Ethernet Enables the Smart Grid
When you consider population growth, economic development, and all of the new technologies requiring electricity, it is really amazing that the electrical power generation, transmission and distribution system has survived for decades with limited intelligence. But the emergence of independent power producers, green power sources and new regulatory regimes is making it imperative to add smarts to the grid.
The grid receives power from a variety of conventional and green power sources. The grid then distributes this power to industrial, commercial and residential consumers. Power flowing into the grid must be matched with power outflows as closely as possible on a real-time continuous basis. A real-time system relies on wired and wireless communication networks, and the de facto standard for these networks is Ethernet. Various Ethernet protocols and attendant hardware including switches, routers and connectors form the power grid communication backbone.