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A self-organising approach for smart meter communication systems

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Future energy grids will need to cope with a multitude of new, dynamic situations. Having sufficient information about energy usage patterns is of paramount importance for the grid to react to changing situations and to make the grid 'smart'. We present preliminary results from an investigation on whether autonomic adaptation of intervals with which individual smart meters report their meter readings can be more effective than commonly used static configurations. A small reporting interval provides close to real-time knowledge about load changes and thus gives the opportunity to balance the energy demand amongst consumers rather than 'burning' surplus capacities. On the other hand, a small interval results in a waste of processing power and bandwidth in case of customers that have rather static energy usage behaviour. Hence, an ideal interval cannot be predicted a priori, but needs to be adapted dynamically.We provide an analytical investigation of the effects of autonomic management of smart meter reading intervals, and we make some recommendations on how this scheme can be implemented.