Sensus has announced sweeping open systems upgrades to its licensed band FlexNet smart grid solution with the addition of IP addressability for all electric, gas, and water smart grid endpoints. The new IP solution implements secure two-way IPv4 and IPv6 addressing to utility endpoints from any utility-approved application. Sensus has also announced that all existing FlexNet users have the option to upgrade to the new IP addressing on their existing networks with existing endpoints via on-air commands without the need for field visits. The IP solution was demonstrated at the Distributech trade show in San Diego Feb. 3-5.
“IP-addressability is one of several strategic items on our development roadmap being readied for mass production” said Britton Sanderford., chief technology officer for Sensus. “We’ve had IP designed and running for almost a year. Now that we have completed the critical, third-party assessments and endorsements of IP in relation to our overall AES-256 PKI security model for the smart grid, we are announcing the architecture” said Sanderford. “This also gave us the time to work through all the associated architectures for home area networking, demand response, distribution automation, and SCADA applications, especially where multiple protocols such as DNP3 and Zigbee may be simultaneously incorporated on the same network.”
Industry experts generally agree that use of open systems protocols for communication with smart grid endpoints points can speed implementation and compatibility, especially with back-end information systems.