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Moving forward with smart grid deployments

By Max Burkhalter
May 2, 2014

Smart grid programs are becoming more of a necessity than a convenience across the globe, and as demand for more reliable, cleaner and efficient energy infrastructure increases, nations need to start considering the policies and strategies that will deliver.

According to Smart Grid News, the problem may lie in the deregulation of power. The European Union is moving forward with plans to unify its electricity market and centralize the framework for its energy policies toward a super smart grid. From increased reliance on renewables to general improvements to the reliability and efficiency of its power infrastructure, the EU may have a long way to go before these ideas are realized, but it may be on the right track with regard to overall utility optimization.

Germany's struggle with smart grid deployment
Germany has gotten a head start on broad smart grid development and installation. In the past two years, the nation has begun to exit nuclear power generation, moving heavily toward solar and wind sources and focusing on improving power distribution across the country. However, it has met significant problems with meeting these goals so far, including a 50 percent hike in energy bills over the average EU customer and a destabilization of distribution due to imbalances across its transmission network, the news source noted. Despite these struggles, the country is confident it can achieve its 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions and a 35 percent increase in renewables goals by 2020.

A steep learning curve
The trick is to learn from these challenges quickly and develop long-term strategies for growth and adaptation, the news source reported. Across the EU, as well as in the United States, private and public utility providers have to be looking at what Germany and other large-scale smart grid projects are doing and improving off of their designs. This will them avoid the problems Germany has already faced and be better prepared for their own, unique challenges that are likely to occur. One piece of the puzzle is ensuring the right communication and transmission hardware is installed along the infrastructure, from terminal servers to serial to Ethernet converters.

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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