Utilities Must Work Closely with Wireless Vendors on Smart Grid

At the UTC Telecom 2012 show, Aviat Networks was able to meet with utilities regarding their networking needs. Bottomline, utilities must work closely with their wireless backhaul and other solution providers in order to implement smart grid capabilities.

UTC Telecom 2012 is the annual show of the utilities industry in North America. New technologies and products were displayed to help the industry with its latest challenges. Also various utilities shared their experiences in implementing new networks to deliver leading edge smart grid capabilities.

The show was extremely well attended with a myriad of vendors including many consulting firms. The key message that I took away was the need for utilities to work very closely with their equipment vendors—especially wireless backhaul solution providers—and consultants to implement next generation networks capable of handling the multitude of applications associated with smart grid.

It was interesting to hear from AltaLink about the findings from its extensive lab testing and network implementation:

  • How far do you drive MPLS into the network?
  • How do you “tweak” the MPLS settings to accommodate microwave radios adapting in modulation?
  • What kind of MTU sizes need to be passed and how well do vendor capacities relate to the particular MTU sizes?

BC Hydro talked to the two critical issues it is struggling with: end-to-end management and security across the entire network. Balance the needs/wants of the IT dept., the communications dept. and various internal administrative groups is a real task! Some people think that only the commercial mobile networks must deal with overzealous users demanding unlimited bandwidth to address their video/gaming/voice applications…what happens when all the utilities’ departments find out that there is bandwidth available?!

Aviat Networks’ Eclipse Packet Node radios and skilled network engineers can help you find the right solution for your smart grid implementation. Whether your utility is just starting to look at the issues or ready to buy the critical components of the network, Aviat Networks is able to help.

Randy Jenkins
Director of Business Development
Aviat Networks

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Smart Grid Wireless Technology Comparison Chart

Cropped version:A worker climbing down an elec...

Image via Wikipedia

Smart Grid is an enabling opportunity for operators to help address energy generation and consumption in an intelligent and efficient manner.

The explanation of Smart Grid solutions in this comparison chart should help to clarify the various choices for wireless connectivity—from access to backhaul, for data or management transmission—using any one or a combination of various technologies.

It compares various wireless technologies for wireless applications related to Smart Grid communications. It also covers general information such as “How to use in Smart Grid,” key advantages and notable weaknesses.

Key technical parameters such as bandwidth, coverage, user data rates and cost are also considered. Microwave, WiMAX, Mesh, LTE, 3G cellular, Power Line Carrier, WLAN and Zigbee are described.

If you like this chart and want to receive a complimentary hard copy version, leave a comment with your name and mailing address (your comment won’t be published). There is an extremely limited number of stock on hand, and we will fulfill as many requests as possible.

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