Utilities

Utilities provide essential services to the public and must continually find ways to maintain a demandingly high level of service reliability, even in case of disaster: Lights must stay on, hospitals and medical centers must be quickly restored from electrical outages, nuclear power plant incidents must be dealt with swiftly and accurately, and downed wires must be isolated and de-energized quickly to minimize danger.

PowerTrunk's TETRA solution provides mission-critical communication features, as well as lone-worker / man-down functionality and data transmission over radio for SCADA-based telemetry applications.


Integrating Mission-Critical Voice and Data Communications into the Smart Grid

The Smart Grid brings modernization of the electricity distribution system to automatically monitor, protect, and optimize the operation of its interconnected elements. While the Smart Grid is often based on broadband technologies, PowerTrunk’s TETRA solution’s narrowband data capabilities can still handle required critical information such as telemetry and integrate with a utility’s control centers at which resources are managed.

The inherent mission-critical design and functionalities of PowerTrunk’s TETRA solution enhance utility worker safety in harsh conditions and “First Responder-like” situations.

Mission-critical communication boosts productivity while keeping workers safe

Business customers manage complex tasks which could mean significant gain or loss of productivity to their organizations. Communication systems need to be operational 24x7 and be able to provide workers the tools to boost performance.

Cellular phones have been found to cause distractions to the workforce, causing accidents, sometimes fatal. PowerTrunk's mission-critical grade HTT-500 TETRA radio fills the gap with additional features included as standard, such as full-duplex private call capability, Bluetooth, and WAP browser for data applications.

Voice Features

  • Individual calls
    • Half-duplex
    • Full-duplex
  • Group calls / Broadcast
  • Emergency calls
  • Ambience listening calls
  • Direct Mode calls (DMO)
  • Man Down emergency call with GPS
  • PABX interconnection

Data Capabilities

  • Circuit Mode transmission (7.2kbps per slot)
  • Connection-oriented Packet Data (4.8kbps)
  • Connectionless Packet Data
  • Multi-Slot Packet Data up to 4 slots (19.2kbs)
  • Short Data Messages (SDS) (140 bytes)
  • Status Messages (predefined content)

Mobile radios as network extenders: Optimizing investment while maximizing coverage

No matter how reliable planned network coverage is meant to be, there may always be some unpredictable coverage situations, such as when a user leaves a vehicle.

  • Operating in enclosed or underground areas (dams and power generation plants)
  • Operating near large metallic structures (electrical substations)
  • Operating in rural environments.

Furthermore, obtaining complete hand-portable radio coverage in some areas can increase network investment due to the need for distributed antenna systems (DAS) or additional microcells. Powertrunk's DMO gateway based on the MDT-400 mobile radio enables communication for hand-portable users in shadow areas by extending the network operational area.

  • Extends the effective coverage by interconnecting the trunked network to DMO users through the gateway.
  • Working mode is user-selectable through the Man-Machine Interface (MMI).
  • Automatic detection of any neighboring DMO gateway in the same channel avoids operational problems.

POWERTRUNK Utilities Product Range

SC20

Enhanced application capability supports interaction with Bluetooth wireless body-worn accessories, back-end databases and locally stored moving map data while a UNIQUE notification bar gives instant access to five favourite features, indicates missed events, and alerts the user to any changed states, such as speaker mute.

Submersible, waterproof and dustproof, the SC20 radios boast IP66, IP67 and IP68 environmental protection ratings and an easy-clean design, allowing them to be rinsed in running water.

MBS

PowerTrunk‘s Mast-Mounted Base Station (MBS) has been prepared to be easily installed on towers or wall-mounted with minimum cost. Its design does not require an additional unit at the base of the tower. These advantages considerably reduce installation costs, making the MBS a very economic system to deploy.

The MBS is a complete single-carrier TETRA base station. Its main goal is to improve coverage in shadow zones, or for where an indoor base station is not necessary or recommended. Its modular design allows it to be easily upgraded to two TETRA carriers with an additional unit. Furthermore, as the MBS is designed for outdoor operation, the system is able to work under the harshest climatic conditions.

The system includes a complete set of software tools to maintain the unit, even remotely. Intuitive and easy-to-use applications allow the modification of user profiles, system configuration, or monitoring network status from a friendly Graphic User Interface.

Designed for integration with the PowerTrunk-T system, the MBS provides an unrivalled set of TETRA services; unique when compared to any other similar unit.

DCM-300 TETRA communications manager

  • Seamless integration with RTUs
  • Embedded Linux CPU
  • Internal & external interfaces: Serial RS232, Digital I/O, host USB ports, Ethernet, etc.
  • Supports Modbus, IEC 60870-5-101 / 104, DNP3

APPLICATION

SCADA-BASED COMMUNICATION USING DCM-300

The DCM-300 combines in a compact and rugged unit wireless data communication functions for use with telemetry, remote control, and remote monitoring applications and equipment. The embedded communication management application handles data routing and gateway functions between different interfaces, such as external serial or Ethernet ports, to make use of TETRA data communication services for status messaging, short data, and packet data transmission, etc.

Functionalities of the embedded software include support for point-to-multipoint data communication between remote terminal units (RTUs) based on standard serial protocols (Modbus, Pakbus, DNP3, ...), TCP/IP protocol for TETRA short data and packet data services, and many other tools for installation, configuration, operating, and system maintenance.

Summary

Voice

TETRA provides group calls, broadcast calls, emergency calls...for communication among the main players in the Utilities operations. Furthermore, it allows integration with external communications networks (police, firefighters, etc.) in critical situations for emergency coordination.

Mission Critical Design

TETRA was designed as a mission critical digital radio standard and therefore its architecture incorporates no-single-point-of-failure redundancy configurations while the subscriber radios add emergency features such, Man Down and Emergeny Call with automated GPS transmission

Data

TETRA narrowband data capabilities can handle required critical information such as GPS and telemetry. A single network for voice and critical data will cut investment and operational costs.

Georgia Cooperatives shared TETRA Network

The mission or purpose of America’s electric cooperatives is to power communities and empower members to improve the quality of their lives.  Electric cooperatives in Georgia provide power to almost half of the over 9.4 million residents and more than 70 percent of the land area of Georgia. 


Read the full case study

BC Hydro

BC Hydro is a Crown corporation, owned by the government and people of British Columbia, Canada.

BC Hydro operates and maintains a power system infrastructure that serves more than 1.8 million customers in an area including over 95 percent of British Columbia’s population.


Read the full case study
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