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Top 4 considerations for smart grid deployment

By Donna Donnowitz
February 6, 2014

When investing in smart grid solutions and the related hardware needs such as terminal servers, utilities have to make several considerations both before and during the planning period, as well as during actual deployment. According to Smart Grid News, these essentials will provide the foundation for success with smart grid-related efforts.

Careful planning
Of course, the first step to optimizing smart grid solutions is taking the time to carefully plan the approach strategy. From selecting the right serial to Ethernet converters and smart meters to use to installing cabling in a way that meets budget goals, utilities have to approach smart grid investments with a mindset focused on future benefits. Such efforts provide considerable ROI over time, allowing companies to reap the rewards well after the deployment is concluded - as long as the time is taken to optimize initial installation.

Update or integrate
Taking legacy systems into consideration is another key factor. Utilities can integrate older hardware to the smart grid with Ethernet to serial converters, but this may not be the best approach in every case, meaning that firms will need to consider replacing some of their legacy systems as well. However, the right media converters can save time and money when deploying in appropriate instances.

Consider customers
The impact that smart grid solutions, as well as the installation period, will have on customers is critical. Firms need to consider whether or not a full deployment will have a negative impact on customer experience and overall service, and whether the risks associated with that will impede progress. Additionally, utilities have to make the future benefits very clear to their customers to help mitigate these risks.

Despite being a relatively new trend, smart grid solutions are seeing considerable regulation and legislation directed toward the movement. In order to ensure regulatory compliance and optimized service, utilities also have to ensure they are investing in secure and reliable solutions, from the smart meters being installed in consumers homes to he remote I/O solutions to control them.

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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