Power outages can cost cities millions of dollars per minute, so the job of the Utility company is crucial. Tait has been working alongside Utilities for the last 50 years, to help linesmen stay safe and connected, and keep the lights on.
Electricity is critical to our way of life. According to a report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: on average, electricity customers lose US$0.07 per Customer Minute of Interruption (CMI), $21/CMI for small and medium businesses, and $710/CMI for large commercial businesses. In real terms, it costs cities millions of dollars per minute of power outage, so the importance of utility companies preventing outages and responding quickly to problems is crucial to so many industries.
By the Numbers: EA Networks and Enel
Tait supports utilities of all sizes. Let’s take a look at two utilities at opposite ends of the spectrum. EA Networks in New Zealand manages 1,990 miles (3,200 kilometers) of distribution lines, while the European Enel Group manages 1.37 million miles (2.2 million kilometers), in 31 countries around the world.
EA Networks is an electricity distribution company based in Ashburton, New Zealand. They own and operate distribution of electricity and fiber internet to 20,000 customers.
Tait supported EA Networks’ migration from their outdated analog network to a six-site DMR Tier 3 network, upgrading their fleet of 80 vehicles with Mobile & Portable Radios. EA linesmen frequently deal with harsh weather conditions to resolve outages, and use this network to make individual & group calls, alongside monitoring status messaging for outages and routine maintenance. These radios ensure that EA Networks’ mobile workforce can operate safely in the field, effectively communicate, and be located easily should an incident occur. Tait network monitoring services, accompanied by monthly reporting on the health of their comms network, and provide assistance where it’s needed.
Tait provided 500 Distribution Automation terminals to EA Networks. These terminals were installed on electrical poles around their district to constantly monitor the status of a site and report faults and status metrics to the control room; improving grid readability and speeding up fault identification for faster restoration of service. Trucks can be rolled out to the correct site, as soon as a fault is automatically reported, saving time and money.
To increase the connectivity of its workforce, EA Networks installed TAIT AXIOM Mobile radios into their vehicles, providing extra connectivity by creating a mobile vehicle-area-network that enabled broadband, LMR, Cellular and WiFi. The ability to make and receive calls in as many places as possible directly impacted the safety of workers and the efficiency of their operations. By choosing TAIT AXIOM Mobile, EA Networks expanded their coverage area to now also include cellular networks.
“We need to make sure we’re using the latest technology and best practices to deliver the best outcomes for our customers. Tait is a long-term partner that can help us achieve that, thanks to their expertise and international experience”
– Brendon Quinn, Network Manager, EA Networks.
From small regional utilities to international operations, Tait has experience working with utilities of all sizes.
The Enel Group is made up of nearly 70,000 people from around the world who work with a diversified portfolio of power stations including: hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, solar, thermoelectric, nuclear and other renewable sources of power.
Enel Spain required an advanced tele control system based on open standards, where different devices can operate on the same network to match the various regulatory environments Enel operates in. The solution needed to operate within the existing 12.5khz VHF and UHF band across 150 sites due to varying demands in the Enel group. The solution needed to address geographical concerns and enable interoperability between contractors and different teams.
Tait proposed DMR Tier 3, a market-leading open standards based 12.5khz communications solution that can operate in a wide range of globally applicable VHF and UHF frequencies. This was the exact solution Enel Group were looking for. The network upgrade featured maximum security AES 256 encryption, important for any organization to stop the reception of unintended network users. Expansion to voice services over the DMR Tier 3 system that included Tait portable and mobile terminals, a PTToC solution and TAIT AXIOM Mobile. Alongside 8,000 Tait Distribution Automation terminals, with an expandable capacity of up to 50,000 terminals if needed.
With the implementation of Tait DMR Tier 3, Enel has achieved their targeted goal for improved grid reliability and resilience to over 99%. This has improved the service quality for their customers and reduced operational costs through better visibility of and remote access to endpoints. Expansion of their data services is in progress with an additional 5,000 Distribution Automation terminals to be implemented alongside a DMR tier 3 network addition of voice services. This is set to improve the productivity and safety of field personnel, especially lone workers.
The scale of Enel and EA’s distribution networks are vastly different, but they each provide their respective customers with a critical service. Electricity is a modern necessity that enables hospitals to operate, public services to run, and houses to be heated. Tait utilities solutions help keep the lights on around the world.
Learn more about how Tait can help utilities providers keep linesmen safe, and keep the lights on.
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