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Energy isn't the only market for smart grid deployments

By Donna Donnowitz
February 20, 2014

While power may get the majority of the spotlight when it comes to smart grid advantages, other utilities can benefit greatly from investing in serial to Ethernet converters and other smart grid technologies to deliver high-quality service to their customers.

According to Smart Grid News, smart grid adoption in water and other utilities is on the rise. This is particularly true in cities, which are trying to deploy more prolific smart grids in order to keep up with rising populations. The news source reported that the United Nations has predicted that 75 percent of the Earth's population will live in cities by 2050, and city infrastructure has to be ready to keep up with the heavy demand those high numbers will bring.

To this end, many cities are already preparing. The news source noted that global investments into smart grid infrastructure by cities is expected to exceed $108 billion by 2020. From energy-efficient buildings to smart meters for gas, water and electricity, these investments are designed to reduce the cost of operating a smarter, greener city, while optimizing utilities for citizens.

"Although the smart cities discussion has been dominated by the IT and software market, urban planners should be operating an infrastructure first strategy," Jim Anderson, VP for smart cities, and Mark Leinmiller, water wastewater segment manager of Schneider Electric, wrote for the report. "To support a growing and aging population, the framework of the city - the electric grid, water management system, commercial buildings, traffic management systems, etc. - becomes most important. And intelligent energy use is one of the central components to achieving all of a smart city's goals."

The key to supporting this growth goes beyond traditional smart grids though. While many may think of electricity first, smart grid solutions can have a significant impact on the quality control and demand management aspects of water, gas and other public services provided by a city administration.

By investing in high-quality media converters and similar hardware to optimize the flow of data as well as utility operations, cities can begin embracing smart grids now and start preparing for the future.

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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