Due to deregulation of the power sector in many countries worldwide, there has been an increasing need for power companies to exchange data on a regular basis. This is to ensure the reliable operation of the interconnected power networks owned and operated by a number of different utilities. Power companies use a variety of different formats to store their data, whether it is PowerSystemResource, asset and work scheduling information in a proprietary internal schema within a database, topological power system network data within a control system, or static files used by simulation software. As the power sector is not deregulated in China, the need for exchange and use of data is huge, due to a high degree of process automation, economic growth, and security of supply. On top of that, we face an exponential growth in data traffic since the introduction of smart meters. Also the investment of China in renewable energy sources, and consequently grid connections makes the exchange of data more and more important.
While much of this data is only required within a company, there is often a need to exchange the data both internally, between different applications, and externally with other companies. The large number of proprietary formats used by these applications requires a myriad of translators to import and export the data between multiple systems. This exponential growth in complexity, when integrating increasing numbers of applications and exchanging between multiple companies, has driven the requirement for a common format that covers all the areas of data exchange in the power electrical domain.
The IEC standard 61970-301 is a semantic model that describes the components of a power system at an electrical level and the relationships between each component. The IEC 61968-11 extends this model to cover the distribution network. These two standards, 61970-301 and 61968-11 are generally known as the Common Information Model (CIM) for power systems and currently have two primary uses: to facilitate the exchange of power system network data between companies; and to allow the exchange of data between applications within a company.
In this perspective, utilities face two problems: how to integrate these islands of data and transform the data into meaningful information; and how to manage evolution of the integration. As I am working in this area, I am convinced that the entire integration cannot be done in one implementation project and hence the integration should have a long term evolution (LTE) plan. Now the industry consensus is that we have to use CIM to facilitate all these integrations. In my opinion, how to deal with this evolution is the most challenging issue. Utilities should have plug-in monitoring, control, and management services of their new needs using Smart Grid standards of IEC SG3 to ensure seamless information exchange. This means that legacy CIM version will be updated to a new version of this evolution, and the changes will continue within the integration evolutions. The approach is that we provide a LTE framework for the utility and use Common Source Modeling (CSM) to customize their CIM. Some Model Driven Architecture (MDA) based tools will provide code generators to make this updating smooth and automated when utility business is changing with new or Smart Grid requirements.
By: Yan Du, manager, Smart Grid Consultancy, DNV KEMA (Beijing) Energy Consulting Co., Ltd.