Cisco has announced the first offerings in its Connected Grid smart grid communications portfolio. These are ruggedised substation routers and switches that integrate Internet Protocol (IP)-based communications with the power grid for intelligent grid monitoring and control.
The Connected Grid Router 2010 (CGR 2010) and Connected Grid Switch 2520 (CGR 2520) are the first in a purpose-built family of products aimed at providing end-to-end, standards-based communications solutions for the smart grid. Together they provide the ability to capture and analyse information in near-real-time from multiple intelligent electronic devices in the substation, which helps utilities manage and maintain equipment and identify, isolate and, in some cases, automatically repair faults.
It’s all part of Cisco’s smart grid strategy – there’s more on their web site. Suffice to say the company sees extensive opportunities in the smart grid market. If it could establish anything like the role in smart grids as it has in the internet infrastructure it could be a huge opportunity for the company, but competing providers and solutions make that problematic. Cisco is making inroads internationally, though, customers include Southern California Edison, E.ON in Germany and Italy’s Enel.