EnergyAustralia has inked a deal with Cisco for the supply of communications equipment to monitor and pinpoint faults, and to remotely restore power.
Under the agreement, approximately 200 substations in the network will be fitted with switches and routers designed to withstand temperatures of up to 65 degrees.
EnergyAustralia managing director, George Maltabarow, said quicker fault detection and remote restoration through intelligent analysis of faults was one of the major benefits of a smart grid.
“We’ve asked Cisco for communications equipment tough enough for very hot and humid conditions in substations as part of our transformation of the electricity network into a smart grid,” Maltabarow said in a statement.
“The new communications architecture includes up to two cyber security perimeter devices to protect each substation as the grid becomes smarter and more connected.”
The upgrade is part of a larger transformation of the electricity grid into a two-way network that claims to be greener, more interactive and more reliable.
In addition, the new system in major substations allows the utility to trial a range of other uses, including health monitoring of critical supply and protection equipment, mobile computing for field staff, and managing an increased number of renewable power generators built at the street level of the network.
“It gives us new ways to connect a range of devices inside substations, such as data loggers and CCTV, at the same time as identify, isolate, diagnose and repair faults in a smarter, faster way,” he said.
“EnergyAustralia is building 10 major substations every year in one of Australia’s biggest infrastructure programs and they all need high-speed communications systems to give us visibility and control at a level unimaginable ten years ago.”
As part of the agreement, EnergyAustralia will upgrade its communications systems inside 25 substations central to Smart Grid, Smart City demonstration project allowing better monitoring and control of the critical systems inside the facilities.