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Smart grid investments highly anticipated in EMEA

By Donna Donnowitz
May 5, 2014

Smart meters, terminal servers and other hardware needed to support smart grids are expected to be a major investment point for utilities in the Middle East in the near future. Driven by harsh weather, rapid development of rural areas and increased need for clean, managed water in arid nations, smart grid investments are going to be a major focus. The upgrade to smart meters is also being driven by the physical conditions affecting the mechanical parts of these devices.

"What we are definitely seeing, and this is a main driver for our business success in terms of water, is the rapid advancement of the static principal which means that less and less mechanical meters are able to stand the conditions here in the Middle East," said Frank Gutzeit, Diehl Metering board member, at the recent Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition 2014 convention, according to Utilities. "These mechanical parts, which are traditionally composed of plastic, are really affected by influences such as speed of the flow and whether there is air included. With air, the speed would be much faster than with water. With sand, this is horrible and the mechanical parts will last for one or two years maximum. Now we are talking about static meters lasting for 10 years at least."

With the migration to smart meters being driven by economic common sense, not just a desire to upgrade, Gutzeit noted that advanced smart grid management initiatives are likely to follow, rather than lead these investments. Over 20,000 smart meters have already been installed in Damman, Saudi Arabia, the news sourced noted, and continued efforts are highly anticipated across other parts of the EMEA. These efforts will drive energy and water grid initiatives for years to come, supporting environmentally-friendly acts and reduced reliance on one of the area's major resources - oil.

Over time, these efforts could reduce the cost of energy and help ensure clean, cheap water is being provided across the desert areas.

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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