Optimal Placement of Data Concentrators for Expansion of the Smart Grid Communications Network

Todd Zhen, Tarek Elgindy, S. M. Shafiul Alam, Bri Mathias Hodge, Carl D. Laird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


Evolving power systems with increasing renewables penetration, along with the development of the smart grid, calls for improved communication networks to support these distributed generation sources. Automatic and optimal placement of communication resources within the advanced metering infrastructure is critical to provide a high-performing, reliable, and resilient power system. Three network design formulations based on mixed-integer linear and non-linear programming approaches are proposed to minimise network congestion by optimising residual buffer capacity through the placement of data concentrators and network routeing. Results on a case study show that the proposed models improve network connectivity and robustness, and increase average residual buffer capacity. Maximising average residual capacity alone, however, results in both oversaturated and underutilised nodes, while maximising either minimum residual capacity or total reciprocal residual capacity can yield much-improved network load allocation. Consideration of connection redundancy improves network reliability further by ensuring quality-of-service in the event of an outage. Analysis of multi-period network expansion shows that the models do not deviate significantly from optimal when used progressively (within 5% deviation), and are effective for utility planners to use for smart grid expansion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)537-548
Number of pages12
JournalIET Smart Grid
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Institution of Engineering and Technology. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-71417


  • mixed-integer programming
  • resource placement
  • smart grid
  • wireless communication network


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