Electric Utilities building Wireless Network that Supports Their Smart Grid Applications, from Smart Metering to Surveillance, from Fleet Management to Remote Workforce Support 408-656-2498 [email_address]
In the last few years, energy and natural resources consumption and management have become hot topics. The utilities’ role is no longer confined to the provision of basic services to households and businesses. Utilities have become—or are expected to become—leaders in introducing innovative technologies that reduce the consumption of energy and natural resources, and increase the efficiency of their generation and distribution. For most utilities, this is an exciting, yet challenging, opportunity.
Smart grid applications are central to the utilities efforts to make resource use more efficient, reduce energy consumption, increase reliability and security, and bring down their operating costs. Regulatory requirements, government guidelines, and the increased availability of public funding in
countries such as the United States have converged to accelerate the adoption of smart grid solutions across the world.
Moving Ahead with Smart Grid Deployments The electricity grid has become increasingly complex, and difficult to manage and protect. However, the improved performance and cost effectiveness of new information and telecommunications technologies make it possible for utilities to deploy smart grids. These smart grids vastly enhance the utilities’ ability to control and manage the provision of electricity, from transmission to distribution, as well as the utilities’ internal operations. Power transmission involves multiple suppliers and operators. Smart grid applications increase the level of integration and coordination among them; facilitate a more efficient, shared use of available resources; and improve the ability to monitor electrical transmission in real time. 408-656-2498 [email_address]
Utilities to control infrastructure The smart grid infrastructure can also support a wide range of operational applications that increase staff productivity, service reliability and security, and, eventually, financial profitability. Smart grid applications give utilities the ability to remotely monitor assets, continuously and in real time, and, where needed, to control them remotely. Surveillance applications allow utilities to control and protect assets, and to secure the transmission and distribution infrastructure. 408-656-2498 [email_address]
The buildout of smart grids worldwide is widely expected to be one of the most extensive infrastructure initiatives in scope and impact over the next decade. Smart metering will require all households to be connected. In North America alone, it is expected that approximately 75 million households (or 50% of the total1) will have a smart meter by 2014. That number will grow quickly further as the coverage requirements become more stringent. Utilities can expect to recoup 50% to 90% of the cost of the smart meter infrastructure through reductions in operating costs and improved service. Furthermore, a wide deployment of smart meters associated with demand‐response programs will reduce peak demand. Demand-response program alone may result in a 7% reduction in peak demand by 20302. The impact of the entire set of applications that smart grids enable will be considerably larger and it will continue to grow as new applications are developed and implemented. 408-656-2498 [email_address]
Wireless Technologies Extend Reach of Smart Grid The telecommunications network at the core of the smart grid requires seamless integration of multiple wireline and wireless technologies to transport information between the utility operations center and the network components—households and businesses, vehicles, staff, transmission and generation facilities. The smart grid has to support applications with multiple requirements (e.g., low traffic but extensive coverage needs for smart meters, versus very tight latency for remote control of facilities and assets, and more limited coverage requirements) that rely on a wide range of devices (from meters to remotely controlled video cameras with analytics software), and operate in all environments (from dense urban to the most remote rural areas). A combination of fiber and wireless backhaul, Point‐to‐Multipoint (PMP) wireless networks, short‐range wireless links, Power Line Communications (PLC), and Broadband over Power Line (BPL) is usually required to support full smart grid functionality. 408-656-2498 [email_address]
Wireless Technologies Extend Reach of Smart Grid 408-656-2498 [email_address] Wireless connectivity is one of the essential technology components in the smart grid, because it expands coverage to locations where wireline connections are not available and would be too expensive to deploy. Wireless connectivity provides advantages even where wireline connectivity is available, as it may give utilities a higher degree of control over the infrastructure, which is required for mission‐critical applications. In many environments, wireless technologies provide higher capacity, more coste-ffective solutions, and higher flexibility than wireline solutions. Utilities must choose the appropriate technology mix to ensure that the smart grid supports both the applications initially deployed and those planned for the longer term. Flexible, scalable, future‐proof, cost‐effective solutions that provide advanced performance and high reliability are an absolute requirement for smart grid project success.
Provide voice and data connectivity to remote workers, their vehicles, and their handheld devices
Reach households and businesses in remote areas that lack wireline connectivity
Provide utilities with end‐to‐end ownership and control over their network
Enable more extensive asset management (especially for mobile assets, such as service vehicles and trucks)
Protect the network and enhance safety and security by remote asset monitoring
Monitor equipment to prevent failures or to correct problems as they arise
Roll out the network rapidly and with minimum reliance on telecoms carriers
Deploy temporary mobile base stations during emergencies and disaster recovery efforts
408-656-2498 [email_address] Transmission and distribution infrastructure (Surveillance, monitoring and remote control devices) Remote workforce (Laptops, handheld devices, vehicles) Residential Customers (AMR/AMI, home displays, solar panels, home appliances) Emergencies (Laptops, handheld devices, emergency vehicles, ad-hoc links to business customers) Business Customers (Meters, remote sensors, cameras) Microwave wireless backhaul, fiber Operations Center
Summary Electric utilities worldwide are rapidly progressing from the planning phase to the deployment phase in their smart grid projects, which promise to deliver a more efficient management of resources, lower costs, and lower energy consumption. Utilities have an unprecedented opportunity to overhaul legacy grids that have become unable to cope with increased demand and complexity, as well as stricter regulatory requirements. At the core of the utilities smart grid, Wireless Technologies provides a high‐capacity, low‐latency, high-reliability platform that brings IP‐based broadband connectivity to each element of the smart grid—from households to generation facilities, from remote staff to generation and distribution assets—both during regular operations and during emergencies. Wireless Technologies is a powerful and yet cost‐effective solution that enables utilities to retain control over the infrastructure, and flexibility in the management of any smart grid application they choose to deploy today or in the future. 408-656-2498 [email_address]
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