Falling costs of communications technology drives smart grid industry

Communications technology will help build the power of smart grid deployments.

By Max Burkhalter
April 24, 2014

A cornerstone of smart grids is communication and the flow of information from the utility to the endpoint and back. As the costs of communications technologies falls, providers are able to increase their investments into serial to Ethernet converters and the other secondary hardware that supports smart grid deployments, building the strength of their networks faster.

According to Smart Grid News, this is particularly important because the smart grid industry as a whole is evolving past being based around the installation of smart meters. Today, sophisticated substation monitoring equipment, sensors placed along transmission lines and other communications technology are critical for grid optimization. Firms that invest in these solutions now will be able to support the continued growth of their projects and strengthen the ROI of the smart grid in general.

"The perfect storm has materialized as utilities and industry giants have concluded that smart grid success will require timely data from within the heart of the distribution grid," said Alan Snook, President of GRID20/20, according to the news source.

By deploying communications solutions along the grid, rather than solely at the endpoint or even in substations, utilities gain several advantages. Real-time monitoring of the network, flexible demand control and improved relay time of information will all deliver faster, higher-quality service. Improving this flow of information will only build up the potential of the network and deliver on these strengths faster.

The smart grid industry is constantly evolving, but it is up to utilities to invest in the right solutions that will maintain growth, the improvements won't just fall into their laps. Deploying high-quality terminal servers and Ethernet I/O solutions to optimize communications is the best step to take currently to support smart grid growth and enhance future movement of the industry as a whole. Firms need to ensure they are investing wisely yet quickly in order to leverage these solutions when it's most appropriate.

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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