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Smart metering and its use for distribution network control

Burchill, Alasdair 2018. Smart metering and its use for distribution network control. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Global energy demand is increasing, with the adoption of electric vehicles, in particular, representing a significant prospective demand on electricity distribution networks. The exploitation of renewable generation sources, driven by increased economic viability, technological maturity, and the need for environmental sustainability, is expected to play an increasingly important role in meeting this demand. However, the adoption of such low-carbon technologies necessitates a significant change in the way that distribution networks are monitored and controlled. This work examines the state of the art in the impact of low-carbon technologies on distribution networks, the technical strategies available to mitigate these impacts and their relative merits, and the architecture of the control systems used to effect such strategies. Smart metering and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) are a fundamental component of these smart grid systems, providing widespread visibility of conditions at the very periphery of distribution networks which has not previously been feasible, but where the impact of low-carbon technologies is significant. This work describes the development of a hardware-in-the-loop test rig incorporating multiple, custom-built, hardware smart meter test beds, and the use of this test rig to demonstrate the implementation of real-time voltage control within a simulated low voltage (LV) distribution network. However, the adoption of smart metering and AMI inevitably incurs cyber security vulnerabilities which did not exist in the case of meters with no facility for remote communication. This work examines cyber security issues pertinent to smart grids and AMI in particular, and describes the analysis of the cyber security vulnerabilities of a commercially deployed smart electricity meter. The exploitation of these vulnerabilities in a manner which permits unauthorised electronic access to the device is also described. Finally, recommendations are made of revisions to the hardware, firmware and communications protocols used by the compromised meter which may mitigate the vulnerabilities identified.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Smart meters; Distribution network control; Distributed generation; Electric vehicles; Cyber security.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 September 2020
Last Modified: 25 May 2021 01:25

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