Publish-subscribe middleware moves into distributed energy systems

June 12, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
The Data Distribution Service (DDS) publish-subscribe middleware protocol is making its way into distributed energy systems to provide more redundancy and robustness.

The technology started out in military systems but has been adopted for selfdriving cars by companies such as Volkswagen.

One of the leading implementations of the protocol, Connex DDS, is being used to provide industrial strength data sharing that can improve power generation and distribution and enable the efficient use of renewable energy resources at large scale. The publish-subscribe approach enables standards-based interoperability with Industrial IoT applications outside the power industry as well as real-time performance for intelligent control at the edge of the grid. It is extremely scalable and suitable for increasingly large-scale and complex systems. The connectivity solution is equipped with low latency with real-time Quality of Service (QoS), and it is secure. It is able to seamlessly connect local and wide area networks, allowing integration of resources across a broad region. And it allows a proven integration of a fast local control loop with secure connectivity over long distances and with cloud infrastructure.

The technology is being used new Smart Grid architectures to efficiently integrate distributed energy resources with control at the edge of the grid. RTI is collaborating with other members of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to introduce the flexibility of real-time analytics and control into power grids and ensure that power is generated more accurately and reliably to match demand.

Power plants, like the largest power plant in North America, can replace their SCADA control systems with publish-subscribe systems to provide more availability, fault tolerance, performance, security, and ability to implement wide-area communications. The new control system is smarter, more efficient, and easier to evolve as it is based on modern networking protocols, and the DDS design can leverage new technology as it becomes available, such as cloud computing, connectivity and security.


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