A new 2007 North American market research study for hardened substation communications equipment showed that RuggedCom’s RuggedSwitch Ethernet switches and the RuggedRouter IP-based routers were ranked “Best in Class” as compared to other products deployed in electric utility substation applications.
This study, conducted by Newton-Evans Research Company, a market research firm for the electric utility industry, considered both commercial grade and “hardened” devices. The utilities that participated in the survey serve a total of 37.7 million North American customers (of about 149 million total for Canada and the United States) and operate a combined total of nearly 11,000 electric power T&D substations, out of a total population of about 67,000 North American utility operated substations. This sample represents about 25% of served North American customers and about 18% of North American utility operated substations.
The study also identified key drivers used in the selection of substation communications equipment and asked participants to rank specific product attributes that were important to them. The top three drivers identified were cost, specifications and reliability, each of which were about equal in importance. With respect to specific product attributes, the two clear leaders were immunity to EMI and security. These results are not surprising given the harsh environment these devices are expected to operate within, and the mission-critical nature of applications being deployed within the substation. These are the main reasons that RuggedCom products compared favorably to commercial grade products and other “hardened” devices. EMI, reliability, specifications, and security are the hallmarks of all RuggedCom products, teh company said.
All RuggedCom products provide a high level of immunity to electromagnetic interference and heavy electrical surges typical of environments found in electric utility substations. The products meet or exceed a wide range of electric utility industry standards including IEC61850 and IEEE1613 Class 2; feature a wide operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C (no fans); can be powered from a variety of sources (12 VDC, 24 VDC, 48 VDC, 88-300 VDC/35-264 VAC) with optional dual power supply redundancy; and have high MTBFs and reliability characteristics.