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Tomorrow's power will comes from a smart grid

By Donna Donnowitz
November 21, 2013

The utilities industry is evolving faster than many expected, and smart grid technology is leading the charge in efficiency, sustainability and green energy across the globe. Newer, cleaner power sources are cropping up everywhere, while smart meters and related technology is helping consumers and providers optimize their infrastructure to spend less and get more out of their energy.

The end result of these changes will be a completely new looking power grid, not only in the technology invested into the infrastructure but the way it generates and distributes energy. MIT's Technology Review Custom recently published an article for a third-partythat looks at the grid of tomorrow, and how these changes will affect the way people use electricity both then and today.

Increased intelligence in power grids presents several advantages and dilemma's. According to the report, new power grids will be more akin to computer networks than legacy power distribution infrastructure. The capability to receive and send power will make households, businesses and substations are more efficient, reduce electricity costs and help clean up the power generation industry. However, the costs of making these improvements may seem daunting. The United States alone has over 2.7 miles of electrical wire, which would require billions to upgrade on a national scale. The localization of smart grid efforts is the key for overcoming these challenges, but them cities, power providers and other organizations have to shoulder the costs themselves.

Investing in high-quality serial to Ethernet converter solutions and the necessary technology to better equip substations is essential in order to harness the power of high-end cabling and deliver more reliable power to consumers. This will be a key part of maintaining quality of service in the coming years and consumers begin to expect better service and power that comes from cleaner, more sustainable sources.

Despite evolving technology, many utilities will have to upgrade slowly, and investing in quality media converters to optimize the flow of power and data from old to new will be critical for smart grid deployment. Terminal servers, serial to Ethernet solutions and related tools will improve the quality of power distribution, eliminate latency and optimize the reliability of a network for all.

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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