Energy management: Modern communications technology is the best choice for power grid Teleprotection

Energy management: Modern communications technology is the best choice for power grid Teleprotection

Content Dam Up En Articles 2015 10 Energy Management Modern Communications Technology Is The Best Choice For Power Grid Teleprotection Leftcolumn Article Thumbnailimage File

By Alcatel-Lucent

Energy management: Power utilities rely on reliable, fast and secure transport of mission-critical traffic to monitor, analyze, control and maintain the grid. Of all the legacy applications utilities rely on, Teleprotection has the most stringent requirements – particularly in terms of delay.

Many power utilities have deployed a new operational communications network to carry both new and legacy mission-critical traffic, both to optimize operational efficiency and minimize costs and to be prepared for the introduction of future applications. IP/MPLS has emerged as the technology choice for such a converged network. An IP/MPLS network fulfills all requirements needed for such convergence, including network resiliency, quality of service (QoS), security and manageability.

Perhaps most importantly, it provides an extremely low-latency solution, which is key to the successful support of Teleprotection. An article recently published in Engerati entitled ”Transitioning teleprotection and SCADA to IP/MPLS” and associated webinar highlight the specific performance of teleprotection support over IP/MPLS using relay equipment from a range of vendors in utility networks and test labs. For example, in one network a utility is realizing latencies from 5.3 ms to as low as 1.1 ms for a 4-leg 220kV 50Hz current differential relay solution depending on the configured jitter buffer and payload sizes.

Similarly, IP/MPLS solutions operating live in the field utilizing microwave radio transport for paths that lack fiber are also delivering the required performance. For example, a delay of 14 ms is being realized in a deployed 13-hop microwave path solution.

Experience with field deployments, coupled with extensive lab testing shows that it is critical – during the network design process – to focus on the jitter buffer and payload sizes. These impact both latency and utilized bandwidth, and are critical to delivering the required performance. So it is no longer a question of whether the required performance can be achieved, but rather how to leverage the best practices in network design.

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