The term smart grid refers to a power grid in which the electricity distribution and management is upgraded by incorporating advanced two-way communications and pervasive computing capabilities for improved control, efficiency, reliability and safety [6]. Today’s power grid systems lack the ability to detect failure in ‘the last mile’ (i.e., in the power line between the user and the last transmission point). For example, during any power outage event, if the problem is within the last mile then the utility company’s operations center is unaware of the outage until notified by customers. Also, inside the power grid core systems, although the operations centre has the ability to detect a failure, their current systems lack the ability to provide an automated power backup facility. This means that when there is a core grid systems failure, their current fault notification systems can identify the failure, technicians are dispatched to diagnose and repair the fault. From the time the systems fails to the time it gets restored, the affected area/community experience power outage. In order to have (a) an automated failure notification systems in the last mile, and (b) a smart resilient system inside the grid’s core, today’s smart grid will require the ability to failure detection in the last mile, and a failure protection ability inside the core.

Our research will develop (a) an automatic fault notification systems for the last mile so that the operations center get real time notification of any failure in the last mile and can take measures to restore the outage; and (b) a new smart resilient system which would (during a power outage) automatically re-route its power to an alternate route bypassing the failed components of the grid so that it doesn’t lead to a power outage during a grid failure.

Industry Partner(s):Tillsonburg Hydro Inc.

Academic Institution:Western University

Academic Researcher: Anwar Haque

Focus Areas: Cities, Clean Tech, Energy

Platforms: Cloud, Parallel CPU