Reliable backbone communication infrastructures for smart grid systems
By T Craven, H3iSquared
Electricity+Control, September 2013 (pages 8 – 12)
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The reason Ethernet is the popular communications technology of choice for smart grid backbone solutions is that Ethernet is based on various open standard protocols, meaning that if a device complies with a part of the standard, it will be interoperable with other devices that comply with the same part of the standard.
Ethernet also runs over a distributed communications network, rather than utilising point-to-point links. This means that cabling and hardware CAPEX (capital expenditure) costs are greatly reduced when putting together an Ethernet network, and OPEX (operational expenditure) will also be greatly reduced, as adding a new device is simply a matter of providing an Ethernet link to the nearest point where that device can join the rest of the network, rather than having to run a link all the way back to a central control room.
- Ethernet systems are available for smart grid communications systems.
- Smart grids require smart systems.
- If properly planned and designed, smart grid solutions are readily realisable.