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UK utility looks to automate demand response

By Max Burkhalter
January 30, 2014

The opportunities presented by smart grid deployments continue to add up, and more utility providers are embracing the necessary technologies for different reasons. The National Grid in the U.K. recently deployed its own smart grid system, focused on the automation of demand response efforts. According to Solar Power Portal, the program will allow facility operators to gain revenues simply from decreasing their power consumption during peak times.

"The technology required to avoid a megawatt of consumption costs a fraction of that needed to pump out an additional megawatt," said Jeremy Eaton, vice president of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions. "From a cost-benefit standpoint, [automated demand response] is the most prudent option for reducing energy use and is the most clean, sustainable path to energy reliability."

This is a new endeavor by the National Grid to boost its short term operating reserve and move from asking customers to reduce their use or switch to diesel generators, the news source noted. The strategy could have a significant impact on carbon emission in the U.K., while helping compensate for unusual power consumption trends.

The optimization of the National Grid's smart grid deployment will rely on some significant technology investments, however, which the provider will need to support with adequate serial to Ethernet converter and terminal server solutions.

With smart grid system, the supporting hardware is key for optimizing the transition of usage data over the network. Incorporating Ethernet cabling and other solutions can become tricky, especially over long distances. This is why providers need to utilize adequate Ethernet to serial solutions that help minimize latency and boost the overall integrity of the infrastructure. This will help drive success with smart grid strategies and deliver the desired benefits faster.

This is particularly important as more utility providers across the globe look to make their networks more reliable, scalable and environmentally-friendly. Even without systems that deploy diesel generators, smart grid solutions can reduce emissions and improve the overall efficiency of the grid, helping to reduce global consumption of non-renewable resources that drive energy systems today.

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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