Sweden : LTE for utilities - supporting smart grids [TendersInfo (India)]
(TendersInfo (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The introduction of smart meters and smart grid sensors demands a cost-effective and easily deployed communications solution. Laboratory and field tests have demonstrated that LTE networks successfully meet the technical requirements for smart grid communications.
A key technology for energy grids in the 21st century is a pervasive data communications network connected to millions of smart meters and thousands of sensors on the low- and medium-voltage lines, devices and sub-stations. In conjunction with the existing communications networks (SCADA) used to manage the high-voltage transmission lines and devices, the resulting grid is called a smart grid.
Chief technology officers (CTOs) of electricity utilities are searching for proven, cost-effective communications solutions to provide connectivity to the meters and sensors that must be deployed to build their smart grids. This is where modern standards-based communications technologies such as LTE are ideal.
Both laboratory and field research confirm that LTE is well suited to field area network (FAN) communication to distributed devices, or in other words last-mile connectivity. Use cases for electricity distribution include smart metering, distribution monitoring and control, field workforce, distributed energy, micro-grid operation and electric vehicle charging.
LTE offers very low latency, high throughput and QoS differentiation in a single radio access technology that is supported by a global standard. The evolution of LTE through global standardization ensures a future-proofed technology that does not compromise investments in network infrastructure.
These communication networks may be either private (utility owned), public (operator owned), or hybrid (private virtual network over a public operator network), depending on the regulatory and commercial situation of the utility.
In short, the design and configuration of an LTE network to meet the requirements of a distribution utility requires detailed understanding of the communications technology, and of the consequences of design and configuration choices on the communications network and thus most importantly on the actual operation and management of the electricity grid.
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