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January 31, 2011

Smart Grid: BC Hydro Selects RuggedCom's WiMax Solution

By Anil Sharma
TMCnet Contributor

BC Hydro has selected RuggedCom’s RuggedMAX WiMAX (News - Alert) solution for smart grid deployment.

RuggedMAX is the world’s first utility grade mobile WiMAX platform designed for the harsh environment of the electric substation by complying to standards such as IEEE 1613 and IEC (News - Alert) 61850-3.

RuggedMAX supports a unique standalone network architecture, which can operate without the need for an ASN gateway, thereby reducing end-to-end latency and improving system reliability.

Officials with RuggedCom said that the company has been selected as a supplier for BC Hydro’s WAN Pilot project.

The Pilot project will run through March 2011, and successful deployment will extend the supply agreement for an additional two to three years.

According to company officials, BC Hydro is deploying the WiMAX WAN field trial in the Burnaby/Richmond area and the Gulf Islands of the Lower Mainland in BC.

Company officials said that the purpose of the field trial is to verify the suitability of WiMAX technology for BC Hydro’s applications, including distribution automation, such as the control and monitoring of reclosers, transformers and capacitor banks; site remote monitoring for alarms and video surveillance; SCADA; LAN connectivity and smart metering.

“BC Hydro continues to be a thought leader in the proliferation of communication technologies for grid automation applications,” said Elik Jaeger, vice president of RuggedWIRELESS, in a statement.

Jaeger said that the company is delighted that BC Hydro chose to work with RuggedCom on this key Smart Grid infrastructure pilot project and looks forward to successful completion of the field trial and the future roll out over the BC Hydro service territory. 

The pilot project is a multi-site, live, outdoor deployment and is expected to last three months. The project will be deployed in the 1.8 GHz frequency band, set aside by Industry Canada for electric power applications.

Earlier this month, RuggedCom, a designer and manufacturer of rugged communications networking solutions for mission-critical applications in harsh environments, was awarded a contract from National Grid to supply project management, equipment and services to implement a Remote Access Monitoring & Management solution for 400-plus electric and gas substations in the U.K.

Want to learn more about Smart Grid technologies? Then be sure to attend the Smart Grid Summit, collocated with TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO East, taking place Feb 2-4, 2011, in Miami. The Smart Grid Summit is the first event of its kind to address the unprecedented opportunity coming from the intersection of two core building blocks of our economy – utilities and communications. This unique event is based on the joint vision of TMC and Intelligent Communications Partners (News - Alert) to create a new forum for and actively engage an entire community. To register, click here.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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