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Svenska Kraftnät uses Ethernet to create secure transmission networks for substations

Location / Country : Sweden

Product Solutions:
EDS-505A/EDS-508A Series

5 and 8-port managed Ethernet switches

NPort 5210/NPort 5230/NPort 5232 Series

2-port RS-232/422/485 serial device servers

NPort 5610/NPort 5630 Series

8 and 16-port RS-232/422/485 rackmount serial device servers

Project Introduction

The key criterion for power utility is to offer un-interrupted and reliable electric power to the public in hostile environment. Power utilities are increasingly turning to industrial Ethernet solutions, since Ethernet guarantees interoperability between a variety of Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) used in substations, and for utility control and protection systems. Ethernet with fiber cabling benefits power utility substations by offering EMI immunity, remote connection, and cost advantages when upgrading the path to higher bandwidths. The combination of fiber/copper ports, wide operating temperature, and DC power supply allows industrial Ethernet to be used in substations alongside control devices to maintain high availability of electric power to the public. In addition, Ethernet‘s standards-based interoperability translates into lower costs, greater flexibility, and easier integration into existing systems. Ethernet also better meets the communication needs of substations and IT systems compared to earlier proprietary networks.

Moxa Solution

Svenska Kraftnät is a public utility charged with managing and operating Sweden's national grid and overseas links. Svenska Kraftnät considered a standards-based solution for communicating over a large territory and for rapid, secure exchange of information among substations and control areas.

Conventional power utilities used dial-up systems for communicating between edge networks in the substations and the central office. However, the systems were slow, inefficient, and costly. With the growing popularity of Ethernet and Internet access, Sweden's substations demonstrated that a modern power substation can benefit greatly by choosing the flexibility of Ethernet to replace old dial-up systems for mission-critical transmission networks. In 2004, Svenska Kraftnät began the upgrade program to deploy Ethernet in its 53 main substations for security equipment, such as security cameras and control devices, and to expand the communication link by using fiber for the grid to obtain greater reliability and cost efficiency.

To maximize Ethernet's benefits while also minimizing costs, Svenska Kraftnät bundled a number of serial devices through a port multiplexer connected to an Ethernet switch. This approach allowed the company to keep using its older serial-based products, while at the same time making it possible to install newer Ethernet-enabled products in the future. By retrofitting a number of substations, Svenska Kraftnät has proved that Ethernet provides faster access to information, increases customer satisfaction, enhances security, and reduces costs.

Svenska Kraftnät's emphasis on a secure management system over Ethernet was an important part of the decision process. It was critical to find an appropriate solution that met the cost, reliability, and security needs of many transmission substations in tough environments. Svenska Kraftnät IT engineers chose Moxa's managed redundant Ethernet switch, EDS-508-SS-SC, along with serial device servers, NPort 5210 and NPort 5610, to establish Ethernet networks in existing distribution substations.

Network diagram for secure management system

Why Moxa

  • Moxa Turbo Ring (recovery time < 300 ms)
  • Fiber cabling for EMI/EMC Immunity
  • SSL features for secure data configuration among substations and IT networks
  • Intelligent network management features, such as RSTP, IGMP Snooping, VLAN/GVRP, QoS
  • E-mail or relay warning by user-configured event