Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Building a stronger utility infrastructure
There are many reasons firms are investing in smart grid technologies, but one of the leading benefits that will continue to provide value and ROI over time is the simple fact that solutions like media converters and smart meters are creating a stronger, more reliable infrastructure for power management and delivery.
According to The Energy Collective, smart grids are driving some significant secondary trends for utility companies. Improved data management, enhanced customer management and multi-channel support, the integration of gamification and advances in company IT are helping firms do their business more effectively and efficiently, reducing costs and increasing productivity in ways that improves customers service as a whole. However, it is specifically the technological advantages these companies are achieving, rather than the deployment of the smart grid itself, that is driving this growth.
By deploying smart grid strategies and related hardware, providers are strengthening their network infrastructure and ensuring that their power delivery is more reliable and robust. This allows firms to avoid blackouts and brownouts more readily, and focus on efficiency, rather than struggling to manage demand or cope with steady delivery through peak times.
"Utilities will move towards the creation of a unified customer-centric IT platform," IDC commented regarding the trend. "More apps requested by customers will be easier to develop using this platform as a foundation. Advanced customer intelligence and analytics will play a pivotal role in understanding customers' engagement preferences."
The growth of IT systems due to the improvements of smart grids will only serve to further providers' need to deliver energy more reliably and at a lower cost. For consumers, this is a win/win, but for the utility companies the potential is even greater for significant growth and opportunity. Utility spending on IT services is expected to surpass $59 billion by the end of 2014, Gartner recently predicted, according to the news source. This spending will go toward furthering the potential for the nation's power grid, and delivering the advantages that providers are beginning to see from smarter technologies.
Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.