Distributed Control of a Smart Grid Network Using IEC 61499

Open Access
Jagannathan, Srikrishnan
Graduate Program:
Electrical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
April 24, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Peter Idowu, Thesis Advisor
  • Smart Grid
  • Economic Dispatch
  • IEC 61499
  • Power System Automation
Smart grid automation, in its preliminary and evolving state is achieved through centralized control, where a central control system monitors the entire grid automation and communications. These systems are more commonly known as SCADA systems which are essentially centralized in nature. SCADA systems are implemented using large software programs that are custom developed based on the application and are difficult to reuse for other applications. Modern control systems require flexibility for the purpose of advanced automation. To achieve this high level of flexibility in these systems a new software technology is required that is based on the interaction of distributed objects and that aims at decentralizing control. The IEC 61499 is a novel method of software development that enables modeling control applications in a distributed manner. The standard presents guidelines for automation protocol in various applications ranging from industrial to smart grid. The IEC 61499 standard defines a distributed model for splitting different parts of an automation process and complex control into functional modules called function blocks (FB). These function blocks can be distributed and controlled across multiple controllers. The function block is a software unit that encapsulates some behavior and is hardware independent. The advantage of using function blocks is that it provides a method of graphical design of the system and also an easy way of distribution of functions in automation processes. Use of FBs makes the device control open and can be reconfigured more easily. End-users can modify the firmware of their devices based on changing technology and still able to use the same software to program the FBs. This enables the devices to adapt to changes in the grid. The objective of this research is to highlight and demonstrate the benefits of microgrid generation through an innovative economic dispatch application implemented in IEC 61499. The contribution of this research is the use of function block concept to implement an economic dispatch application considering Levelized Cost of Energy, the availability of Distributed Generators and the load forecast to balance loads. The Levelized Cost of Energy has been calculated based on studies conducted by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Previous work in this field has been to perform load balancing using Function Blocks with a focus only on the availability, not the economic aspect. The economic modeling of renewable energy systems is implemented in the economic dispatch application in combination with a load forecasting model for each load. A saving in cost of energy production is expected to be achieved through the implementation of different test behaviors. Hence the effectiveness of each behavior is depicted by comparing the power supplied by the utility under the different applications and by comparing the cost of energy production of each of the generating sources for a single day. This cost value can help policy makers in deciding laws for interoperation of different utilities.