Smart grid – technology challenges in communications
The smart grid infrastructure has entered a stage of strong and rapid growth. With power grids distributed across vast urban and rural areas, it is necessary to ensure effective communication, that is efficient transmission of data from all network points to central command and control (C&C) systems. Metering systems and C&C systems generate large amounts of data which must be transferred effectively to the central system that manages the infrastructure.
Data from these systems is collected at medium-voltage (MV) and low-voltage (LV) transformer substations using metering, control and security devices. By consolidating these devices at a single location, it is possible to establish a central collection point for all the sensitive data they deliver. The next step is to transfer this data to the central system in a secure, effective and reliable manner. All these requirements can be met by consolidating the transmission functionality in one device.
The communications hardware that transmits data from substations should meet specific requirements, such as:
- High bandwidth to transfer large amounts of data
- Stable transmission to ensure constant, uninterrupted access
- Resistance to harsh environmental conditions, such as operating temperatures ranging from -30 to +65°C
- High level of data security with built-in encryption, certificate management and encryption key management mechanisms
Efficient data transmission from LV/MV substations to the central system in a smart grid
- Wide range of RF data transmission technologies: LTE, 3G, HSPA, EDGE, UMTS, CDMA
- Flexible solution thanks to a modular design
- High level of security with support for encryption protocols and powerful authentication/authorization features
- High level of immunity to the interference present within MV/LV power substations
- High bandwidth, low latency and data delivery assurance
- Flexible choice of power sources (single-phase/three-phase power grid or low-voltage source)
amiROUTER at an MV/LV substation: