Effect of Wireless Mesh Network Parameters on Smart Grid Monitoring and Control

Open Access
Mccoy, Lucas Michael
Graduate Program:
Electrical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
October 31, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Peter Idowu, Thesis Advisor
  • Seth Wolpert, Thesis Advisor
  • Scott Van Tonningen, Thesis Advisor
  • Smart Grid
  • Wireless Mesh Network
  • power flow
  • co-simulation
As the power grid transforms from a unidirectional flow of power to a bidirectional flow of power and data, the need to deploy a fast, reliable, and expandable communications network will be one of the biggest challenges faced by utility companies. The communications network must be capable of supporting the many requirements of a smart grid as set forth by the United States Department of Energy’s 2010 Smart Grid System Report (dynamic pricing, real-time system operations data sharing, load participation, distributed generation, grid-responsive demand-side equipment, advanced metering, and renewable resources). This research will focus specifically on evaluating a wireless mesh network in regards to the impact of network characteristics on power control algorithms such as power flow. This research will establish why a wireless mesh network is a reasonable communications network for use in the distribution level of the power grid, define a model for the network based on the characteristics of the radios, and evaluate the impact of the modeled network on power control systems. The development of such a model is crucial in allowing power utility companies to deploy networks that can provide communications capable of maintaining control efficiency and stability while also minimizing deployment cost.