Purpose – At present the energy generation and distribution landscape is changing rapidly. The energy grid is becoming increasingly smart, relying on an information network for the purposes of monitoring and optimization. However, because of the particularly stringent regulatory and technical constraints posed by smart grids, it is not possible to use ordinary communication protocols. The purpose of this paper is to revisit such constraints, reviewing the various options available today to realize smart-metering networks. Design/methodology/approach – After describing the regulatory, technological and stakeholders' constraints, the authors provide a taxonomy of network technologies, discussing their suitability and weaknesses in the context of smart-metering systems. The authors also give a snapshot of the current standardization panorama, identifying key differences among various geographical regions. Findings – It is found that the field of smart-metering networks still consists of a fragmented set of standards and solutions, leaving open a number of issues relating to the design and deployment of suitable systems. Originality/value – This paper addresses the need to better understand state-of-the-art and open issues in the fast-evolving area of smart energy grids, with particular attention to the challenges faced by communication engineers.
|Journal||International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|