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2: Narrowband Wireless

SCADA for large population of substations sharing a narrowband wireless channel

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In the vicinity of the US borders, the FCC must consider international treaties when allocating frequencies. On the border with Canada a number of lines have been defined for coordination purposes. Utilities near the Canadian border may have difficulties acquiring frequencies north of Line A (

In the early 2000s, a utility on the Canadian border needed to deploy a load-reduction scheme to over 70 substations over a large area using wireless connectivity. The utility was only able to acquire two narrowband (6.25kHz) VHF channels for telemetry purposes, and at that time, the available radios were limited to 1200bps.
IGIN-EFS enabled the utility to deploy over 50 substations sharing one simplex channel and about 23 substations sharing the second simplex channel. The substations have SEL387 relays, SEL351 relays, Futura Meters, Beckwith Tap-Changers and other equipment. The Enterprise to Field System carries a large population of SCADA points for every remote site (analog, digital & control), including all Fault Information and all Fast-Trip information.

From an RF perspective, VHF has tremendous propagation characteristics over hills and into vegetation. A number of substations are over 25 miles from the main Master site. Over the years the utility has upgraded the VHF radios (3,200bps),  added a 220MHz channel and added cellular sites to IGIN-EFS.


IGIN-EFS Highlights: 

  • Signal round-trip time typically  about 2 seconds for controls.
  • Each Remote Site can report a large number of analogs and status points.
  • The ability to keep up with changing technology without becoming obsolete.
  • 256-bit end-to-end encryption, authentication, audit trail and other security features.
  • Ability to interface with many propriety and any non-propriety protocols (DNP, and many others.)
  • A single licensed wireless Master Site that can accommodate 50+ remote sites on a Simplex Splinter Frequency.
  • Scalability – the ability to start with a few sites and expand to many sites over time as budgets become available.
  • Ability to communicate with any device from any manufacturer (Schweitzer, Futura, Beckwith, Motorola and many others.)
  • Ability to communicate over many different mediums (Fiber, Wireless-licensed, Wireless-Spread Spectrum, Phone Lines, etc.)
  • Single platform supporting all protocols, communication and connectivity options (i.e. radio, fiber, serial, IP, microwave, cellular)
  • Ability to upload/download files (e.g. configuration, text, extended sequence of events, etc.) over narrowband or wideband channels.
  • Advanced communication diagnostics for each radio in the network and the ability to modify applications at the remote sites over the air.