At DistribuTECH 2015, Lockheed Martin and Dominion Resources, Inc. announced a new smart grid location-aware technology, which they co-developed. VirtuGrid enables data, including voltage, power, energy readings, GPS location, phase and circuit connectivity, to be sent from the remote location to the substation over the same feeder as the power. VirtuGrid is designed to help utilities map the connectivity of an electrical distribution grid.
This data can be anything from voltage, power and energy readings to GPS location, phase and circuit connectivity. Remote communications is through low bandwidth communication networks, creating an integrated physical and electrical mapping of the entire distribution network.
For example, Power Tagging has combined VirtuGrid with their own technology to create a technology which enables encrypted digital tags to be attached to grid-resident devices. These Power Tags can also be used to identify the power these grid-resident devices consume, produce, or conduct. This technology makes any point on the grid what Power Tagging calls “Grid Location Aware”.
The electric distribution grid requires dynamic and real-time addressing integrated with command and control communications. Power Tagging modules continuously communicate with the substation over the feeder that powers them. This gives the substation real-time feeder and phase information and the complete address and location of any point on the grid. This allows the distributed electric grid to be mapped and managed in real-time. The use of VirtuGrid technology allows grid-resident devices to autonomously monitor, report, and react to instantaneous conditions inside the grid infrastructure in much the same way computer systems and networks do today.
According to Power Tagging, by linking GPS and operational circuit data, the Power Tagging mapping produces a dynamic, real-time view of the grid, including the grid’s configuration and operational status.