Section: New Results

Smart Grids

Participants : Nathalie Mitton, Jad Nassar.

The Smart Grid (SG) aims to transform the current electric grid into a “smarter” network where the integration of renewable energy resources, energy efficiency and fault tolerance are the main benefits. This is done by interconnecting every energy source, storage point or central control point with connected devices, where heterogeneous SG applications and signaling messages will have different requirements in terms of reliability, latency and priority. Hence, data routing and prioritization are the main challenges in such networks.

So far, RPL (Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy networks) protocol is widely used on Smart Grids for distributing commands over the grid. RPL assures traffic differentiation at the network layer in wireless sensor networks through the logical subdivision of the network in multiple instances, each one relying on a specific Objective Function. However, RPL is not optimized for Smart Grids, as its main objective functions and their associated metric does not allow Quality of Service differentiation.

In order to overcome this, we propose OFQS an objective function [20] with a multi-objective metric that considers the delay and the remaining energy in the battery nodes alongside with the dynamic quality of the communication links. Our function automatically adapts to the number of instances (traffic classes) providing a Quality of Service differentiation based on the different Smart Grid applications requirements. We tested our approach on a real sensor testbed. The experimental results show that our proposal provides a lower packet delivery latency and a higher packet delivery ratio while extending the lifetime of the network compared to solutions in the literature.

The management of communication is an issue in WSN-based Smart Grid: billions of messages with different sizes and priorities are sent across the network. Data aggregation is a potential solution to reduce loads on the communication links, thus achieving a better utilization of the wireless channel and reducing energy consumption. On the other hand, SG applications require different Quality of Service (QoS) priorities. Delays caused by data aggregation must then be controlled in order to achieve a proper communication. In [33], [34], we propose a work in progress, that consists of a QoS efficient data aggregation algorithm with two aggregation functions for the different traffics in a SG network. We expect to reduce the energy consumption while respecting the data delivery delays for the different SG applications.

In order to reduce the amount of data sent over the network, and thus reduce energy consumption, data prediction is another potent solution of data reduction. It consists on predicting the values sensed by sensor nodes within certain error threshold, and resides both at the sensors and at the sink. The raw data is sent only if the desired accuracy is not satisfied, thereby reducing data transmission. We focus on time series estimation with Least Mean Square (LMS) for data prediction in WSN, in a Smart Grid context, where several applications with different data types and Quality of Service (QoS) requirements will exist on the same network. LMS proved its simplicity and robustness for a wide variety of applications, but the parameters selection (step size and filter length) can directly affect its global performance, choosing the right ones is then crucial. Having no clear and robust method on how to optimize these parameters for a variety of applications, we propose in [44] a modification of the original LMS that consists of training the filter for a certain time with the data itself in order to customize the aforementioned parameters. We consider different types of real data traces for the photo voltaic cells monitoring. Our simulation results provide a better data prediction while minimizing the mean square error compared to an existing solution in literature.

All these solutions have also been detailed in [12].