EnergyAustralia to roll out 4G Wireless
network for smart grid
Published at 26/05/2010
EnergyAustralia is rolling out the next stage of its smart grid by installing a 4G
wireless telecommunications network to transmit crucial two
eld devices, back
end systems and households.
Managing Director George Maltabarow said carrier
grade 4G WiMAX technology
had been selected after a successful trial at six sites in the greater Newcastle area and
two sites in Sydney.
"The 4G network will a
llow communication with up to 2 million smart devices on the
electricity grid," he said.
"The 4G network will transmit data between 12,000 smart monitoring devices being
installed on our electricity network, up to 3,000 mobile field computers, 200 major
one substations and our Smart Village in Newington.
"This telecommunications network will be phased in progressively across about 140
locations over about 18 months and is the linchpin for a fully connected smart grid.
"A smart grid needs a communication
s platform to bring all the real
time data from
our substations and field devices back so our IT systems can turn that data into useful
information for planners, field staff and consumers.
"It will also allow a faster response to power outages, support po
tential changes in the
grid from renewable energy and electric vehicles, and will give households more
information and control over their appliances and energy use.
machine communications network will send information back to a
ilt operations centre to make our electricity grid faster and more efficient."
Earlier this year, EnergyAustralia entered an agreement with Wireless Broadband
a Seven Group Holdings Limited company
to use 15 MHz of
WBA’s 2.3 GHz spectr
um for EnergyAustralia’s 4G network.
As well as trialling 4G technology, EnergyAustralia investigated RF Mesh and
Powerline technology to determine the best option for its smart grid program.
4G sites have already been established at Gan Gan HiIl at Nels
on Bay and at
EnergyAustralia sites at Broadmeadow, Merewether, Mayfield West, The Hill,
Wallsend, Lidcombe and Homebush.
The network will be progressively rolled out once suitable sites have been surveyed
and identified with the next sites planned being
EnergyAustralia substations at Lane
Cove, Leightonfield, Bass Hill and Meadowbank in Sydney.
Smart Grid Facts
What is a Smart Grid?
Building a smart grid involves transforming the traditional electricity network by
adding to it a chain of new, smart t
echnology. This includes smart sensors, new back
end IT systems, smart meters and a communications network Smart grids provide
instant information about the network to make it more efficient and help reduce
interruptions, support more renewable energy to b
e connected and give households
greater control over their energy use.
EnergyAustralia’s Smart Grid program
EnergyAustralia has been building a Smart Grid program since 2006:
Building a new communications platform
EnergyAustralia has rolled out 800
lometres of new fibre optic cables, installed hundreds of communications switches
and deployed carrier
grade Internet Protocol (IP) technology to connect more than
200 key substations and depots. This telecommunications backbone is the foundation
for a sma
rt grid. It will provide many benefits including greater equipment monitoring
and control, allowing better decision
making and earlier fault detection and repair.
Installing smart monitoring devices
to collect data
EnergyAustralia is rolling out
monitoring devices throughout its electricity distribution network. This data
will allow EnergyAustralia to reduce outages through faster fault location and
preventive maintenance and to work towards managing distributed energy sources
such as solar and st
orage devices. The smart sensors will give EnergyAustralia an
instant picture of the electricity network and how it is performing.
end IT and business systems
New smart grid technologies
require new back end systems and processes to be
set up to convert the data into
useful information for EnergyAustralia’s planners and for households. New back
systems and process are continually being designed make a smart grid a reality.
Rolling out smart meters and time
rs will be the gateway
for managing energy use and carbon in the home. More than 4,000 smart meters with
communications have been installed and about 200,000 with first generation smart
meters have time
Building Australia’s First Smart Vil
lage and Smart Home
will help 1,000 households in Newington and Silverwater (NSW) reduce their utility
bills and carbon impact. The homes are being connected to a smart grid featuring
greater information and control, as well as other
energy efficient sources. Households
will see a minute
minute picture of their energy and water use, turn their
appliances on and off remotely using iPhones and websites, and compare energy use
through neighbourhood competitions. A
is also be
ing fitted out in
Newington to test the latest energy and water efficient appliances and how renewable
energy interacts with the grid. Real
life tenants will live in the home rent free for 12
months to test the technology and share their experiences.
ding a 4G wirelsss telecommunication network
This will allow crucial two
way communication with up to 2 million devices on the electricity grid. A smart grid
needs a communications platform to bring all the real time data from substations and
es back so IT systems can turn that data into useful information for
planners, field staff and consumers.
Rolling out smart sensors and analytical tools on the high voltage electricity
This includes new smart equipment at zone substations and ma
transmission cables to allow better, more efficient management of power equipment
and greater automation of the network.
Media contact: EnergyAustralia News Pager 02 9966 7985.