Utility companies require communication systems that can ensure reliable, safe and secure transmission of data, voice and video across LANs and WANs at all times. From the field to the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) level, these systems must offer redundancy for maximum safety and availability, be installable even in hazardous areas and be able to seamlessly integrate all types of communication systems and components.
SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition): A SCADA system comprises of distributed client SCADA nodes, which monitor the health of the flow to a centralized SCADA system. The client SCADA nodes provide the monitoring information over an Ethernet interface to the transport network. The transport network then carries this Ethernet data on to the centralized SCADA system. A successful SCADA WAN network is usually a good blend of reliability, cost, scalability, and flexibility.
Video Surveillance (CCTV): Utility companies perform visual inspection through Video Surveillance on a regular basis to determine the condition of the systems, perform fault location or for security purposes. Most often, the harsh conditions through which the pipelines/power lines/rail tracks pass makes it infeasible to have manned stations at these places. Hence, the human interaction with the equipment at such places needs to be minimized.
Ethernet based LAN Connectivity: Service Providers often desire the availability of Ethernet Based LAN Connectivity at all manned stations to meet the intra organization communication requirements. LAN connectivity could be used for enterprise applications such as ERP or internet access. This requires an Utility company to set up a data-aware network that can provide LAN capabilities to each site.
Smart Grid: Modern power utility networks are witnessing a rapid surge in packet-oriented services driven by emerging smart grid applications and services such as AMR (automated meter reader) traffic, IoT sensors for grid health monitoring and measurement. With the emergence of Smart Grid initiatives, building a modernized electricity infrastructure that delivers a highly responsive, automated and resilient power system is becoming a challenge. Choice of these technology enhancements will involve careful weighing of multiple, often conflicting, requirements related to network capacity, latency, security and reliability at the lowest possible cost.