Utilities around the world are working on automating their distribution networks by replacing traditional meters with smart meters. Even though there are different vendors in the smart meter market, these vendors belong to two broad categories based on the approach they use to communicate with meters. The first category belongs to smart meters which use Power Line Communication (PLC) to transmit and receive all the data and configurations. The second category belongs to smart meters that use wireless protocols such as "802.15.4 / Zigbee" for communication. Both categories of meters communicate to an intermediate data collector, which backhauls the data to a central office using various WAN technologies such as GSM, CDMA, WiFi, and WiMAX.
Our solution to Distribution Automation networks using PLC
Dhyan's SmartMan based element manager allows utilities to monitor and manage the distribution automation network. These utilities have a few million smart meters that use "Power Line Communication" to transmit and receive data. This solution helps a utility manage the following functions from a single console:
- Monitor multiple meters and detect faulty equipment.
- Replace meters in the network in a seamless manner, ensuring that none of the billing- related information is missed out during replacement.
- Configure the display cycle periods for several meters in a single shot.
- Performance dashboards provide real-time health and performance status that includes meter readings, historical billing information, and power-quality data. These dashboards use the data collected from smart grid communication devices.
- Import asset information from various spreadsheets that utilities maintain.
- Automatic data collection allows a utility to avoid long delays caused by data gathering from different systems and departments.
Dhyan's solution to Distribution Automation networks using protocols like 802.15.4
The Dhyan SmartMan based element manager can be used by utilities to monitor and manage the distribution automation network. These utilities have smart meters that use wireless protocols like 802.15.4 or Zigbee for communication with data collectors. This solution has helped manage the following functions from a single console.
- Maximize asset performance by predicting and preventing smart grid equipment failure.
- Manage the endpoint asset details (such as firmware version, meter type, and chip details) of different manufacturers. These details are collected by polling data concentrator, collector, and communication nodes.
- HAN (In Home Displays, thermostats, Remote Appliance Controllers), NAN (data concentrators or collectors, smart meters, and repeater devices) and WAN equipment (wireless communication nodes and gateways) are automatically plotted in Google Maps to provide field deployment views. Using geo coordinates, utilities can easily direct repair crews to the exact location of an equipment failure.
- Pre-provision the WAN equipment to reduce the workload on field operators. For instance, perform the "IP assignment" automatically using the DHCP server for new communication devices when they are added to the network.
- Alert your team when the NAN network load goes beyond a limit by applying thresholds and assisting in the preventive maintenance of the smart grid network.
- Plot maps and links with the current communication status between endpoint nodes, communication nodes and WAN nodes by considering RSSI, LQI, and the success rate of a node.
- Identify the single-point-of-failure nodes, if any, by analyzing collected statistics.