PUBLISHED IN July 2023
A Cyber–Physical–Social Perspective on Future Smart Distribution Systems
Y. Wang, C.-F. Chen, P.-Y. Kong, H. Li, and Q. Wen
An increasing number of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as rooftop photovoltaic (PV), electric vehicles (EVs), and distributed energy storage, are being integrated into the distribution systems. The rise of DERs has come hand-in-hand with large amounts of data generated and explosive growth in data collection, communication, and control devices. In addition, a massive number of consumers are involved in the interaction with the power grid to provide flexibility. Electricity consumers, power networks, and communication networks are three main parts of the distribution systems, which are deeply coupled. In this sense, smart distribution systems can be essentially viewed as cyber–physical–social systems. So far, extensive works have been conducted on the intersection of cyber, physical, and social aspects in distribution systems. These works involve two or three of the cyber, physical, and social aspects. Having a better understanding of how the three aspects are coupled can help to better model, monitor, control, and operate future smart distribution systems. In this regard, this article provides a comprehensive review of the coupling relationships among the cyber, physical, and social aspects of distribution systems. Remarkably, several emerging topics that challenge future cyber–physical–social distribution systems, including applications of 5G communication, the impact of COVID-19, and data privacy issues, are discussed. This article also envisions several future research directions or challenges regarding cyber–physical–social distribution systems.