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Communication key to smart grid success

By Max Burkhalter
December 27, 2013

Smart grids rely on the flow of information between the consumer and the utility provider for success, and this data relies on communication systems. According to Utility Products, a high-quality communications system will spell the difference between a grid that improves the flow of power, and one that drives the myriad of benefits, such as safer, more reliable and efficient service, to both the customer and the energy company.

Integrating a communications network with the power grid requires high-quality hardware to seamlessly migrate between data and power, however, and the right serial to Ethernet converter solutions will be essential for streamlining these upgrades.

One of the main benefits of deploying a smart grid system and upgrading the utility platform as a whole is to reduce operational costs for the provider and power costs for the customer. In order to truly achieve these goals, firms have to invest in full Ethernet I/O and supporting technologies. Optimized communications will ensure that faults in the system are noticed faster, help firms locate the exact point of failure in the system and distribute power to cover the issue faster while deploying a team to resolve it.

The cost advantages go beyond system breakdown though, as utility providers will be able to improve the overall quality of their operations while asserting a dominance over the energy grid in their area through improved control and management of resources.

Communicate value
The key to successful communication is information, and smart grid networks help transfer information to those who need it most as quickly as possible. These advantages quickly add up, providing greater value as more data comes in. This should sound familiar, as the big data trend has been exploding recently.

With more data comes a greater need to manage it, however, and utility companies that have invested in the right tools to optimize the flow of data throughout their infrastructure, from terminal servers to the appropriate serial to Ethernet hardware, will be several steps ahead of the game.

The optimization of power distribution relies on improving technology, and in order to continuously advance these efforts companies have to implement the right technologies - smart grids - to manage their progress and ensure success.

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.


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