A Coexistence Analysis of Blockchain, SCADA Systems, and OpenADR for Energy Services Provision


The introduction of Blockchain technology paves the way for the development of new business models for the electricity market. This opens the door for end-users as well, giving them the opportunity to provide regulation services to the power grid. As a result of the fact that it is decentralized, the Blockchain technology has the potential to be an answer to the balancing issues brought about by the increasing use of renewable sources. This could be accomplished by establishing a platform for the delivery of demand-response programs. Demand-Response gives customers the ability to adjust their energy consumption in response to changes in the market by either increasing or decreasing their usage. This increases the grid's adaptability and stability while also leading to more effective utilization of its infrastructure and energy resources. At the moment, Demand-Response operations are carried out by controlling aggregates of loads, storage, or generating units. These aggregates are managed by centralized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, such as SCADA. The transformation of the entire nation's electrical grid into a smart grid is being driven by regulatory shifts as well as an increase in the proportion of electricity generated by renewable energy sources. More recently, and with reference to the end-users' participation in regulation services, smartness has been achieved through the so-called Internet of Things. The Internet of Things can be considered the modern equivalent of SCADA, but it has the potential to be applied to distributed and diversified assets. Because of this, a significant amount of effort has been put forth to investigate the interoperability and coexistence of Blockchain technology and the Internet of Things, two emerging paradigms that are gaining popularity in the world of energy. On the other hand, the literature on the integration of SCADA systems and Blockchain contains either a limited or nonexistent amount of contributions. In point of fact, in order to ensure a simpler and more rapidly scalable application of Blockchain in the context of Power Systems, it is interesting to study the possibility of its coexistence with legacy and more established industrial technologies such as OpenADR or SCADA. This is done in order to ensure that Blockchain can be implemented more widely and at a faster rate. The latter technology is the one that is most commonly used in Europe. Because of this, the possibility of utilizing SCADA systems in conjunction with Blockchain technology is investigated in this paper. In particular, the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain as well as SCADA systems are taken into consideration together in order to evaluate the practicability of aggregating energy resources for Demand-Response, along with the pertinent measured data. This is done in order to determine whether or not this can be done. The analysis is carried out by first presenting the two distinct paradigms, which are the centralized data acquisition in trusted environments and analysis via OpenADR and SCADA, and the global, distributed, and secured ones with the Blockchain. This is done so that the analysis can be carried out. Following this, an architecture for the integration of SCADA and Blockchain technology is proposed, and the associated challenges within the context of a project to implement DR programs using innovative technologies are outlined.

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