Monday, June 11, 2012 

Presentation :
Modernizing Power Grids With Distributed Intelligence and 
                            Smart Grid Instrumentation

Speaker: Steve McAlonan
               National Instruments Business Development Manager, Eastern US Energy Segment 
Notes taken from presentation; (Also, see PDF file of the talk)

Challenges for the Smart Grid:
  • Managing the Demand
  • Managing the Delivery
  • Managing the Power System as an Asset
Standards for Smart Grid technology are evolving. Security is an important consideration, as well as economics.
The present device situation is:
  • There are 100s of devices and vendors
  • The devices are fixed function (not flexible)
  • There are many protocols and bus types
  • The data visualization tools are poor
The desirable situation is:
  • Distributed Intelligence
  • Able to handle multiple communication protocols
  • Architecture is able to handle the need for future improvements
  • High level of security
Steve presented a National Instruments design, CompactRIO, which used field programmable gate array technology (FPGA) to enable the user to reconfigure I/O, a choice of I/O modules (there are about 100 available,) and a real time processor. The NI Labview software can be used to run the system.

An application example of use of the CompactRIO by a power company was presented. The objectives were:
  • Faster fault identification
  • Automatic fault isolation
  • Real-time grid health monitoring

2012-Delaware IEEE -National_Instruments-Distributed_Intelligence_And_SmartGrid-McAlonan_Final.pdf