European architecture model for smart grids developed by Siemens


Nuremburg, Germany — (METERING.COM) — May 14, 2012 – A Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM) has been developed by Siemens Infrastructure & Cities as a method whereby power supply companies and industry can display aspects of smart grid systems.

The model can be used for the visualization, validation, and configuration of smart grid projects, and also for standardization within smart grids.

“Initial experience and results have now been obtained from the practical application of the model in standardization, in pilot projects, and in industry,” commented Christian Wurhofer, head of Technology & Innovation at the Smart Grid Division in the Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector. “For Siemens, this marks a significant increase in its expertise in smart grid solutions.”

One of the challenges involved in the development was a technical architecture that describes the functional connections and the information and communications technology relationships between smart grid domains and participating systems and subsystems. Aspects of interoperability have been taken into account as well as issues of availability, information security, and energy efficiency. The developers also designed migration scenarios for an existing installed base. They likewise allowed for the fact that development of a power system into a comprehensive smart grid is an evolutionary process marked by gradual development in stages.

The foundation of the model is the smart grid level that spans the domains of the power generation and conversion chain as well as the hierarchical zones of power system management. Interoperability is depicted by the five superimposed model layers “Component,” “Communication,” “Information,” “Function,” and “Business.” Using this model, it is possible to display and compare different approaches to smart grid solutions so that differences and commonalities between various paradigms, roadmaps, and points of view can be detected.

Among the initial experience with the practical application of the architecture model, in the area of standardization the methodology has been used to analyze applications. For example, the cross-domain smart grid function “Demand Response” was mapped to the layers of the model and tested to see if it is supported by existing information and communications standards. Recommendations for extending the scope of the standards were derived from the results. In the European smart grid pilot project EcoGrid EU, the project architecture is being developed and validated using the SGAM model. At the industry level, microgrid scenarios have been designed using the model by comparing alternative communications architectures and evaluating their suitability.