Conference: "Software-Defined Networking for Smart Grid Communications: Applications, Challenges and Advantages"

Conference: "Software-Defined Networking for Smart Grid Communications: Applications, Challenges and Advantages"

N. Dorsch, F. Kurtz, H. Georg, C. H├Ągerling, C. Wietfeld. In SmartGridComm 2014, November 2014,


Future power systems are characterized by a high degree of complexity with a large number of intelligent devices, exchanging and processing both huge amounts of data and realtime critical information. Accordingly reliable, real-time capable and secure communication networks are required for enabling autonomous monitoring, management and control to guarantee stable power system operation. In this paper, we present and analyse a flexible and dynamic network control approach based on Software-Defined Networking (SDN) for meeting the specific communication requirements of both distribution and transmission power grid. Therefore a testbed is introduced, enabling the evaluation of multiple failure scenarios such as link disturbance and congestion by analysing corresponding fast recovery and prioritization solutions. The performance and robustness of the developed strategies is shown using highly-critical monitoring and control messages on basis of IEC 61850 and considering the mutual impact with low priority background traffic. Results indicate the advantages of SDN compared to traditional routing and Quality-of-Service mechanisms, providing a more reliable communication network, which is able to handle complex failure scenarios. In particular, SDN enables the integration of diverse network management functions and thus offers the power system new options for dealing with faults even in the case of overall outages. On the basis of these results, we demonstrate challenges and derive future benefits for a SDN-enabled Smart Grid communication network, holding the potential to evolve into a self-healing infrastructure.

DOI: 10.1109/SmartGridComm.2014.7007683