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Industrial Ethernet Book 104

Technology transported over the same Ethernet network together with protection, control and video surveillance data. Designing modern utility networks Most utilities today have a mix of conventional copper point-to-point wiring and copper or fiber Ethernet networks. Many have yet to begin the convergence journey. Therefore, network design and strategy becomes a critical element. As equipment nears end of life, replacement units must be evaluated based on the role they will play in the digital substation. It is smarter and cheaper in the long run to invest more in network routers and switches that are future-proof and will facilitate the network convergence. Massive deployment of digital substation technology is expected to start in the next few years, so utilities should prepare. Here are some of the top requirements for the Ethernet switches and routers required as part of the digital substation. Reliability & lifecycle Evaluate Ethernet switches based on their level of reliability and their ability to operate without failure for a period of up to 15 years. One of the goals of the digital substation is the elimination of time-consuming manual maintenance routines. Therefore, equipment must be highly reliable, capable of selfdiagnostics, capable of being monitored by asset management systems and must operate without required periodic maintenance. Seamless interoperation The selection process must take into account the ability of equipment to interoperate with other applications and equipment. This includes future standards, networking technologies and protocols. Legacy applications, analogbased systems and proprietary protocols need to be phased out and replaced by modern international standards. Higher bandwidth It would be the wrong strategy to motivate purchasing decisions only based on today´s bandwidth needs. Just as bandwidth requirements have steadily risen over the past decade, that trend can be expected to continue for the foreseeable future. In fact, bandwidth needs are expected to skyrocket as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) gathers steam. The IIoT expands the volume of data on the network by several orders of magnitude. Large amounts of sensors operating within a substation and in the substation equipment will collect and transmit data to be analyzed in real time by utility systems. Modern data analytics systems will turn this raw data into actionable intelligence and will enrich the organizational decision making processes, will facilitate predictive and preventive maintenance, as well as grid optimization. Port density Another area requiring a broader look is the device port density. Networking equipment should offer the greatest number of options. In the interim, Ethernet switches and routers must provide wide selection of PoE, copper and fiber Ethernet ports. Note that modern protection relays and merging units are gradually being equipped with Gigabit ports. Network switches that aggregate traffic from multiple protection bays will need to support high Gbit/s port density, with even higher data rates looming on the horizon. To futureproof any substation a 10 Gbit/s substation backbone network must be considered. Precise time synchronization Even if older synchronization systems remain in use, IEEE 1588 is destined to take over sooner or later. It’s prudent to replace older units as they reach end of life with IEEE 1588-enabled gear, rather than suddenly have to replace everything at once when the inevitability of the move to the new protocol becomes apparent. Hardware flexibility, therefore, is essential to enable various substation architectures and topologies. Traffic prioritization The digital substation demands prioritization of critical application data flows. With so many data feeds and IIoT-enabled sensors flooding data into the network, factors such as grid stability, service to consumers and utility profitability have to go to the front of the queue. Data traffic from non-critical applications must be throttled back when high priority packets appear on the network and rapid action is required. Cyber security Utilities are increasingly targeted by hackers and cyber-criminals. Regardless of the state of digitalization and the number of existing analog systems that are not connected to the Internet, no utility can stand aloof from cyber risk. All it takes is one person opening a compromised email or file and the entire network is exposed. Newly introduced equipment, therefore, must be implemented with adequate security safeguards. Performance in harsh conditions All substation equipment must be capable of meeting current performance requirements with enough headroom for expected future traffic and bandwidth expansion. Even under extreme environmental conditions such as high levels of electromagnetic interference, vibration, shock, humidity, pollution, extreme cold or hot temperatures, the digital substation has no room for component or equipment failure. By preferring rugged rated networking components, a significant amount of truck rolls, maintenance effort, repairs and failures can be eliminated. Maintenance-free operation Utility-grade networking equipment should be designed in a way to minimize maintenance. The goal of a modern digital substation is to reduce manual workload and minimize operating expenses related to traditional maintenance tasks. Condition monitoring that takes advantage of a vast network of IoT sensors can centralize maintenance, detect the beginning stages of component failure and dispatch technicians to install replacements to minimize unscheduled downtime. Enhanced diagnostics By digitizing equipment and installing IoT sensors in the substation yard, it is not just maintenance that can be centralized. As well as monitoring asset health, operational decisions can be made with more certainty as they are based on real-time data feeds and in-depth analytics. In addition, the IoT-enabled digital utility gains the ability to obtain, analyze, and predict electricity use. This allows it to enhance consumer experiences by ensuing the lights stay on while maintaining the highest levels of efficiency. Hardware flexibility The communications network for digital substations must have hardware flexibility to accommodate the various types of substation architectures and topologies. . Products such as the Ruggedcom RST2228 from Siemens are building blocks for digital substations. These switches can interoperate with almost any intelligent substation equipment on the market, and offer high density ports with 10 GBit/s uplinks to handle ever growing amounts of data. Such equipment is already enabling the digitalization of thousands of substations worldwide. To ease the transition to the digital substation, they include field replaceable media modules. This means that a utility can utilize these units and continue to operate on copper based Ethernet until it is ready to change to fiber optic. At that point, the switch can remain in place, the copper Ethernet media module can be removed and replaced by a fiber optic Ethernet media module. A benefit of such communications module replacement in the switch is that fiber optic cabling can operate reliably over far longer distances. As a result, the substation will be able to reduce the number of networking devices required. This greatly lowers the cost of deploying an Ethernet network. Mila Mironova, Siemens PD PA, Process Automation. 13 2.2018 industrial ethernet book


Industrial Ethernet Book 104
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