Electromagnetic Compatibility in the Smart Grid Environment

Electromagnetic Compatibility in the Smart Grid Environment

Electromagnetic Compatibility in the Smart Grid Environment

For continuous reliable real-time operation in areas where Smart Grid equipment will operate, one must consider the surrounding EMC environment. The components and devices of the Smart Grid system are subjected to a wide range of noise sources that can disrupt all electronic systems, including the smart grid systems. These noise sources can be conducted or radiated and can occur from various sources, as follows:

1. Power line harmonics

2. Fast transient or bursts

3. Surge from lightning and power system switching transients.

4. Transmitters (such as AM, FM, and TV broadcast transmitters, communications radios, and wireless devices),

5. High power events from portable transmitters, geomagnetic storms, and EM pulses associated with high altitude nuclear detonation (HEMP).

6. Electrostatic discharge events.

With the steady growth and changes to Smart Grid technology, it is necessary to make a dynamic strategy that will help in maintaining EMC and reliable operation. In the Smart Grid, from manufacturers to customers, everybody plays a crucial role in maintaining a robust and reliable grid control system.


They are responsible for designing and testing products to demonstrate EM immunity per specific standards.


They specify that components for the smart grid meet the EMC requirements in the specific standards and may require additional compliance testing.

Electric Power Customers (Commercial and Industrial)

Must follow good installation procedures and specify products that have good EMC design.


They develop and update EMC standards (wherever required) for reflecting the progress in technology and the Smart Grid electromagnetic environments.


The government evaluates the national policies and priorities for protecting the electric power infrastructure from electromagnetic interference (especially high-power events like HEMP and geomagnetic storms.

Bottom Line

To assure reliability, EMC must be designed into all devices which compromise the Smart Grid control system. All Smart Grid devices cannot tolerate all EMC environments. However, if EMC is not considered, the probability of the system failing to operate as intended increases significantly. Good design practices along with an extensive test program will significantly increase the probability that the Smart Grid system will work and withstand the disturbances caused by the electromagnetic environment.

At Premier Filters, we bring over 35 years of design experience and knowledge to make sure the right filter is designed. With a full range of AC and DC power line filters and unlimited custom capability, Premier delivers the right filter on time and on budget. To know more about our EMI filter solutions, email us at info@premieremc.com.

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