A New Generation
A Distribution Management Systems Emerge
The true management of power distribution systems is certainly an area that had previously not received much intense thought, primarily due to the lack of interface between sources of energy as well as an inability to coordinate between operating devices in real time. More recently, automation systems have greatly improved the reliability of the distribution system. Now, with the advent of “smart” or “smarter” grid technology, a new generation of distribution management systems (DMS) is emerging.
That was the background for a discussion that took place at the IEEE Power & Energy Magazine Editorial Board meeting in 2010 at the IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting in Minneapolis. What emerged was a proposal, directed by Mani Venkata and Mark McGranaghan, to devote a 2011 issue to the theme of DMS. Mani and Mark (later assisted by Bob Uluski) volunteered to become the guest editors of the issue, and what you will be reading is the result of that effort.
In This Issue
The “Guest Editorial” in this issue is a descriptive of the subject, offering background, chronology, and opinion. As such, I leave that fine column to offer explanatory and introductory remarks as required reading before delving into the seven feature articles, summarized below. They are:
“Good Vibrations” by Robert Yinger and Ardalan Kamiab
“I Sing the Mapboard Electric” by Larry Clark and Ethan Boardman
“Power Steering” by Sébastien Grenard, Oliver Devaux, Olivier Carré, and Oliver Huet
“Power to the People” by Clark Gellings
“Lines of Communication” by Sumit Roy, Dan Nordell, and S.S. (Mani) Venkata
“Sim City” by Roger Dugan and Mark McGranaghan
“Tools for Success” by Julio Romero Agüero.
The issue's “History” column, titled “Operation Outward,” is certainly an unusual subject, although an absolutely intriguing one. The thought of balloons with wire trails floating around randomly with the intent of causing short circuits to disrupt power systems in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II is somewhat mind boggling, but the very simplicity of the idea and its fulfillment make for fascinating reading. The column's author Raoul Drapeau has a most interesting biography that is covered in History Editor Carl Sulzberger's introduction. I confess that after talking to Raoul and learning some of his background, I have downloaded several of his books to my Kindle and am enjoying some good reads.
In Conclusion of the Subject
Anil Pahwa's “In My View” column, “Past, Present, Future,” is a fitting conclusion to this issue. Anil reviews the chronology of the evolution of distribution systems and offers a look into what the future might bring. He predicts the evolvement of integrated distribution management that can make faster decisions and real-time analysis to lead to speedier restoration. He does not underestimate the additional costs that utilities will have to expend and looks at the role that educated customers will be playing.