Tuesday, October 28, 2008

700Mhz..The Frequency For Energy Efficiency?

I've discussed how I think the smart meter will be The Next PC.

Smart meters give energy consumers the ability to better manage their individual power consumption. It is the management of energy consumption by individuals that will bring one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in the world under control.

These "mini computers" will need to be connected to the Net continuously,

The question is....Who or what will be the service provider for them?

Data and energy-consumption choices are being offered to consumers like never before.

Utilities are investing in smart meters and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) at a rapid pace. Engineering giants are partnering with smart grid start ups.

Utilities are deploying smart meter technology at a rapid rate to avoid the difficulty of building and permitting new power plants, to prepare for impending carbon regulation and more importantly because managing electricity use at a granular level opens up new business opportunities with customers.

Efficiency gains achieved by upgrading to a smarter grid from a conventional one would be like switching from a typewriter to a word-processor.

The smart grid is not “one” product, but rather, a solution suite of products and software technologies improving the grid’s overall performance. Thomas Friedman calls it the "Energy Internet".

As the Smart Grid grows, with digital devices (meters, relays, switches, routers, circuits) sending out more and more data, unlicensed spectrum could be the Achilles heel of your communication backbone.

In order for this data to be accurate, it has to be delivered over the Net without latency.

The real problem is that utilities have no dedicated spectrum.

700 MHz spectrum, a former television frequency, can carry between 20-25 miles without relays and requires less power to carry the signal (approximately 1250 sq miles per base station.)

Arcadian Networks provides “last mile” wireless carrier services to the energy sector (electric, water, and gas utilities and oil and gas companies). The company’s 700 MHz licensed spectrum delivers a converged IP network with voice and data communications for fixed and mobile applications.

The real-time broadband communications platform reduces operational costs, improves resiliency, and transforms electric grids into efficient “smart grids” and oil fields into optimized “smart fields”.


Anonymous said...

You mention "The real problem is that utilities have no dedicated spectrum". One vendor of Smart Meters (Sensus Metering Systems) does have a dedicated spectrum. Utilities that go with Sensus can use the power of the FCC (and Industry Canada) to "clean up" any interference on their spectrum.

Anonymous said...

Smart grid communications (AMI, DA, SCADA, etc.) often need a fair amount of bandwidth and low latency. What data speeds can Arcadian and Sensus support?

Anonymous said...

Each base station is configured with up to three 250 kHz sectorized channel pairs (downstream, upstream). Each downstream channel will broadcast a payload of up to 1 megabit/second (mbps) from the base station across a focused 120 degree antenna aperture and each upstream can receive a payload of up to 600 kilobits/second from the remote devices (AMI, SmartGrid, other connection points). This is a constant, ‘always-available' Ethernet framed data rate. The Arcadian Networks hardware platform is as forward looking as is possible today, relative to spectral efficiency, using dense modulations (16 and 64 QAM) and basis standards of Ethernet framing and control. Because Arcadian Networks’ platform utilizes a highly manageable TDMA scheduler in the upstream, the data flow required for each remote connection is accommodated via a 'request-grant' process that could allow a service to forward several hundred kilobit/second bursts until its payload is satisfied. This architecture is efficient relative to time/data by minimizing the number of sub 64 byte packets in the network. Latency is managed through QoS and can be <90ms