Future-proofing Substations with Ethernet Technologies

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Nine steps to help develop a future-proof infrastructure for your substation

BY TIM WALLAERT, Belden

Substations with Ethernet technologies: the convergence of industrial Ethernet technologies, Smart Grid practices and the increased need for security has provided an opportunity for power utilities to rethink their operating strategies. The results are innovative ways to integrate the new and the old in order to position themselves for the future. The substation is at the heart of this change. Whether building a new high-voltage substation or undergoing an upgrade, you will benefit from these nine steps to help develop a future-proof infrastructure for your substation.

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Let us assume that most, if not all, of your substations have equipment that is monitored by a mix of serial and Ethernet protocols. Smart Grid technologies will continue to drive new initiatives that provide flexibility, choice, and savings for end users and power plants. Industrial Ethernet is virtually a requirement for a Smart Grid system. Here is a simple a plan for migrating to an industrial Ethernet-based system. For decades, much of the networking equipment installed in power utilities has used serial connectivity, and much of it still has useful life. Integrate existing serial equipment into your industrial Ethernet network. It is simple with the use of appropriate networking products. Furthermore, actively replace old or obsolete serial devices with Ethernet-ready devices at a pace that works for you.

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