Investigation of Modern Wireless Communication Technologies to facilitate Distribution System SCADA as part of the Intelligent Grid in South-East Queensland

Leslie, Michael James (2018) Investigation of Modern Wireless Communication Technologies to facilitate Distribution System SCADA as part of the Intelligent Grid in South-East Queensland. [USQ Project]


The primary objective of Distribution System SCADA is to improve the reliability and security of the electricity distribution network by leveraging from technological advancements in the control, automation and telecommunications fields to create a more intelligent network that has a greater capacity to react to and resolve problems, is safer and more adaptable to the evolving network demands.

The aim of this research project was to study the wireless radio technology that facilitates the existing Distribution System SCADA system operated by Energex in South-East Queensland, review the past, present and future drivers, and determine if any limitations existed and where investment should be focused to meet the current and future business objectives.

While the primary focus of this project was the wireless communications component of the DSS network, consideration had to be given to other aspects impacting the effectiveness of the DSS, including the geographical placement of the remote-controlled devices, and the integration with the core network, Distribution Management System (DMS) and the legacy interface systems.

One of the key issues identified through this project was the emerging obsolescence of the current fleet of radios. A number of wireless platforms and systems were evaluated, including the use of commercial cellular providers for the 'last mile' communications. A risk analysis based on DSS network performance and demand against the performance of the commercial carriers during severe weather events in South-East Queensland determined that in the current form, the use of a commercial service offers no guarantee of availability.

Although the current Distribution System SCADA scheme is not well suited for the introduction of applications that require a low latency, high bandwidth service, it is fit for the current purpose. The identification of a radio type that is technically compatible with the existing fleet of radios overcomes the problem of obsolescence and means that it is viable to defer significant capital spending in the short to medium term until the business needs drive further change.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Kist, Alexander; Eckersley, Rob
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical and Electronic)
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2022 03:59
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 01:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: electricity distribution; telecommunications fields; wireless radio technology; Distribution System; SCADA

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