Ethernet – only as good as planning process

Ethernet is the perfect solution for automating utility and industrial sites, provided correct planning and thought has gone into the solution. Consideration needs to include the hardware that you purchase for the project, the installation of the hardware and the actual configuration and logical setup of the network. A strong stable network is crucial to the running of a site with minimal downtime.

One of the first things to understand about Ethernet is that it is built upon some basic building blocks, which are maintained by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). This means that all devices that conform to these basic standards will have interoperability with each other. When selecting which hardware to use, careful attention must be paid to the standards that the hardware conforms to, and that all functionality that will be required in your network is catered for by the hardware.

The network planning and implementation should not be taken lightly, as it will form the foundation for future growth requirements.


Take note

  • Ethernet has been seen, for some time, as the communications technology of choice.
  • EMI can pose a challenge in some environments, but with proper planning and design, Ethernet systems can be made largely immune to these effects.
  • Prudent use of redundancy will ensure a reliable Ethernet system, even in the toughest of environments.


Published as:

Communication technology in power systems

By D Kowensky, H3iSquared

Electricity+Control, June 2012 (pgs 18 – 19)

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