A Conceptual Insight Into Achieving Interoperability Between Heterogeneous Blockchain Enabled Interconnected Smart Microgrids
Blockchain technology (BCT) has emerged as a game-changer for many industries since its inception in 2008. Its application in the energy industry as blockchain enabled interconnected smart microgrids (BSMG) is on the rise as it can execute energy trading, automate the market operations, manage the grid, and facilitate real-time payments. With the increase in usage of BSMGs, different types of BCT will emerge, making the system heterogeneous in nature. BCT is also limited currently due to its scalability and low transaction rate. Interoperability between heterogeneous BSMGs can counteract the drawbacks and improve the functionality and, thereby, adoption of BCT in energy. This paper recognises the need for interoperability and thoroughly reviews the different methods of interoperability that currently exist (i.e., notary mechanism, relay or side chains, hashed time-locked contracts, and blockchain routers). Two relay mechanisms - Polkadot and Cosmos with Inter Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC) are reviewed further to determine the usability of the protocols. Finally, a conceptual architecture of interconnection of heterogeneous BSMGs is proposed. Conceptual solution to connecting Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric to the Cosmos Hub through IBC is explored. While interoperability between heterogeneous users is addressed in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), it has not yet been addressed in energy. A conceptual solution is provided for this research gap for the first time in energy domain.
Email Address of Submitting Authordishad@iisc.ac.in
ORCID of Submitting Author0000-0003-2813-6148
Submitting Author's InstitutionIndian Institute of Science
Submitting Author's Country