Shared on October 21, 2011 written by Sierra Wireless via Sierra Wireless
Browse through any news media today, and you're likely to find a headline about the "Smart Grid." By building end-to-end, two-way communications across every element of the power transmission and distribution infrastructure, energy suppliers aim to deliver energy more efficiently and better manage consumption. To make this vision a reality, however, suppliers need up-to-the-minute infrastructure intelligence, and the ability to remotely monitor and control equipment across the grid.
Energy suppliers have long employed such communications and telemetry systems in the energy grid in the form of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Indeed, the SCADA systems to provide rudimentary monitoring and control functions of remote power grid equipment appeared in the 1930s. More recently, suppliers around the globe have been modernizing their SCADA systems, transitioning from closed, analog connections to digital, Internet Protocol (IP)-based systems.
As energy suppliers update SCADA systems, many are also reexamining the communications media those systems employ. Yesterday's SCADA systems relied almost exclusively on analog phone lines. Today, most suppliers use wireless wide-area network (WWAN) communications for at least some segments of the grid. And, the use of public cellular networks in SCADA applications grows each year.
This paper discusses the role of cellular communications in SCADA systems. It provides an overview of the areas of the power distribution system where wireless technologies can be used and discusses the benefits they can provide.
Finally, the paper examines the requirements and best practices for wireless communications supporting critical transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Keywords: SCADA Systems
Citation: Sierra Wireless. SCADA Systems: Sierra Wireless Whitepaper. In via Sierra Wireless. Retrieved October 21, 2011, from http://www.sierrawireless.com.