The installation and servicing of any product is vital to its success, and solar energy is no different. Much progress has been made with solar power, and this issues' feature article by Utility Products' contributing editor, Paul Hull, discusses some of the advances that have been made. "Daily Energy: Installation of Solar Energy has Improved and Gained Deserved Respect" presents what is involved in installing systems and why utilities will lead the way in larger solar energy projects.
Another feature article, "Information and Communication Technologies: Balancing Current Needs With Emerging Trends" by Robert Tarimo, addresses how wireless growth isn't a bad thing for cable. As more towers go up, more cable is needed to connect those towers. And, as Tarimo points out, "fiber to the antenna (FTTA) is bringing new cable designs to the industry where power and telecom come together to provide data and power to tower top antennas.
This month's issue also brings you a great lineup of product focus articles. "Raising the Standard for Basic Test Sets," by George Jang, addresses how today's everyday test sets offer more features to meet the expanded needs of field technicians. Jang considers the importance of visual presentation, multi-function necessities, comfort and durability, and more.
"Five Ways to Protect Your Communications Network," by Mati Epstein, discusses cybersecurity, an important area of concern that utilities must know how to address. Epstein discusses how to insulate the power operational network from outside contact through firewalls and encrypted virtual private networks, taking the control plane out of your network, minimizing data plane attacks, authenticating sources and countering malware threats. "Operational power utility networks face many potential cyber threats," Epstein reports. "Each defense strategy presents its own vulnerabilities, so a network can only be truly protected through multiple defenses at multiple layers."
Two other product focus safety articles are "Establishing Safety With Traffic Control at Utility Work Sites," which outlines the importance of establishing a safe job site before the project begins and maintaining the highest safety level throughout the project, and "Protecting Electric Utility Workers From Winter Injuries," which offers a solution to the risk of falling on snow and ice.
Another great product focus article, "Wood Pole Life Extension and the Case for Capitalization," investigates funding a portion of your annual wood pole inspection and treatment program with capital dollars. The article addresses how applying remedial treatments to wood poles significantly extends service life, demonstrating a substantial addition or betterment to the pole plant and meeting capitalization requirements under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accounting guidelines.
And "Solar Now on Half a Million Homes and Growing" outlines how solar continues to grow, providing more homes, businesses, schools and government entities with clean, reliable, affordable electricity.
An upcoming event you won't want to miss is the seventh annual Utility Products Expo (UPE), which will be co-located with DistribuTECH. Held February 3-5, 2015, in San Diego, it will feature a wide range of products and services for the utility industry. For more UPE 2015 information, please visit www.utilityproductsexpo.com.