As power plants and substations become more connected, the need for rugged networking equipment built to withstand tough conditions is amplified. The military has already gone through the growing pains, so utilizing technology designed to survive on the battlefield is a great option for power generators. Machined parts and stress-tested modules offer assurance that networks will be safe, secure, and reliable when deployed.
The unprecedented convergence of forces reshaping the electric power industry—from moderating demand and aging infrastructure to environmental mandates and the expansion of distributed energy resources—depends on flexible and robust grid and powerful internet protocol (IP)-based communication networks. The industry is evolving from a one-way system, where power flows from centralized generation stations to consumers, to a platform that can detect, accept, and control decentralized consumption and production assets so that power and information can flow as needed in multiple directions.
A big component of this digital transformation is the rapidly advancing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the development of sophisticated software that can take full advantage of massive volumes of data to make the grid smarter, greener, and more secure and reliable than ever. But as the number of intelligent devices that rely on the IP protocol for communications steadily increases, so too does the need for highly reliable and rugged networking devices that can withstand the tough environmental conditions found in substations and power plants.
Read more: Overcoming IIoT, Edge Networking Challenges