The amount of data exchanged between the remote MV/LV substations and distribution control centre is constantly and ever faster growing due to introduction and expansion of various MV/LV substation systems (AMR/AMM, SCADA, Power quality, etc.) and introduction of new Smart Grids technologies. The telecommunications infrastructure is responsible for providing connectivity among different locations and is becoming a crucial component of Smart Grids. Monitoring and managing telecommunications infrastructure is, thus, a prerequisite for successfully managing Smart Grids.
During the design of the Smart Grids telecommunications infrastructure one must consider all existing systems/applications installed at the MV/LV substation and their varying connectivity requirements (bandwidth, delay, jitter, availability, packet loss, etc.)
There are several methods for testing various connectivity parameters. However, they are mostly not scalable for simultaneous testing of a large number of endpoints, i.e. they are too demanding, use expensive testing equipment and testing takes prohibitively long time.
Smart Com's throughput test concept in general comprises a central server, which is responsible for test control, and a set of testing agents/probes installed in remote locations of customer's network, which perform several types of tests, e.g. availability, delay, reliability, and performance tests.
The innovation comprises three key novelties, i.e. improvements of Smart Com’s throughput tests. Firstly, test probes based on commercial embedded platforms have been developed and integrated into the concept, these appliances are used as dedicated testing agents in remote locations. Secondly, a new open source support tool has been integrated, which provides more flexibility in throughput testing. Last but not least, an innovative delay test has been developed, which is not based on standard RTP protocol as part of a commercial support tool. Rather, it is based on the new support tool and enables adaptation of test procedure to the specifics of mobile wireless networks, which makes the test non-invasive despite the typically low bandwidths typically available in these networks.
The innovation extends the applicability and, thus, potential market of Smart Com's ICT infrastructure throughput tests to process control systems, such as electricity distribution networks.
The solution has been developed by Smart Com and has already been applied in commercial projects.