Improving the efficiency and reliability of distribution networks remains a primary goal for electric utilities. Silver Spring’s next-generation hardware and software-based Distribution Automation (DA) solutions provide utilities with more options for meeting that goal. We offer compelling, standards-based DA solutions, leveraging our own and our partners’ products. Bridges and embedded communications modules enable RF-based communication with mission critical DA equipment such as reclosers and feeder switches, as well as capacitor bank controllers and line sensors to support secure IP-based command and control by SCADA systems. With Silver Spring’s sophisticated DA offerings, smart utility networks can realize benefits from a broad range of devices and services, while integrating distributed energy resources and microgrids.
Intelligent grid sensors combine advanced sensing technologies, intelligent signal processing, and pervasive communications to provide the utility with a granular and real-time view of the distribution grid. Unlike the non-communicating faulted circuit indicators of the past, advanced grid sensors leverage ubiquitous communications to proactively send load and fault information to the distribution operations center. This enables operators to pinpoint the fault location without sending field crews to painstakingly patrol the circuit. The result is quicker problem resolution for faults and improved situational awareness of the distribution grid.
In addition to advanced fault detection and location, sensors provide data such as conductor temperature and circuit loading; information that’s invaluable when trying to understand if assets are over burdened. Back-office correlation of the data provides visibility into other grid-related performance issues, such as circuit balancing and theft detection. Advanced grid sensors are integrated with highly reliable and secure communications solutions to form a high-function, low-cost sensor network that delivers a significant and measurable impact on network performance and reliability.
Bridges are versatile RF-based communication devices that pair with reclosers, feeder switches, capacitor bank controllers and other distribution automation equipment to support low latency SCADA communications between the operations center and DA devices. With industry leading speed and capacity supporting bandwidth up to 2.4 Mbps and latency as low as 10 ms, our Bridges enable high-performance, reliable and secure transport pathways between DA devices and operations centers. Bridges provide additional flexibility with multiple connection options, including support for dual-band mesh, as well as wired connections such as serial Distributed Network Protocol 3 (DNP3), DNP3/IP over Ethernet, or mixed serial/ Ethernet.
Bridges deliver the performance, distributed intelligence and rapid integration necessary to address the most demanding critical infrastructure applications. Silver Spring’s solution delivers the range and throughput required to support sub-second DA polling for low latency applications, enabling utilities to achieve their goals of increased grid reliability, resiliency and efficiency, while providing redundancy and failover for increased reliability.