Tips and tricks for ideal SCADA communications

By T Milone, Freewave

 

Published in:

Electricity+Control February 2014 (pages 14 – 16)

Enquiries: tmilone@freewave.com

 

The full article on Tips and tricks for ideal SCADA communications can be downloaded in PDF format.

 

Effective data transmission keeps utility operators informed of the health of their smart grids; allows them to run smoothly and ensures proper delivery of power. By deploying a communications network for key applications in the grid, especially within distribution automation, operators can have critical, real-time data delivered to their fingertips. Utility decision makers must be prepared to sift through a host of options when evaluating possible communications systems for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition networks.

Wireless data communications offer advanced flexibility and technological benefits to new Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system deployments, as well as a means to upgrade performance to existing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems. In fact, wireless networking technologies have become accepted as optimal communication solutions for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition applications in many industrial settings. The electric power and smart grid markets, for example, continue to see an increase in the use of wireless networking technology, especially for distribution automation applications where many critical functions and actions are automated.

If security, reliability and real-time data are key criteria for a utility’s communications system, especially within distribution automation, then Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) wireless networking technology might be the best choice. As wireless becomes standard for communications in the electric power market, utilities can continue to expect new options and applications for secure wireless networking technology. With a knowledgeable approach to the marketplace, utility operators are much more likely to find the system that meets their requirements.

However, in order to select the appropriate communication technology for individual Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, utility operators should do the following:

  • Assess the various technology options.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Consider a hybrid approach.
  • Maximise the value of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system.
  • Find a secure solution.
  • Know the software options.
  • Choose reputable vendor.

 

Take note:

  • Effective data transmission ensures proper delivery of power.
  • Wireless networking technologies offer advanced flexibility and technological benefits.
  • Wireless networking technologies have become accepted as optimal communication solutions for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition applications.