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Storage key to smart grid success

By Donna Donnowitz
April 24, 2014

Properly leveraging smart grid technologies and delivering the value and opportunities that consumers expect require many different investments and strategies from utilities. These technologies aren't simply plug and play, and firms that don't carefully approach these issues are likely to struggle with leveraging them for growth down the road. From terminal servers to proper energy storage, investing in the right technologies will make a critical difference in the future of the energy grid.

According to BBC News, current government policies in England are focused on reducing CO2 emissions. However, in order to accomplish this there will be a massive increase in demand on electrical networks, replacing oil and gas for power. Currently, peak demand in the U.K. reaches 60GW, but this is expected to multiply six-fold by 2050, as electricity replaces oil and gas for heating, vehicles and many other essentials. This means developing new grids, increasing the number of pylons, substations and cabling across the nation - or improving the quality of the existing grid. Mike Wilks of Poyry Managing Consulting told the news source this means increasing the power grid's flexibility.

Smart grid for flexibility
Investments into smart grid solutions and related technologies such as serial to Ethernet converters will help utilities optimize the delivery of power and their own flexibility in these matters. From how their networks are connected to consumers to the integration of new sources of power, substations and pylons, this increased flexibility will allow utilities to adapt to demands more easily and focus on maintaining the efficiency of their operations. In order to support this flexibility, however, utilities will need to focus on energy storage.

Storage for flexibility
Smart grid solutions will allow firms to implement enhanced storage solutions, both in quantity and quality to meet future demands on networks, boost uptime and optimize the overall flow of power across the nation. With the right storage solutions in place, utilities will be able to continuously leverage renewable power sources, "building up a reserve" so to speak for the future. These efforts can also support remote areas by creating a reserve for them that is closer than the nearest power plant or generation facility.

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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