A Survey of Wireless Communications for the Electric Power System

Prepared for the US Department of Energy

A Survey of Wireless Communications for the Electric Power System    
BA Akyol H Kirkham SL Clements MD Hadley
January 2010

Executive Summary

A key mission of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) is to enhance the security and reliability of the nation’s energy infrastructure.  Improving the security of control systems, which enable the automated control of our energy production and distribution, is critical for protecting the energy infrastructure and the integral function that it serves in our lives.  The DOE-OE Control Systems Security Program provides research and development to help the energy industry actively pursue advanced security solutions for control systems.
The focus of this report is analyzing how, where, and what type of wireless communications are suitable for deployment in the electric power system and to inform implementers of their options in wireless technologies.  The discussions in this report are applicable to enhancing both the communications infrastructure of the current electric power system and new smart system deployments.