SATURN 2010 TECHdotMN Session Notes, Wayne Longcore Keynote, Thursday, May 20

SATURN 2010 / TECHdotMN field notes
by Mike Bollinger 5/20/10

Keynote Address: Wayne Longcore

Wayne Longcore discusses the agile architecture methodology that his team used to create the “smart grid,” a high-functioning ultra-large-scale system. His talk was titled “Managing Scale and Agility: Transformational Architecture for the Smart Grid.”

Topics Covered:

  • What is / who is Consumers Energy
  • What is Ultra Large Scale system theory?
  • What is the world’s largest machine?
  • What organizations are involved?
  • What is the EISA Act of 2007, how does it affect US electric grid and global vision of what grid is?
  • What are we doing to use agile architecture in this transformation of world’s largest machine
  • What is the vision?
  • What is the future?
  • What are the 3 laws for robotics?

Consumer Energy Overview

Consumer Energy has 37,000 GwH per year, 28 facilities and plants, does Coal / Gas / Hydro, and is building new clean coal plant.

What are Ultra-Large-Scale systems?

Increasing complex systems characterized by thousands of platforms and sensors and decision nodes all working as a common system through many different people/companies/markets working together. The Smart Grid is every device that uses power + every device that produces power.

What is the Smart Grid?

The smart grid will:

  • Enable adaptive participation by consumers
  • Accommodate all generation and storage options
  • Enable new products, services, markets
  • Provide power quality for the digital economy
  • Optimize asset utilization and operate efficiently
  • Anticipate and respond to system disturbances (self-heal)
  • Operate resiliently against attack and natural disaster

EISA (Energy Independence and Security Act) of 2007

In cooperation with DOE, NEMA, IEEE, GWAC, and other stakeholders, NIST has “primary responsibility to coordinate development of a framework that includes protocols and model standards for information management to achieve interoperability of smart grid devices and systems…”

We have too many people with too many opinions with too little knowledge trying to architect systems.

What is the vision?

Seven domains in the Conceptual Model:

  • Generation
  • Transmission
  • Distribution
  • Customer
  • Markets
  • Operations
  • Service Providers

Will it ever work together?

  • How does one validate real-world end-to-end integration?
  • How does one validate integration with many vendors?
  • How does one validate usability and simplicity overall?
  • How does one validate real-world security?
  • There are 3100+ utilities
  • There are many regulatory, ISO, and RTO models
  • There is retail, wholesale, regulated, and deregulated models.
  • There are commercial, industrial, and residential models
  • The need for standards and operability

How do you build and ULS system with 1000s of companies, 1000s of people, and lots of political opinions?

Agile Architecture

He says we need to work on Agile Architecture.  What does that mean?

  1. Assessment. Must assess the technologies coming into the environment.  Must study and test multiple networks, devices and systems.
  2. Architecture. Design, network, systems, interfaces, applications, and create larger macro-scale collaborative agreements.
  3. Field Testing.

What Is the vision?

An “internet of things,” the sale of commodity, and the delivery of information….the foundation of an unknown future.

The evolving vision is that we’re dealing with robots who buy their food, when their masters deem it’s appropriate.

What are the Issues?

The grid follows the laws of physics, not just economics. The laws of economics are being forgotten. Aggregated devices under control can be a problem, and people are using the wrong paradigms for ubiquitous devices.

Smart Grid & Three Basic Laws

Is a smart grid a means of managing the sale of the food of robots?  Thermostats, Dish Washers, Hot Water Heaters, Refrigerators, Washers, Dryers, Stoves, Cars, Vacuums?  Consider 3 laws of robotics:

  • Moore’s Law
  • Metcalf’s Law – value of telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users in the system.
  • Longcore’s Law – firmware in new devices grows and firmware in new devices that have connectivity and security requirements grows exponentially.

Overall Summary: Architecture of the future is understanding we are laying the foundations of what must evolve. It is NOT that we have figured it all out before we start.


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