Communications Infrastructure for Today’s Utility

 

3/1/2020

8 a.m.-noon

Fee: $375

Instructors:

  • Jim Weikert, Lead Utility Automation Consultant, Power System Engineering, Inc.
  • Ken Cooper, Senior Utility Automation Consultant, Power System Engineering, Inc.

This course provides an unbiased perspective of communications technologies for utility field applications such as SCADA, DA, DER, AMI, and others. We will provide an overview of the various communication technologies used at utilities across the county and separate real trends from vendor hype. We will discuss the typical application-level requirements, and review the various alternative communications technologies and potential vendors. We will explore throughput and latency, reliability, coverage, channel planning, NERC-CIP compliance, cyber security, and networking equipment. Discussion covers benefits, risks, and costs of each viable technology, including:

  • Fiber optics (ADSS, OPGW, carrier lease) and dark fiber leases for backbone
  • Fiber broadband initiatives and how to prepare your backbone for a broadband
  • Licensed and unlicensed point-to-point microwave trends for backbone and substations
  • How software defined radios operate and how does that affect utilities
  • A cellular update. The latest status on 3G retirement, 4G-LTE usage and 5G rollout plans
  • IP & MPLS Networking for distribution coops and G&Ts
  • Licensed FAN narrowband/broadband at 220 MHz, 450 MHz, 700 MHz, and 900 MHz
  • Impact of DER on your communication system needs
  • Pros/cons and design requirements for using AMI as the backhaul for DA and DER applications
  • The latest trend in software defined networks (SDN) and right-sizing your network to your utility
  • Cyber security tools for OT networks

Intended audience:

  • Communications personnel
  • Operations personnel
  • IT professionals (that design and maintain the Operational Technology (OT) communication networks)

 

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