EMC Standards Activity:
Being Smart—Power-wise!


This month, I am turning over my column for a focused article by Jerry Ramie of ARC Technical Resources, Inc. who has been following the topic for the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Ed Hare (Secretary of the EMC Standards Development Committee – SDCom) supported Jerry’s role in this project and agreed to have him write a short update for my column to show the EMC implications. The EMC Society Board of Directors has also been updated at its May meeting with a review by Don Heirman on behalf of the chair of the

SDCom—Andy Drozd. We thank Ed and Jerry for their cooperation and update as the EMC Society moves to include EMC in the smart grid. So first we start with a short background of what the “Smart Grid” is and why it is a major standards topic within the IEEE as well as the IEC and other standards development organizations worldwide. I could not think of a hotter topic at this point and hence expect you will read this article. If you have the expertise needed to contribute to the SDCom on this topic, please contact the author, Andy Drozd (andro1@aol.com) and Don Heirman.

What’s All this About a “Smart Grid?”
Is that Automatic Meter Reading?

It’s more than a new digital meter on your breaker panel outside. It’s more than a radio network that reads those meters or the data management system that processes the information, more than a homeowner with some solar panels on the roof or a load-controller on the water heater or air conditioning. It’s all of these things, and generally refers to the “modernization of the electricity delivery system so that it monitors, protects and automatically optimizes the operation of its interconnected elements.” The electricity industry is evolving into an integrated energy, information and communications “system-of-systems” on a continental, even global, scale. The overlay of two-way communications onto the power grid, with appropriate security and information processes in place that apply intelligence to grid operations, takes us to the truly “Smart Grid” of the near future.
     Such an intelligent grid was envisioned in 2004 by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in their IntelliGrid Architecture, an open-standards, requirement-based approach for integrating data networks and equipment for interoperability between products and systems. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 gives NIST the primary responsibility to coordinate the development of an interoperability framework that includes protocols and standards identified as crucial for the smart grid (http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid/). Under contract with EPRI, they have defined a three-phase plan for accelerating interoperability standards development:
     Phase 1: Recognize a set of initial existing “consensus standards” and develop a roadmap to fill the gaps. (This was posted for comment in June 2009-http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid/standards.html.)
     Phase 2: Establish a public/private Standards Panel to provide ongoing recommendations for new or revised standards to be recognized by NIST (this Standards Panel is the IEEE Standards Association, which approved the project authorization request for IEEE-P2030 on 3/9/09).
     Phase 3: Testing and Certification Framework (in 2010)

Smart Grid US Department of Energy Illustration.

     IEEE-P2030, the “Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability,” is composed of three task forces representing the three major areas for smart grid equipment; Power, Information Technology and Communications. EMC expertise will be needed in all these areas. Power equipment will communicate critical information in the presence of electromagnetic noise, and Information Technology and Communications equipment will need to withstand this harsh utility environment while operating reliably. Most IT and COM equipment is not designed or tested for compatibility in this environment. Standardization will be required so that this equipment can be tested and certified for utility use in the third phase of the interoperability framework set for next year.
     The IEEE EMC Society has a vital role to play in this Standards “gold rush.” The Standards Development Committee (SDCom) will consider the gaps in IEEE 1547 (Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems) and a liaison relationship with IEEE-P2030 and their three task forces at their meeting in Austin, Texas. The EMC Society Board of Directors has been informed of the standards gaps in the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Roadmap (http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid/InterimSmartGridRoadmapNISTRestructure.pdf) which also concerns utility requests for access to new spectra formerly used by analog television. The P2030 Task Forces have publicly asked for liaisons with standards development organizations such as the EMC Society. Effective interoperability is built on a unifying framework of interfaces, protocols and consensus standards. These standardization efforts needed for smart grid interoperability don’t have the luxury of time; deployment is imminent, and volunteers are needed now to assist in this crucial effort. Don Heirman, on behalf of the EMCS President, Elya Joffe, completed a questionnaire sent out by the IEEE Technical Activities Board where there are almost a dozen societies interested in working on the project. Don in particular inserted a placeholder for naming an EMC Society person to represent the EMC Society interests. This was recorded and so the door is open to participate. But that might shut if we don’t have clear representation of a person or persons who can be active on the committee by electronic means as well as attending equipment meetings now being held almost once a quarter throughout the US and beyond.
     With the above challenge, it is hoped that you know or can find a person or persons who are EMC Society members that can step forward to not only work their own organization issues but also that of the EMC Society SDCom.
     For more info contact Don Heirman on d.heirman@ieee.org

Jerry Ramie is a 26 year veteran of the EMC, communications and power industries and has authored six books on substation EMC for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He has published articles on grid modernization and sits on the EMC Committee of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), on the Board of Directors of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the EMC Society, is a voting member of the IEEE-P1775 committee on EMC in BPL installations, a member of the IEEE Standards Association, an iNARTE-certified EMC technician, Secretary of the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee C63® on EMC and a Senior Member of the IEEE. He can be reached at jramie@arctechnical.com.                                                                                                                                    EMC


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