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Product Abstract

Assessment of Licensed Communication Spectrum for Electric Utility Applications

Product ID:3002005851
Date Published:27-Apr-2015
Sector Name:Power Delivery & Utilization - Distribution & Utilization
Document Type:Technical Results
Price:No Charge

This Product is publicly available

   1.12 MB - Adobe PDF (.pdf)


Creating a pervasive communications infrastructure is a common theme for utilities that are planning for current and future enhancements of the electric power grid to improve reliability, resiliency, performance, and efficiency. These and other benefits that derive from the smart grid depend to a large measure on the ability of elements within the grid to communicate with one another—and with central and distributed control systems.

This report focuses on communications networks operating in private licensed spectrum. Several research questions arise when considering licensed spectrum for a utility FAN that can support applications with ubiquitous coverage over a wider area, including the following:

  • What are the present and future communications requirements for transmission and distribution applications?
  • Which parts of the spectrum bands best meet these requirements?
  • What standards and equipment support the identified spectrum bands?
  • What is the current use and availability of the identified spectrum bands?

The objective of this project is to answer these questions in conjunction with leveraging EPRI’s ongoing research, for example, EPRI’s Field Area Network Demonstration (FAN Demo) Project in which field trials are being conducted at several utility host sites to study the advantages and disadvantages of different communications technologies, public vs. private networks, and licensed vs. unlicensed spectrum for utility field operations. The Field Area Network Guidebook, currently scheduled for publication by EPRI in 2016, is expected to summarize the findings of the FAN Demo Project and will be extended to include the findings of this project.

2015 Program 161   Information and Communication Technology
  • Communications networks
  • Field area networks (FANs)
  • Private licensed spectrum
  • Spectrum bands

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