efficiency and sustainability. They provide smart cities with an appropriate orchestration of the needs and capabilities of all entities in the electricity market, namely end-users, generators, grid operators, and stakeholders, maximising system reliability, resilience and stability. The effective realisation of smart grids however still poses enormous challenges requiring the engagement of all interested parties to develop tailored technical, financial and regulatory solutions, which will enable their full potential.

Good readings!


IEEE Xplore References

  1. D. Menniti, N. Sorrentino, A. Pinnarelli, A. Burgio, G. Brusco and G. Belli, "In the future Smart Cities: Coordination of micro Smart Grids in a Virtual Energy District," Power Electronics, Electrical Drives, Automation and Motion (SPEEDAM), 2014 International Symposium on, Ischia, 2014, pp. 676-682.
  2. N. Huerta-Medina and E. L. Corominas, "A set of software tools for management and simulation of a Lighting Smart Grid," New Concepts in Smart Cities: Fostering Public and Private Alliances (SmartMILE), 2013 International Conference on, Gijon, 2013, pp. 1-6.
  3. Z. Fan, Q. Chen, G. Kalogridis, S. Tan and D. Kaleshi, "The power of data: Data analytics for M2M and smart grid," 2012 3rd IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe (ISGT Europe), Berlin, 2012, pp. 1-8.


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