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Interoperability helps smart grid stakeholders speak the same language

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Before extensive work to integrate smart grid technology began roughly three years ago, engineers working with power systems, communications and information technology had little reason to speak with each other, and if the need to do so had even existed, there would have been a debilitating language gap.

But with the growth of the need for the smart grid, those engineers will need to overcome that language barrier, according to The Energy Collective.

The new grid will focus on enhancing electricity delivery utilizing two-way communications that will revolutionize the manner in which power is distributed and managed, benefiting utilities and consumers alike. But in order for those changes to take place, an unprecedented collaboration of inherently dissimilar engineering disciplines must first take place.

Although several pilots and demonstration projects have been unveiled around the world, the most prominent work on connecting the dots on smart grid implementation has come from engineers and utilities discussing the basic steps, the media outlet stated.

But even this has proven to be problematic, as the terms "network" and "reliability" have long been defined in different ways. In order for the smart grid to find success in bringing together power, communications, IT and other emerging technologies, industries and systems will need a visible degree of unification in the implementation's nascent stages.

SUBNET Solutions Inc. has addressed many of those compatibility issues with its Unified Grid Intelligence, which approaches interoperability through a holistic approach to real-time integration of intelligent systems used by utilities.

The solutions provider works to allow several different Intelligent Electronic Devices that have been installed on substations or transmission and distribution systems to "speak" to a wide array of utility business computer-based management systems that are in use by the corporate enterprise.

The need for different systems to not only communicate but do so effectively led to the creation of the IEEE 2030 – IEEE Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS), End-Use Applications, and Loads.

The new standard will be used by utilities and manufacturers to understand how to achieve interoperability from interface to interface across a smart grid platform.

SUBNET's substation automation and remote access are also on the forefront of smart grid implementation technologies, and can be used by utilities to greatly increase efficiency in power grid management.  

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