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Performance Analysis of ZigBee in Beacon Enabled and Beacon-less Network for Smart Grid Environments

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 1 ]


Jeetu Sharma*, Partha Pratim Bhattacharya and Manish Kumar Jha   Pages 39 - 43 ( 5 )


Background: Wireless sensor networks play very important role in the realization of Smart Grids having low cost and multi-functional sensor nodes to monitor the critical parameters of smart grid components. Its various applications are home automation, real time pricing, power outages, load control and security monitoring. It contains different harsh environments like 500 kV outdoor substation, main power control room and underground transformer vaults which are very difficult to access and monitor for a human being during an operational power grid. The communication in it constitutes of different type of traffic distinguished by exclusive attributes in terms of the data profile and latency requirement.

Method: The MAC layer of IEEE 802.15.4 standard defines beacon and beaconless mode of operation to contain the three types of data traffic: periodic data, intermittent data, and repetitive low latency data. The beacon mode of operation is suitable for real time applications due to its ability to allocate Guaranteed Time Slot (GTS). On the other hand, beaconless mode of operation is appropriate for applications where sensor activates on a regular, yet random manner to report the occurrence of an event.

Results: This paper analyzes and compares the network throughput, average end to end delay and successful data delivery ratio in beacon and beaconless mode of operations in different harsh environments of smart grids at different data rates. The objective of this paper is to envisage benefits and utilization of these two modes of operations in ZigBee for WSNs deployed in smart grids and to draw the attention of researchers in this area.

Conclusion: In this paper, the performance of ZigBee in beacon enabled and beaconless mode of operations at different data rates for different smart electric grid environments is analyzed. The results propose that beacon enabled network has good results in terms of throughput. Also, beacon enabled network has a good delivery ratio as compared to beaconless network. However, it is observed that the end to end delay in the case of beacon enabled network is higher than that of non-beacon enabled networks.


Wireless sensor network (WSN), IEEE 802.15.4, beacon, ZigBee, smart grid, QualNet 6.1.


ECE, CET, Mody University of Science and Technology, Lakshmangarh, Rajasthan, ECE, CET, Mody University of Science and Technology, Lakshmangarh, ECE, CET, Mody University of Science and Technology, Lakshmangarh

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