Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sierra Wireless develops platform for smart grids

Steve Rogerson
February 19, 2019
At this month’s Distributech in New Orleans, Canadian company Sierra Wireless, Duke Energy and Open Energy Solutions announced they had developed an intelligent edge platform to run more complex, centrally managed and containerised edge applications for more resilient, efficient and secure smart grids.
The robust edge platform uses the Sierra Wireless AirLink cellular gateways and work by the Duke Energy emerging technology office on the Open FMB open field message bus standard to provide more decision-making capabilities at the edge, interoperability between the various smart grid elements and faster decision making.
“Sierra Wireless has been a valued partner to Duke Energy for many years, providing critical connectivity and leading IoT grid communication technology,” said Stuart Laval, director of technology at Duke Energy. “This joint collaboration will leverage a ratified, robust networking platform with faster edge processing capabilities to enable next-generation applications, including advanced distribution automation and distributed energy resources (DERs) integration that are key to delivering on the future of smart grids.”
The AirLink gateways and operating software provide the critical, secure LTE networking and edge processing capabilities required to deploy, connect and manage third party applications securely for the grid. The platform is based on open standards, enabling more application and grid service providers to deploy a variety of innovations using AirLink gateways that help utilities manage the smart grids of the future.
It can enhance situational awareness for faster response times and service restoration. DERs and microgrids can be integrated more efficiently and it improves security and interoperability for existing grid equipment and infrastructure.
“The distributed grids of the future will rely on intelligent edge processing to provide uninterrupted service, while bridging old and new technologies,” said Tom Mueller, vice president at Sierra Wireless. “As the leading provider of gateways to the energy sector, we’re excited to build on our track record with Duke Energy of delivering new technologies that improve grid operations.”