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Managed Ethernet switches for Smart Grid substation networks

02 March 2011

GarrettCom Europe has introduced a new generation of managed Ethernet switches to meet the increasing demands for bandwidth, precision and hardening in Smart Grid substation networks and other IP-intensive installations. Features of the 10KT managed switch include industry leading sub 10 nanosecond timing precision, up to 36 ports (freely configurable), an advanced thermal cooling design that eliminates the need for fans, and the first dual hot-swappable power supplies in a 1U rack-mount switch.

Smart Grid concepts are being adopted Europe-wide, to add monitoring, analysis, control and communication capabilities to national electricity delivery systems. The emphasis is on advanced networking technology to ensure that the right information is provide to the right people at the right time to enable appropriate actions to be carried out.

The 10KT offers time synchronisation based on the IEEE 1588v2 protocol to provide the time accuracy required in modern substation applications. With a mean time synchronisation accuracy of better than 10 nanoseconds, the 10KT exceeds the requirements of the ‘next generation’ IEC 61850-3 specifications for complex Smart Grid substation networks. IEC 61850 is widely accepted as best practice across Europe and the rest of the world.
Up to 36 ports are available, four of which can be Gigabit ports. The high port density delivers all the connectivity required in today’s complex substation communications systems, and helps to reduce potential points of failure. The 10KT also addresses reliability requirements through its power supply arrangements. With both a backup power supply and hot swappable replacements, it ensures a high level of reliability. Power supplies are available with multiple voltage options including 90-250V ac/dc, 125V dc, 48V dc, 24V dc and universal ac.

A key feature of the 10KT is its patent-pending thermal design, where internal thermal management techniques and a heatsink built into the casing provide efficient convection cooling, eliminating the need for internal fans while delivering high reliability and extended operating temperatures. This suits the 10KT to any application where EMI issues preclude the use of fans within the product. In particular, it opens up substations, plant operations areas and ‘dirty’ control rooms to the use of a more powerful Ethernet switch in conditions that would cause early fan failure in conventional designs.

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