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Project: T144700 #3802

The primary objective of this report is to inform distribution utilities with regards to the best practices to integrate the right telecommunications technology with the desired or needed Smart Distribution application. Telecommunications is often described as the biggest challenge to implement Smart Distribution technologies. With multiple options in the market today, there is no single guide that can help utilities make informed decisions.

With the advent of Smart Grid, new field connectivity requirements have emerged that require robust connections to smart meters, distribution automation devices that include Volt/VAr, reclosers, and switches; the collection of independent connections to the backbone is no longer adequate. Thus the “access network” evolved, establishing the telecom equivalent to the “last mile” connections to aggregate data and bring it to the core backbone for delivery to the final destination control center or central data repository. The communications architecture must support multiple services on a converged communications platform made of multiple network segments. Each network segment will have candidate technologies that may be the best fit to meet requirements of that network segment.

From the information gathered and industry findings, a set of guidelines were developed to assist the utility in the decision making process for implementing a telecommunications technology in support of smart distribution applications.


Smart Distribution Communications technology options, Technology matching guidelines, Performance criteria, Cost/benefit, Capacity planning, Industry practices, Smart distribution applications