Page 17 - North American Clean Energy November/December 2018 Issue
P. 17

 Enhancing Sensing with LPFAN
The advent of IoT has brought many new standards-based, low-power, field-area- networking sensors, using connectivity standards including ZigBee, Thread, Bluetooth and WiSUN. The sensors are easy to install; they scavenge power from the power line, making them highly economical to deploy.
IIoT Gateways provide connectivity
to these devices, and the ability to convert the sensor data to legacy protocols, enabling modern cloud-based connectivity. This allows gateways to incrementally add new sensing solutions to existing monitoring systems.
Leveraging DER to the Cloud
As complexity of the distributed grid continues to expand, there is a need to
be able to manage many more devices, and define methods by which utility automation systems can securely discover, request, and manage resources on the grid. The need to rapidly scale is creating opportunities to monitor and control the grid using cloud-based application.
But the modern cloud speaks a different language from most grid legacy systems and devices. What has been needed is
a way to translate legacy systems to the cloud, as well as communicate with existing back-end systems, without disrupting existing operations. Not only are IIOT application gateways able to connect to cloud-based infrastructure, but they share real-time data and analytics with cloud-based applications.
Enhancing Grid Security
Using legacy protocols for existing grid monitoring lacks robust cyber security, and is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Application gateways can minimize legacy attack surface by locally polling the grid asset, limiting access of the data to systems using well-vetted, open standard-based security methodologies. In addition, application gateways support the ability to update and patch the security, to reduce physical and cyber vulnerabilities.
More Flexible, Secure and Cost-Efficient Smart Grids These new application gateways help DERs move from legacy and proprietary solutions, to open and standardized web- based solutions that enable sharing of data across the enterprise, without abandoning the infrastructure already in place.
They provide many features that simplify the development of edge applications by reducing the time to create and integrate them, thereby reducing development time from months or years, to weeks (or even days). This enables innovative edge applications to be created and rapidly integrated to existing infrastructure and IIoT applications
Adding new line sensors to existing legacy devices on proprietary wireless networks brings tremendous value for DER grids, as well as legacy devices taken to the cloud for remote configuration, management and field force operations. Such gateways enable flexibility, security, and high cost-efficiencies within DER grids.
John Geiger is Vice President Business Development at Machfu, which connects data to the cloud and legacy enterprise systems for business analytics..
North American Clean Energy

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