Telecommunication for Utilities has a long history in the transmission level of the Power Grid and Siemens was one of the first suppliers of communication systems for Power Utilities. Since the early 1930’s Siemens delivers Powerline Carrier systems for high voltage networks.
In today’s transmission networks, almost all substations are monitored and controlled online by Energy Management Systems (EMS). The main transmission lines are usually equipped with fiber optic cables, mostly integrated in the ground wires (OPGW: optical groundwire) and the substations are accessible via broadband communication systems.
SDH (synchronous digital hierarchy) Systems build the backbone of a Power Utilities communication hierarchy. Ethernet based systems gradually complement these SDH systems and will replace them on the long run. Systems of these kind are used to connect Substations in Transmission- and Sub transmission Networks and – depending on the market – also for Medium Voltage Substations. Siemens offers complete, bespoke communication solutions.
Powerline Carrier/Teleprotection Solutions:
PowerLink, the Siemens Powerline Carrier system for high voltage lines will furthermore be used to transmit Scada data, teleprotection signals and voice communication as back up solution for central network segments and as main communication infrastructure in the remote ends of the transmission network, where the installation of fiber optic cables is not economical.
The SWT 3000 Teleprotection signaling system is widely used to transmit time-critical commands via analog and digital transmission channels.
Live Line Installation:
The Siemens Live Line Installation process makes it possible to install or replace optical ground wires (OPGW) at HV lines under energized conditions.
Communication Solutions for Smart Grid Applications:
The situation in distribution networks is different to transmission networks, as the communication infrastructure at lower distribution levels is very weak. In most countries less than 10 % of transformer stations/ring main units (RMU) are monitored and controlled remotely. New Smart Grid Applications e.g. Distribution Automation, Demand Response, Distributed Energy Resources etc. require a bi-directional communication network down to RMU’s and consumers. For these communications requirements, Siemens offers tailored ruggedized Communication Network Solutions for fiber optic, power line or wireless infrastructures.