Smartgrid RTUs

New Applications Opportunity:-

The electric utility industry is transforming from a unidirectional commodity business where power flows one way from producer to consumer toward a services-oriented business in which customers are both producers and consumers. The addition of IT intelligence to the power generation and transmission network necessary to make this happen has given rise to the term “Smart Grid”.

While much of the activity connected with the Smart Grid concept is concerned with integration of distributed power generation into the grid and load balancing through the introduction of parallel IT infrastructure, the introduction of intelligence out on the periphery, ie at point of consumption and distributed generation basically involves Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) capable of controlling power either in the form of supply or demand, thereby providing improved stabilization of the network from the periphery inward.

While load sensing has been an electromechanical process for decades in the form of the trusty electric meters found in every older installation, the need for communications as well as demand-side load control represents a new challenge.

Control logic will meet mains voltages through metering/consumption monitoring and load regulation. These applications confront the designer with problems which usually are partitioned into separate subsystems: digital logic, communications, and mains voltage (240VAC)/medium current (20 – 90A) sensing/switching.

In addition to the added complexity in BOM (bill of materials) these represent, providing the current sensing function involves assembly of a number of discrete elements as shown in Figure 1, adding both cost and physical bulk. Therefore designers are looking for alternatives within a more highly integrated system.

Smart Meter
There’s more in our recent article →

Where It’s Going

This need for communications as well as demand-side load control represents the combination of intelligence and power provided by Metal in the Board (MiB) printed circuit technology.

The solutions which are emerging offer the potential for replacement of hardware and components formerly used to manage heat and power, and range from simply providing a metal base in the board for heat dissipation to sophisticated solutions combining thermal and power management with high density interconnect and formability. The term “Metal in the Board”, or “MiB” is coming into general use, because these solutions are not metal “core” or metal “base”. They are metal “in” the board.

BPA’s just-updated landmark study “Metal in the Board- Opportunities for Printed Circuits Providing Thermal and Power Management” is the first comprehensive look at applications, technologies, and markets developing around the fast-moving field of digital power and light.

This update brings additional coverage of dynamic new markets such as SmartGrid as well as the most recent data to the extensive review of technologies and markets presented in the first edition. These add to the solid background in thermal and current management technologies and markets which make this report essential reading for industry participants ranging from applications engineers and designers to strategists concerned with business technology and development.

How do we retool so we’re not left behind? →

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BPA Consulting Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)1306 875500
Skype: bpa-consulting

Company No.: 3709460

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