Enabling Realistic Communications Evaluations for ADMS

Emma Raszmann, Kumaraguru Prabakar, Soumya Tiwari, Ismael Mendoza, Harsha Padullaparti, Barry Mather, Deepthi Vaidhynathan, Jim Li, Mike Brozek, Mar Tarres

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Increasing penetration levels of inverter-based distributed energy resources (DERs) in distribution systems are creating challenges in system operation. Currently, wired or proprietary wireless communications are used by advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) to detect the state of the system and control the DERs for optimal operation. Wireless communications are an alternative solution that can enable connectivity between the dispersed assets used in distribution system applications. As demand for the seamless integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) continues to increase, proper networking and communications systems are becoming important to support the DER infrastructure. This report summarizes validation of a private wireless LTE network in a laboratory environment. The purpose of this work is to 1) demonstrate the effectiveness of private wireless LTE communication for grid applications and 2) provide a means of evaluating latency and overall performance of wireless communication in grid applications. First, private wireless LTE communication was validated in a direct transfer trip relaying scenario as an example of one-way communications using grid equipment. This study provided a baseline understanding of the variation in latency for seven different kinds of wireless scenarios shown in Figure A below. As expected, weak (attenuated) wireless signal-based communication yielded the widest ranges in latency. When higher priority was set for the trip signal communication, this resulted in lower latency in communication timing. In the final phase of this project, the private wireless LTE network was validated using two-way communications in an advanced distribution management system (ADMS) testbed which was developed in the ESIF at NREL. The purpose of this was to study the impact of wireless communication on grid performance.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-80474


  • 900-MHz LTE network
  • advanced distribution management system
  • controller-hardware-in-the-loop
  • direct transfer trip (DTT)
  • distributed energy resource management system
  • fault location isolation and service restoration
  • generic object-oriented substation events
  • inverter protection
  • load tap changer
  • message prioritization
  • outage management system
  • smart grid
  • supervisory control and data acquisition
  • wide-area network
  • wireless communication


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