Monday, April 28, 2014
High-end smart meters still need quality support systems
New smart meters are offering automation, direct reporting back to the utility provider and a host of other advantages for the consumer and power company. GE's recent UL-certified smart meter rollout, in connection with Commonwealth Edison, will help modernize smart grid efforts in an effort to reach nearly 3.8 million customer's in ComEd's 11,300 square mile service area with better, more reliable power.
"At GE, we're committed to designing and manufacturing meters that adhere to state-of-the-art safety and reliability standards," said Edward Myszka, general manager of meters at GE's Digital Energy business. "Our UL certification demonstrates this ongoing commitment and highlights the progress we're making to ensure our customers are equipped to build a modern, efficient grid and improve their overall end-user experience-both today and well into the future."
However, for any electric company to leverage new smart meters and other consumer technology to boost it's smart grid efforts, the network infrastructure has to be in place to support them. Serial to Ethernet converters and the like have to be installed along the grid to optimize the flow of data back to the provider and make the potential benefits of these technologies possible.
Based in Chicago, ComEd's service area has been being upgraded since August 2013, in an effort to improve its current coverage and reach rural areas more effectively. The goal is to bring it's network to the forefront of grid modernization efforts in the United States, Terence Donnelly, executive vice president of ComEd, noted.
With any new smart grid initiative, the proper supporting hardware, such as terminal servers, has to be in place in order to enable the flow of information and communication along the grid, which are essential to progress. Smart grids rely on the transfer of data back to the utility from the consumer to establish peak demand control, reliable distribution and other improvements. Without the necessary hardware to improve the infrastructure, investments like smart meters, thermostats and other improved appliances will be for naught.
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.