Impact of realistic communications for fast-acting demand side management

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The rising penetration of intermittent energy resources is increasing the need for more diverse electrical energy resources that are able to support ancillary services. Demand side management (DSM) has a significant potential to fulfil this role but several challenges are still impeding the wide-scale integration of DSM. One of the major challenges is ensuring the performance of the networks that enable communications between control centres and the end DSM resources. This paper presents an analysis of all communications networks that typically participate in the activation of DSM, and provides an estimate for the overall latency that these networks incur. The most significant sources of delay from each of the components of the communications network are identified which allows the most critical aspects to be determined. This analysis therefore offers a detailed evaluation of the performance of DSM resources in the scope of providing real-time ancillary services. It is shown that, using available communications technologies, DSM can be used to provide primary frequency support services. In some cases, Neighbourhood Area Networks (NANs) may add significant delay, requiring careful choice of the technologies deployed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 24th International Conference and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution
Place of PublicationStevenage
Number of pages5
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Mar 2017
Event24th International Conference and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution - Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Jun 201715 Jun 2017


Conference24th International Conference and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution
Abbreviated titleCIRED 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • energy resources
  • demand side management
  • communication networks
  • neighbourhood area networks
  • system inertia
  • renewable energy
  • frequency balancing

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