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Global Study of Data Communications Usage Patterns and Plans in the Electric Power Industry: 2011-2015
Newton Evans, December 2011, Pages: 359
In the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2011, Newton-Evans Research Company conducted field research in order to learn the key issues of importance to utility telecommunications planners and operations officials, and to better understand the relationships between thevarious communications “point solutions” implemented over the years. This report describes the true status of telecommunications in today's electric utilities, looking at the differences among electric utilities by type, by region and by size. Expenditures for telecommunications in the world's electric power utility community are discussed. Where are utilities likely to be looking for communications solutions that will provide an enabling platform to more cost-effectively move forward with smart grid initiatives?
The findings reported in this study are based on a global research survey sent out by Newton-Evans in autumn 2011. One hundred and two utility officials involved in Operations Planning and Design responded to the survey. These utilities combined serve over 153 million end use customers globally; 30 million in the U.S. alone.
Many of the survey questions were submitted by clients for the study series. Newton-Evans has conducted research studies of all aspects of grid instrumentation, automation and control systems for more than 30 years. Most studies contain significant insights into the use and plans of communications technologies, protocols and methodologies.
The survey-based findings in Volume 1 discuss the following:
- customer-site residential/commercial application needs
- connecting smart meters to the communications network
- use of PLC in rural areas due to wireless coverage issues
- PLC and wireless mesh networks vs. broadband communications and next-generation cellular technologies such as LTE, WiFi or WiMAX
- backhaul information communications for AMI
- real-time pricing and HAN (Home Area Network) information
- standardizing on the use of IP for SG communications
- communications technologies currently used for DA functionality, DA backhaul, SCADA
- communications network technologies being considered for DER, Demand Response, and Load Management
- use of commercial networks to supplement utility-owned networks
- interoperability, standardization, SLA's, early adoption and open protocols vs. the risk of technology obsolescence, synchrophasors
Volume 2 includes product information on these leading communications solutions providers: Aclara, Ambient, Amperion, Arcadian Networks, Cooper Power Systems, Current Technologies Inc., Datamatic, Echelon, Elster, Freewave, GE MDS, HughesNet, iDirect, Itron, Landis & Gyr, LBiSat, Sensus, Silver Spring Networks, SmartSynch, Tantalus, Trilliant, Z-Wave.
Also included in Volume 2 are almost 100 pages of recent communications infrastructure projects from electric, water, gas and oil pipeline utilities around the world – which vendors and technologies were chosen, and why?
Volume 3 sizes the market for electric power and telecommunications from the perspective of the $80 trillion world economy down to the level of turnkey projects at the energy industry level. This is also broken out into separate pieces of the pie for internet; equipment and software; transport services; and support services. Market shares for wireless and wireline technologies are estimated for 2014. Includes these sections:
- Market Overview
- Communications Usage Patterns, Trends, and Strategies
- Substation & SCADA Communications
- Synopsis of Other Related Newton-Evans Studies
*This is a three volume set
Volume 1 Table of Contents
1. For your customer-site residential/commercial application needs, what technology do/will you
2. How do you plan to connect your smart meters to your datacomm network?
3. In rural and low density areas are you forced to use PLC due to wireless coverage issues or do you
have another solution?
4. Do you expect to replace current PLC and/or wireless mesh networks with broadband
communications or next-generation cellular technologies such as LTE, WiFi or WiMAX?
5. For your AMI network, which do you currently use for backhaul information?
6. Do/will you require your AMI network to backhaul real-time pricing and/or other HAN (Home Area Network) information?
7. Do you support standardizing on the use of the internet protocol (IP) for all Smart Grid (SG) communications?
8. Which communications technologies do you use to provide DA functionality?
9A. Which one of these DA communications technologies has the dominant use at your utility?
9B. Reasons why a DA communications technology is dominant at this time
10. Which communication technologies do you use for DA backhaul?
11. Which one of these DA backhaul communication technologies has the dominant use at your utility?
11B. Reasons why a DA Backhaul technology is dominant at this time
12. Which DA communications network technology do you think will be dominant at your utility 3 years
13. Have you already, or do you plan to migrate the existing feeder automation communications
network to a newer wireless technology that allows for functionality like higher bandwidth, IP enabled radios and WiMax?
14. If you have plans to migrate the existing feeder automation communications network (or you have already), which wireless technology do/will you use?
15. Which communications network technologies are you using/considering to support the integration of Distributed Energy Resources into the grid?
16A. Are you using/considering communications technologies for your Demand Response/Load Management programs?
16B. Which communications network technologies are you using/considering for your Demand Response/Load Management programs?
17. Which communications technologies do you use to meet the needs of your SCADA system?
18. From the list above, which SCADA communications technology has the dominant use NOW at yourutility and which do you expect to be dominant 3 years from now?
Volume 2 Table of Contents
Part 1: Utility Communications Solutions Vendors
Cooper Power Systems
Current Technologies Inc.
Landis & Gyr
Silver Spring Networks
Part 2: Recent Utility Communications Projects Projects are organized by type of utility according to what services are provided, and then sorted alphabetically: first by Country, then by Company.
Electric and Gas
Electric, Water, Gas
Oil and Gas
Water and Electric
Volume 3 Table of Contents
Communications Usage Patterns, Trends, and Strategies
Substation & SCADA Communications
Synopsis of Other Related Newton-Evans Studies
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