Power management: Meter with cybersecurity protection upgrades for utilities, end-users

Energy management: Schneider Electric introduces PowerLogic ION 8640 meter with significant cybersecurity protection upgrades for utilities and end-users.

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Utility safety: Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, has announced the latest release of the PowerLogic ION 8650 socket meter that delivers the next generation of intelligent metering for electric utilities. The new ION 8650 meter V4.20 features significant upgrades targeted at reducing cyber security threats resulting in greater support for the latest NERC CIP cybersecurity standard. An “under glass” cellular modem option for remote data communications is also now available. Additional enhancements include extensive meter programing updates making setup faster, easier, and more flexible. The ION 8650 is the third generation of socket meters and is in use by hundreds of utilities throughout the U.S.

The ION 8650 meter V4.20 now provides greater cybersecurity protection to help both utilities and their end-users to safeguard critical infrastructure systems. With added port hardening, secure network addressing and a more robust password management utility, the ION 8650 defends against security threats and attacks to help maintain a reliable and safe smart grid infrastructure. Additionally, the new “under glass” cellular modem feature enables utilities to address the growing issue of obtaining communications links to allow for remote data acquisition of critical system information, such as billing data and power quality related events for reporting and notification.

Schneider Electric’s patented ION technology enables remarkable user programmability of the meters with a modular, flexible architecture, and therefore has the ability to easily and cost effectively transition to meet new requirements and adapt to changing industry needs. The ION 8650 has three levels of functionality, ION8650 A, B, and C, which allow users to easily maintain a single metering platform with multi-level feature sets, ensuring a customizable, cost-effective metering solution. The V4.20 update also enables users to easily upgrade their meters remotely from C to A feature set with a field upgrade kit that adds advanced power quality and high speed waveform capture analysis functionality.

The power of ION Technology is further demonstrated by the new meter program overhaul specifically developed for US utility companies in V4.20 making setup faster, easier, and more flexible by enabling a more intuitive workflow. Users can now save and load complete DNP and Modbus maps, build a library of load profile configurations and implement new “Framelets” to customize meter programming even further. This new template can also be pre-loaded from the factory at time of order.

“The grid is evolving right in front of us and with smart meters and grid infrastructure communication becoming more pervasive, the risk of hardware and software cyberattacks will only continue to grow for utilities and energy providers,” said Mark Feasel, vice president, Electric Utility Segment & Smart Grid, Schneider Electric. “With the latest enhancements to the ION 8650 meter, Schneider Electric is providing utilities with the most advanced and comprehensive metering solution that is proactively designed to thwart cyber-attacks and protect the grid today and in the future.”

The ION 8650 meter V4.20 enables utilities to comply with the latest NERC CIP standard Version 5, which is designed to protect the bulk power system against cybersecurity compromises that could lead to misoperation or instability. Utility Compliance represents significant progress in mitigating cyber risks to the grid.

Schneider Electric provides a unique, comprehensive suite of utility focused hardware and software solutions that extend from the Control Center to the Customer. The industry leading PowerLogic ION 8560 meter is part of that solution suite and can be deployed as a complete approach or integrated with third party solutions. With knowledge across the utility distribution system, Schneider Electric possesses the industry expertise and proven experience to get the most effective utilization from your power quality meters.

The ION 8650 meter V4.20 update is available as of June 2015.

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