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Tokyo to launch massive smart grid initiative

By Max Burkhalter
March 19, 2014

In an industry-shaking move, Tokyo Electric Power Company has revealed its new strategy to deploy 27 million smart meters across the city and take its smart grid efforts to the next level. The city-wide energy management system would revolutionize the power grid in Tokyo, while demonstrating to metropolises across the globe how such a large-scale project can be accomplished.

According to Greentech Media, TEPCO is Japan's largest utility provider, and if successful with this plan is likely to influence global smart grid efforts for years to come. The city hopes to achieve a deregulation of its energy market as quickly as 2016, while setting the stage for utility Internet of Things deployment shortly after.

"The government has mandated a top-down standards based approach for everything, in order to maximize interoperability," Heath Thompson, chief technology officer at Landis+Gyr North America, told the news source. Landis+Gyr is one of the major technology suppliers assisting with the smart meter deployment strategy, alongside parent company Toshiba.

The plan is to develop a strategy that is scalable, being adjustable over time and incorporating various platforms, standards and networking solutions to optimize the integration of not only smart meters, but new appliances and technologies as they enter the market.

"Another thing that's kind of unique about the Japanese market is the scalability of the system," said Thompson. "TEPCO's 27 million smart meters are each meant to network with multiple in-premise devices, and you have to have the scalability, from the individual components back to the head-end, to deal with those huge volumes of meter data."

Such a large-scale investment will take time and ingenuity to accomplish successfully. TEPCO plans to launch these efforts with security, performance and interoperability at the fore, ensuring success overtime and the stability of the city's energy network.

In order to accomplish such a task, any energy provider needs to ensure it is utilizing top-quality terminal servers and solutions to support the flow of data back to the utility. Serial to Ethernet converters and the like will be critical components of a high-end smart grid deployment.

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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