Utility Week

UTILITY Week 3rd June 2016

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8 | 3RD - 9TH JUNE 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Insight Sponsored Report: Internet of Things Get connected, stay secure A s the world moves closer to a low- carbon future, grids must change. One challenge: gearing up for the large increases in power flowing through their net- works at peak times, as customers switch on heat pumps and charge their electric vehicles. The traditional approach would be to reinforce the network's capacity with more and larger cables. But smarter network management is now oen a better alterna- tive – allowing networks to enjoy regulatory rewards while avoiding capital outlay. Under a UK government-funded project dubbed Falcon (Flexible Approaches for Low Carbon Optimised Networks), UK regional DNO Western Power Distribution partnered with Cisco's Connected Grid team to find out, building a smart 11kV network in and around Milton Keynes to investigate how different techniques for low-voltage network manage- ment might work in practice. Key to the project: an extensive IP-based wireless WiMAX network to collect data and control the power system using large vol- umes of grid-connected devices. Securely connecting assets at a control centre, nine primary substations, and 200 low-voltage distribution substations, the smart network – built from Western Power Distribution's network monitoring and man- agement devices, connected by Cisco routers, switches, and firewalls – enabled the com- pany's engineers to test six approaches to network management in a low-carbon world, using real-life data not previously available. Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT), a technology that uses the Internet to con- nect not just people and their computers, but also enables intelligent devices – sensors, micro-controllers and embedded computers installed in equipment, for instance – to talk to other intelligent devices and computers. According to analyst firm Gartner Group, a thirty-fold increase in such Internet-con- nected smart devices can be expected by 2020, with the overall size of the IoT likely to reach 26 billion installed units by 2020, up from 0.9 billion just five years ago. And utilities – as well as end-users and utility-related equipment manufacturers – are among the industries regarded as likely to be at the forefront of those using IoT tech- nology to lower costs, improve reliability and energy efficiency, acquire and distribute information, deliver better customer service, deliver on their digitisation objectives, and build new business models. "There's going to be an explosion in the number of connected devices within the energy system, all the way from power gen- eration to end devices installed within busi- nesses and consumers' homes," says Roger Hey, future networks manager at Western Power Distribution. "We're already see- As interest grows in utility applications of the Internet of Things, Utility Week partners with Intel/Cisco to understand what benefits companies should look for and what security considerations come hand in hand. Falcon project One of the key benefits is that it is an enabler for IP connected elements – so virtually any modern equipment can be interfaced to the network. This permits, for example, HTTP access to local monitor and control utilities, such as was deployed at the Falcon Energy storage sites. It also has a significant throughput/bandwidth – 10MBPS is considerably in excess of current radio capacity. Critical to the success of Western Power Distribution's recent Falcon project, conducted with Ofgem innovation funding, was the establishment of an extensive WiMAX based telecommunications system in Milton Keynes. The system was installed in partnership with Cisco key and included: • 8 Core Backhaul Base Stations collocated at Primary Substations operating at 3.5 GHz • 190 WiMAX end-nodes operating on 1.4 GHz deployed at the Falcon 11kV secondary substations • 180 square km coverage of the greater Milton Keynes area both urban and rural • Continuous Operation now for over 2 years • Throughput – Max 10MBPS, nominal operation under typical Falcon load for the indicated substations 4-5MBPS • Based on IP network connectivity Utility Week in association with

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