Software-Defined Microgrid Control: The Genesis of Decoupled Cyber-Physical Microgrids

26 May 2020
Lizhi Wang, Yanyuan Qin, Zefan Tang, and Peng Zhang
Video Length / Slide Count:
Pages: 10
Nowadays, microgrid controllers are often embedded in specialized hardware such as PLC and DSP. The hardware-dependency and fit-and-forget design make it difficult and costly for microgrid controllers to evolve and upgrade under frequent changes such as plug-and-play of microgrid components. Furthermore, different distributed energy resources in a microgrid require customized controllers, leading to long development cycles and high operational costs for deploying microgrid services. To tackle the challenges, a software-defined control (SDC) architecture for microgrid is devised, which virtualizes traditionally hardware-dependent microgrid control functions as software services decoupled from the underlying hardware infrastructure, fully resolving hardware dependence issues and enabling unprecedentedly low costs. A generic SDC prototype is designed to generate microgrid controllers autonomously in edge computing facilities such as distributed virtual machines. Extensive experiments verify that SDC outperforms traditional hardware-based microgrid control in that it empowers a decoupled cyber-physical microgrid and thus makes microgrid operations unprecedentedly affordable, autonomic, and secure.

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