Smart grid: Overview, issues and opportunities. Advances and challenges in sensing, modeling, simulation, optimization and control

S. Massoud Amin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The genesis of early power systems and electric power grids during the past 130 years was enabled by automation and control of electromechanical machinery and power delivery networks. Today's end-to-end power and energy systems (from fuel source to end use) fundamentally depend on embedded and often an overlaid systems of sensors, computation, communication, control and optimization. There are even more opportunities and challenges in today's devices and systems, as well as in the emerging modern power systems - ranging from dollars, watts, emissions, standards, and more - at nearly every scale of sensing and control. Recent policies combined with potential for technological innovations and business opportunities, have attracted a high level of interest in smart grids. The potential for a highly distributed system with a high penetration of intermittent sources poses opportunities and challenges. Any complex dynamic infrastructure network typically has many layers, decision-making units and is vulnerable to various types of disturbances. Effective, intelligent, distributed control is required that would enable parts of the networks to remain operational and even automatically reconfigure in the event of local failures or threats of failure. This presentation provides an overview of smart grids and recent advances in distributed sensing, modeling, and control, particularly at both the high-voltage power grid and at consumer level. Such advances may contribute toward the development of an effective, intelligent, distributed control of power system networks with a focus on addressing distributed sensing, computation, estimation, controls and dynamical systems challenges and opportunities ahead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-567
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Control
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Self-healing energy infrastructures
  • Smart grids
  • Uncertain dynamical systems


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