Regarded in the industry as the premier North American show for the power utility industry, DistribuTECH takes place January 29-31 in San Diego. The DistribuTECH Conference and Exposition will cover the smart grid, automation and control systems, energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy integration, advanced metering, T&D system operation and reliability, power delivery equipment and water utility technology.
Belden will be exhibiting at the show in booth #3427 and be demonstrating the latest end-to-end connectivity solutions for the power utility industry. Among the features at the Belden booth will be sample configurations of substation communications solutions using MPLS, cellular and Ethernet WAN solutions and demonstration of a new advanced router from Belden's GarrettCom brand of substation-hardened communications products. Belden is the only supplier of end-to-end connectivity solutions to the power utility industry.
Editor's Note: This is part one of a five part series.
Opportunities for progress are materializing faster than ever - with no turning back - and companies that don't take advantage will soon find themselves too far behind to play catch up.
With industrial businesses looking to speed and efficiency as key differentiators, the likelihood of success falls to the reliability, capability and flexibility of its communication system. In a recent infographic, our team detailed just how big a role industrial Ethernet plays in helping to capitalize on key tech trends.
To complement the graphic, we've written four posts, each one featuring a key driver behind industrial advancement: innovation, efficiency, agility and risk. Let's dive into innovation first.
In power utility substations, communications failure is not an option. IEC 61850 and IEEE 1613 provide comprehensive requirements for equipment capabilities in a hostile environment as well as advanced technologies to improve substation automation. The IEC 61850 model advances the global standard for all substation communications needs, and, transport mechanism for this global standard is Ethernet.
The 61850 standards still seem to provide the best roadmap to future-proof substation communications network deployments, but, for the foreseeable future, networking strategies must still provide for combining the new with the old. “Hybrid” substation networking strategies will be the norm for some time to come. In-place serial IEDs will need to coexist with and be complemented by new networking equipment.
There has been a big movement over the past decade to bring Ethernet into utility substations. But, to take advantage of the efficiencies and capabilities that Ethernet can offer, many substation network designers must first consider how to leverage their considerable investment in the existing serial infrastructure.
Going forward, “Hybrid” substation networking strategies will be the norm. In-place serial IEDs will need to coexist with and be complemented by new networking equipment. This does not mean, however, that these hybrid solutions must be compromised in terms of flexibility, security or performance. By leveraging existing substation-hardened equipment, security policies, IP protocols with the right network design, it is possible to construct highly flexible, secure, reliable and future-proofed networks today.
Today, it’s hard to get too much security—especially in industrial environments. Two new multi-port firewalls, the EAGLE20-0400 and 30-0402 were recently added to the Hirschmann EAGLE line. The primary advantage of these EAGLE products over other products is the increased number of ports. This means that in some scenarios a single device can be deployed, rather than multiple EAGLE20s, saving costs and space. Moreover, where there is a need for link speed greater than 100Mb/s, the EAGLE30-0402 provides with its Gigabit ports a better fit, thus delivering the highest level of network security.
Wolfgang Schenk, vice president and general manager of our Hirschmann brand, gives a demonstration of our PRP wired and wireless connectivity solutions at the SPS IPC Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany.
These days, Ethernet and other industrial networks are fast replacing hard wiring in machine and robot builder OEM applications. Automation components suppliers are including Ethernet and IP connectivity on more and more of their devices, creating a virtuous and ever expanding circle of Ethernet use. Indeed, the savings in wiring costs alone often justifies use of industrial networks.
Demand from OEMs and their customers for increased connectivity is driving Ethernet’s increased use in the industrial arena, with growth forecast at approximately 10% per year through the next five years.