Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Future-proofing the smart grid
Demand for high-quality smart grid support is increasing at a rapid but steady rate, but as it does so too does the technology that enables energy efficiency and communication over grid infrastructure. In order to keep up with the evolution of technology and attempt to future-proof their smart grid efforts, utilities have to ensure they are investing in the right hardware, from terminal servers to serial to Ethernet converters, to optimize the interoperability of old and new.
According to SmartGridNews, smart grid communications infrastructure has to be the focus of future-proofing.
"In the next two decades we will see the beginnings of unprecedented change revolutionizing the way we consume and manage vital resources, including electrical energy," Ron Pate wrote for the news source. "It is the use of information, enabled by much more advanced communications and communicating intelligent devices, which plays a large part in making this a reality."
As grids evolve, firms that have deployed high-quality communications hardware, such as a serial Ethernet adapter, will be able to integrate emerging technologies more effectively, like intelligent thermostats, and support expanding communications needs. The smart grid networks of the future have to be multi-layered and multi-dimensional in order to meet operating demands, or the reliability and stability smart grids are renowned for will begin to fall short.
One trick, the news source noted, is to avoid the "single-purpose trap." This means eliminating technologies that serve only one purpose in the network, supporting more versatile solutions that enable interoperability and multiple network needs. As smart grid solutions evolve so will the expectations of their performance that consumers have, and the technology has to be able to keep up.
Ultimately, investing in high-quality communications and network support hardware will play an important role in stability and growth in smart grid efforts, but it isn't the only need utilities will have going forward. A sound deployment strategy and the right investments in renewable energy will also be key, and organizations should plan accordingly to leverage the smart grid trend for their own gains.
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.