Traditional electricity network management has been based on one single direction of the energy coming from large production units to the end-users. With the energy sector shifting from fossil-based to zero-carbon energy sources connected to medium- and low-voltage, grid operators come across completely new challenges. Moreover, with the electrification of transportation and heating sectors as well as the latest socioeconomic developments, energy demand and energy prices increase dramatically. In this new energy era commercial and industrial meters are called to serve a wider range of applications than energy billing.
Energy used to flow one way down the value chain. Power plants generated power, high-voltage lines transmitted it to your neighborhood substations, and wires from poles brought it home. All of this happened behind a meter, with consumers only ever engaging when using electricity or paying a utility bill. They knew nothing of how they got their energy let alone do anything about it. However, this is beginning to change.
Communication is a core component of any smart-grid or AMI implementation. Depending on application use cases, geography, rural/urban areas or existing infrastructure however, a grid operator may choose PLC, mesh or cellular communications. With an increasingly diverse and active consumer base that now includes prosumers, electric vehicle charging, renewables and more, how can utilities ensure that all these segments are served without disrupting their AMI?
Power and quality. Should be familiar words to all of us. But why have I written them here like this, together? Is there something special about them? According to surveys, the cost of poor power quality is over 150 billion euros a year to European business. So, power quality may not be your core business, but your core business is affected by power quality.
In its working paper "Critical Vulnerability in Log4j - Detection and Response", the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) underlines the persistent and complex danger of the Log4Shell vulnerability in industrial networks as well. Patching the vulnerability in the short to medium term is considered unrealistic for many companies. For this reason, the BSI recommends continuous monitoring and analysis of network communication via anomaly detection in addition to rule-based query analysis. Industrial anomaly detection solutions, as offered by Rhebo, a Landis+Gyr Company, enable companies to detect on compromises that have already occurred, active exploits and other malicious activities in the operational technology (OT) and industrial control systems (ICS) at an early stage. The vulnerability, documented as CVE-2021-44228, allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on systems using the widespread Log4j library without authentication.
As decarbonization, deentralization and digitalization continue to affect the energy industry, DSO's are taking on new roles and greater challenges in ensuring a reliable, resilient grid. In the IoT era of OT/IT convergence , where are you in your journey to transformation ?