Utility Solutions!

Smart Grid

Support Faster Incident Response

Improve service restoration and outage management through improved communications

Smart Grid – Field Area Network

In today’s global energy industry, utilities require cost-effective, time-efficient rollout of substation and operational

communications networks. With growing investment in grid modernization, new solutions are needed to help

engineers implement communication capabilities, assure compliance with rapidly changing regulatory standards,

and plan for future needs. Tricom Networks has partnered with Cisco with the Connected Grid Design Suite (CGDS) to support electrical and operational engineers as they design, configure, and monitor distributed communications networks capable of enabling next-generation use cases today. The Design Suite helps utilities to both implement new automated substations and maintain and retrofit existing facilities. Utilities can:

● Improve reliability, security, and compliance
● Leverage their existing knowledge base
● Lower deployment and ongoing maintenance costs
● Enable faster project execution

The Challenges of Automating Communications for Operational Networks

Today’s large-scale automation projects are witnessing an explosion of IP-enabled devices within the substation to facilitate large-scale automation projects. The use of IP provides scale, security, and manageability at a reduced cost on a single network, replacing a variety of application-centric networks and labor-intensive proprietary solutions. At the same time, deploying smart grid communications networks requires a new skill set, and utility operations teams rarely have IT experts on staff.

Substations generally encompass a variety of equipment and intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) from numerous vendors. Although each vendor solution provides software for managing its own devices, there has not been a good solution for managing configuration and design across a wide range of IEDs and IP-enabled devices such as switches and routers. As a result, these proprietary solutions require time and effort to manage and, frequently, more customization than standards-based solutions. This can lead to reduced reliability and increased compliance risk for regulatory, security, and corporate requirements.

A critical challenge for engineers is that it can be difficult to visualize the communications network in relation to the automated substation, and to assure that IEDs are connected and communicating with each other securely and as expected. They are also challenged to identify where IP-enabled devices are connected to the substation network, and to identify their purpose.

If you would like to receive more information, please contact our sales teams at sales@tricomnetworks.com