Utilities: Are Lengthy Power Outages Acceptable?

Everyone is impacted when electricity services are interrupted. Today, we have more technology than ever before in virtually every aspect of our life, and all of this depends on access to safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity. To support this, Tait offers operational Distribution Automation solutions that improve the management of power grid outages.

Download the Tait GridLink brochure today.

Imagine flipping a light switch, and the light doesn’t come on. This might be a minor inconvenience when you’re at home, but when it’s a light switch in a hospital’s trauma center emergency operating room it can quickly become an emergency situation.

Outages have multiple causes: weather, equipment failures and man-made. Over the past decades security, communication systems, transmission, distribution, and generation have improved, but our demand for electricity has increased too.

A Common Challenge all Utilities Face

Utilities communications must support a reliable, cost-effective and safe worker environment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. As Utilities re-evaluate their wireless communications options, decision-makers often ask: “How can I improve grid operations?”

To answer this question, it’s important to first acknowledge that while communications technologies have advanced, the challenges that Utilities face remain constant. Regardless of where they operate, every Utility faces three challenges:

  • Grid operations and outage restoration must be done safely – Utilities cannot endanger the men and women on their teams,
  • Power must be restored quickly to keep public services and businesses operating smoothly,
  • Regulators and customers demand cost-effective operations that pass savings to customers and investors.

Grid Visibility and Control

The diverse environments that many utilities operate across pose reliability and resilience challenges for their distribution network. Improving their grid visibility and control over their distribution network is a key priority. However, large parts of distribution grids remain off limits and are not visible or manageable due to the cost of connecting them.

That is until now: improving distribution grid operations with real-time remote monitoring and control of grid assets has become simple and affordable with our Tait GridLink solution, providing full featured digital data services and wide area data transport services.

Tait GridLink employs wide area, trunked digital radio coverage to deliver a Distribution Automation (DA) solution that is highly economic, reliable and secure, providing visibility and control of your entire grid.

Tait GridLink Solution Highlights

Tait GridLink builds on our Utility Critical Communications experience to provide extremely reliable and robust SCADA and Distribution Automation data communications, that we continue to develop and improve. We recently doubled the capacity of the Tait GridLink SCADA gateway, allowing the possibility to further expand the solution in the future.

Highlights of Tait GridLink include:

  • Improved Coverage
    Tait GridLink delivers affordable wide area coverage for suburban and rural networks – equivalent to analog radio systems.
  • Reliability and Resilience
    All infrastructure equipment is offered in redundant configurations to ensure business critical SCADA and DA communications continue to operate in the rare event of equipment failure.
  • Scalability
    It’s easy for a utility to deploy a small number of Tait GridLink data terminals and then gradually scale-up the solution, pole by pole, to a grid-wide system when required.
  • Ease of Integration
    Tait GridLink supports global SCADA communication standards and Tait has extensive experience integrating equipment from multiple vendors.
  • Securing Tait GridLink
    All SCADA communications are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access to your network, and access is restricted to authorized terminals using standard security authentication protocols.
  • Remote Management and Control
    Tait GridLink provides remote management and diagnostics facilities allowing console access to RTU / IED equipment, which removes the need for physical maintenance visits.
  • Detailed Communication System Reporting
    Tait GridLink systems monitor and provide detailed reports of system performance for both individual outstation and base station sites.
  • Industry standards
    Tait GridLink supports major SCADA communications standards, including DNP3 over both TCP/IP and serial, and IEC60870-5-101 and 104. Other communications protocols can be made available on request.

Tait GridLink Business Benefits

Tait GridLink provides utility managers with a layer of network intelligence that delivers both visibility and control over their grid, ensuring operational cost reductions, optimized energy usage, and improved grid reliability and resilience.

Operational Cost Reductions
With better grid visibility, utilities are able to more quickly isolate and resolve faults in less timeand  with fewer people, as well as limit the number and scale of any outages, resulting in operational cost reductions.

Optimized Energy Usage
Electricity grid control enables utilities to optimize Volt/VAR, which in turn improves power delivery effectiveness and management. With better usage management, it’s easier to realize your budgeted asset life cycles and avoid premature equipment failure or replacement.

Improved Grid Reliability and Resilience
Tait GridLink enhances the visibility and control of electricity distribution networks to help predict potential weaknesses and improve their grid reliability and resilience. Improved grid reliability and resilience will ensure better System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI) metrics, which in turn means better customer service and increased utility profits.

Find out how GridLink Benefits our Customers

Since implementing Tait GridLink, Spanish Utility ENEL has achieved their goal of 99% grid reliability and resilience, improved service quality and reduced operational costs. Check out our client story to find out more!

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