Smarter meters, smarter energy

With smart meter deployment on the rise and green efforts being embraced, consumers are looking at a future of smarter, greener energy. Or are they?

By Donna Donnowitz
October 18, 2013

With smart meter deployment on the rise and green efforts being embraced, consumers are looking at a future of smarter, greener energy. Or are they?

Beyond the implementation of smart meters, which is expected to drive the global market for wireless communication to double in value over the next several years, there is more to optimizing energy networks and smart grids that providers have to consider. From the cabling itself to media converters, if energy companies aren't utilizing the right technology from source to home, the future of the energy market won't be quite as smart as consumers hope.

Smart meters provide key information to providers, but the network has to be in place, with serial to Ethernet converter solutions and related tools to optimize speed and bandwidth, to bring that data back to the company so that consumers can feel the benefits. Over time investments in high-quality Ethernet I/O technology will help reduce energy and operational costs, saving both provider and customer money. Combined with green initiatives, these strategies will also boost a provider's reputation.

Of course, there's more to smart grid deployment than media converters. According to CIOL, more firms are investigating wireless communications modules as a way to transmit key data quickly, but there are many costs associated with such efforts.

"The problem of coverage is one of the major restraints of the market for cellular communication modules," Ginni Hima Bindu, GlobalData's Analyst covering Smart Grid, told the news source. "For an indoor electric meter, GPRS technology provides just 80-85 percent coverage, if the electric meter, or other grid device, is not moved accordingly. Furthermore, the high operating costs that must be paid by the utilities to mobile carriers is also off-putting."

Integrating data transmission within the wired network with high-quality serial Ethernet solutions will minimize these costs and help firms continue moving into the future of energy efficiency. No energy provider wants to be held back by prohibitive costs, as this will cause it to lose customers and face in light of other technological improvements. Smart grid deployment depends on timeliness, and having the right solutions in place as quickly as possible will optimize cost, efficiency and returns.

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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