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Connected homes, electric vehicles not the only smart grid benefits

By Donna Donnowitz
May 1, 2014

The smart grid deployments occurring across the globe are designed to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels by supporting electric vehicle strategies and making homes more energy efficient. However, as these trends move forward consumers will discover that power reliability and the cost of utilities will also improve, supporting future innovations and the growth of the industry in a green, forward-thinking capacity.

The smart meters and intelligent hardware that consumers can invest in, from refrigerators to automated thermostats, are helping to reduce power usage over time, lowering electricity bills and cutting risk of power outages due to reduced strain on the system during peak hours. Of course, these benefits require more than smart meter installations and a smart grid, but utilities investing in the right hardware to support clear and swift communication of data across their grids, from remote I/O solutions to the serial to Ethernet converters to enable information networking across power lines.

CPS Energy in San Antonio, Texas, recently announced the first four areas of the city that it plans to launch its smart grid upgrades in. These areas were selected based on the age of the existing network and size of consumer bills. Nearly 740,000 electrical meters and 360,000 new gas meters will be installed in these areas by 2018, the San Antonio Business Journal revealed.

Across the globe, smart meter sales are on the rise to support these endeavors, as well as electric vehicle integration. According to Smart Grid Insights, the EV market in particular is set to expand by 66 percent annually from 2014 to 2021, reaching nearly 12 million vehicles on the market. One of the main challenges against this growth, however, will be the proper infrastructure to support these vehicles, which is why states, cities and utilities are expanding smart grid investments as well.

Ultimately, new technologies are driving smart grid adoption, but it's the right investments into terminal servers and the existing support hardware that will help facilitate the growth needed to achieve true innovation in the industry. For utilities these deployments will support future growth while enabling smart grid operations today.

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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