Utilities

Aelectrical-wires-at-sunset-wireless-smart-gridlliance Corporation has partnered with industry-leading vendors to bring you a complete wireless solution for municipal utilities including electricity, water and gas.

We will help you design a wireless network and supply you with everything you need from the wireless routers and bridges to the cable, antennas and towers.

Some of the services that our customers provide now using their broadband wireless networks include:

  • Automated meter reading for water and gas
  • Smart Grid applications such as as AMI, Demand Response and Distributed Automation
  • Video surveillance of power plants

Resources

Case Study: Rural Utility Builds High Capacity, Fault Tolerant Backbone with Ceragon Click here

Application Note: Backup offsite storage solutions using broadband wireless (Redline) Click here

Application Note: Motorola -- Building to Building Connectivity Click here

Application Note: Cyber-Secure Smart Grids for Power Utilities (RAD) Click here

Application Note: RAD Enables Mission-Critical Teleprotection Traffic over Incumbent Carrier’s IP Network Click here

Not only have we chosen the best products, we work with the best wireless specialists, companies that will work with you to design and build your wireless network if you need it.


Contact Alliance Corporation today for help with your wireless project today.

Orlando Utilities Commission

Orlando, Florida Power Plant Deploys scalable, Fully Integrated, Secure Wireless Network from AIRAYA and IP Vision Software.

Morgan Hill, Calif., USA – AIRAYA, a world-class designer of proven predictable and affordable outdoor wireless video camera systems for high capacity public and government security and surveillance networks, and IP Vision Software partner to deploy a fully integrated secure licensed Public Works monitoring and surveillance system for the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC—The Reliable One) in Orlando, Florida. The new wireless network extends the video surveillance and monitoring perimeter of OUC’s Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center, which encompasses about 3,000 acres and several remote locations that are diffi cult to patrol and monitor.

The wireless extension provided OUC with a scalable, fully integrated, secure solution that allows power company offi cials, Homeland Security and plant personnel to view live streaming video and archived video and to have VoIP capabilities to and from the most remote sections of the facility over a secure high speed network. With the AIRAYA and IP Vision Software, OUC is able to maintain a high capacity network with continuous streaming video, while offering the benefi ts of network integrity throughout the plant facility.

“We selected AIRAYA as the best wireless vendor for delivering the unique requirements presented by OUC,” said Mark Felberg, President and CEO of IP Vision Software. “AIRAYA’s mature solution includes a wide range of products, providing immediate out-of-the box connectivity and high performance, at an affordable cost. Demonstrating constant innovation in practice, AIRAYA offers a full range of supported frequency bands, channel widths and video tuning parameters, enabling us to successfully achieve our goal of supporting continuous streaming video over a large geographical area with a secure wireless network.”

The Challenge

Deliver a scalable, distributed security solution that will allow security personal access to live viewing, archived video and VoIP capabilities.

The power plant provides electricity to more than 200,000 residents and businesses for the cities of Orlando and St. Cloud. Considered among Florida’s busiest and most reliable power plants, the Stanton Energy Center’s security plan must account for the large site and the need to monitor the remote locations and multiple entries into the plant. In some cases, the network cameras are located more than three miles away from the security station – a distance that would have made traditional cable-connected cameras cost prohibitive.

“The need for secure wireless private networks has increased signifi cantly around the country; together with leading local service providers and partners such as IP Vision Software, deployments have been very successful,” said Mike Nydam, CEO and President of AIRAYA. “As a result of Homeland Security initiatives across the country, we expect the secure outdoor wireless market to expand, for both license and license-exempt frequencies.”

There were many deployment challenges

• high RF interference

• the requirement to connect long distances of over 3 miles

• support for high density deployment of high resolution cameras

• provide aggregate bandwidth requirements in excess of 80 Mbps

AIRAYA and IP Vision were responsible for the full design and deployment of the entire network. The system optimization and channelization for each bridge and camera were planned to meet the specifi c problems posed by the operating environment. The system required intelligent cameras with built in analytics at the edge of network that could be accessed via wireless technology.

“AIRAYA has the highest bandwidth and by far the lowest latency per hop – making AIRAYA the perfect solution for ‘Evidence Grade’ Wireless Video Surveillance for the Orlando Utilities Commission power plant,” Felberg said.

The Solution

A fully integrated, rapid-deployment system ensures that OUC meets their long-term security objectives. The project consists of backhaul (Point-To-Point) links from three different gates to a central building 13 stories high. The network design then ties the video backhaul links together with a fourth link to the control room less than 1,000 feet away. None of the gates are visible from the control room directly. The AIRAYA solution met OUC’s requirements for capacity, speed, scalability and reliability, while optimizing available frequency.

The system uses the WirelessGRIDTM Full-Duplex Backhaul radios, and MoboticsTM high resolution IP cameras transmitting at MPEG-4 video at 30 frames per second. AIRAYA radios are capable of handling the high throughput requirements of video applications due to low latency Layer 2 operation, and tuning parameters to optimize the links. The surveillance cameras at the gates capture the license plates of vehicles when they are at the facility’s entrance. The video is managed with IP Visions’ video management software.

“With the wireless network and cameras now in place, we can now respond more quickly and monitor multiple remote areas,” said Charlie Wright, the Director of Security for OUC. “With AIRAYA and IP Vision, we placed cameras in areas we previously thought were too far for wireless equipment to reach or too expensive to trench with fi ber. The network really exceeded our expectations.”

AIRAYA’s WirelessGRIDTM backhaul radios offer the ultimate in installation fl exibility with over 500 channels available through user-selectable features which include: 5, 10, 20 and 40 MHz wide channels, user selectable power settings and user selectable frequency range from 2.2-2.5 and 4.4-6.1 GHz. AIRAYA’s superior time sensitive packet performance is a function of the user selectable tunable parameters combined with low latency operation in a single link and the ability to address scalability with co-located high density links. AIRAYA’s 108/216 Mbps WirelessGRIDTM OFDM technology allowed AIRAYA and IP Vision to design a network that met the customer’s rigorous requirements.

Download the Orlando Utilities Commission case study

Beloit Water

The City of Beloit in Wisconsin sought improved efficiency and process control for an aeration blower application that would save energy and improve total lifecycle costs.

ABB’s ACS 2000 medium voltage drive was selected for the job. Beloit is a mid-sized community in southern Wisconsin, with a waste water treatment facility currently treating an average of 4.6 million gallons a day. The City of Beloit Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) uses aeration blowers to supply air to the biological process used to remove dissolved organic pollutants.

As the main consumer of electricity in a wastewater treatment plant, usually consuming more than half of the total electric power used at these plants, the aeration system significantly influences operational costs.

The WPCF had an existing blower with an inlet throttling valve, a common solution for blower control. However, variable speed drives offer significant advantages over these traditional methods of flow control.

The WPCF was interested in the ACS 2000’s technical specifications and ease of installation as it does not require a transformer to connect to the power supply, minimizing harmonic distortion, eliminating medium voltage power factor correction, and offering a compact and lightweight footprint.

In addition, an ABB DriveMonitorTM was selected for monitoring, controlling and remote diagnostics via a wall-mounted PC connected to the telephone line.

Fixed vs. variable speed control

Blower performance was evaluated at annual average conditions for the City of Beloit. The power consumption vs. air flow (SCFM) at these conditions was calculated for the uncontrolled blower characteristic curve, the existing inlet throttling control, and variable speed control.

The resulting average improvement in energy consumption on the 600 HP (447 kW) blower motor is shown in the chart below; these results are consistent with typical aeration blower system savings using variable speed drives in comparison with mechanical solutions for motor control.

Energy savings with fast payback

The total plant power decreased by over a million kilowatthours once the ACS 2000 was installed. At an average composite electric rate of $0.062/kWh the annual savings of $75,000 per year were significantly better than the original projection of $48,000 per year.

As power costs continue to rise the economics of the variable speed drive retrofit are improved further. Projected payback estimate is currently at three years.

Download the Beloit Water Pollution Control case study

Wireless Dynamics

Founded in the 1700s by European settlers, Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas. Nacogdoches is named for the Caddo family of Indians who once lived in the area. Nacogdoches is a historical city that increases in size during tourist season with visitors from around the world. It is considered one of the most historic towns in Texas with its rich Native American and Spanish heritage. Nacogdoches has a population of about 30,000 and is located approximately 130 miles SE of Dallas with a total area of 25.3 square miles (65.5 km²). Nacogdoches has a rich history that includes the state’s introduction to forward-thinking technological innovations such as the state’s first oil well drill and pipeline, and the countries first ceiling fan. Nacogdoches is now focused on meeting the goals of the “Digital Future,” tasked with bringing internet connectivity to its government agencies and services. Nacogdoches turned to AIRAYA and its partner Wireless Dynamics to accomplish a seemingly impossible goal; design and deploy a broadband wireless network for the historic city that was to “mimic” a fiber optic ring that would connect the city’s government offices and provide stable uptime for the city’s AMR project. The progressive City of Nacogdoches is in the process of installing 16,000+ new wireless water meters that will be connected to the AIRAYA backbone. Nacogdoches will depend on the AIRAYA network to collect meter data each month to bill customers for water usage.

“The City of Nacogdoches needed a Fast, Low latency connection in order to utilize VoIP, Internet and Corporate data to their city offices. We chose AIRAYA’s Full Duplex backhaul radios because of their high speed and very low latency. The GUI interface was very user friendly for the customer to maintain and the Telnet interface was a MUST for the install guys,” said Ronny Johnston, Lead Systems Engineer for Wireless Dynamics.

AIRAYA’s and Wireless Dynamics engineers faced several obstacles to a successful design and implementation; 1) the need to respect the historical integrity of the city, with many of the buildings and streets designated as historical landmarks, and 2) the need to connect and support the transmission of data between the city’s offices and other city services, while achieving maximum long-rang backhaul throughput over a long distances at far lower costs in time and money than Nacogdoches could have achieved using fiber optic cables or other wireless broadband solutions. The AIRAYA backbone was designed and built in a “ring” in order to provide fail over in case of power outage or other network outages. The fail over ring gives near 100% uptime as the water meter data is transferred at key intervals throughout the day from different locations within the city. Several vendors were considered for the project, but only AIRAYA’s backhaul radios proved capable of solving the interference issues surrounding the deployment. Another key driver was the efficiency of the innovative AIRAYA equipment, which is able to deliver predictable performance and service with less equipment than competing solutions while also supporting a larger number of users.

The Challenge

Creating Municipal Business Opportunities with Wireless Broadband.

The stated goal of the Nacogdoches City Government was to connect city offices without incurring the high cost of a fiber optics deployment while providing high speed network performance and predictability at an affordable price. The first and foremost challenges were the stated regulations prohibiting visible external antennas and wires in the Historical District as well as high interference at several locations. And finally, meeting high expectations and providing proof-of-concept for how a broadband wireless network can accelerate municipal business development and enhance quality of life and city services.

AIRAYA and Wireless Dynamics were responsible for the full design, channelization and deployment of the entire network, including system optimization and channelization for each bridge. Nacogdoches was particularly impressed by AIRAYA’s unique ability to provide complete plug-n-play, easy to use interface and configurable systems. The Nacogdoches project benefits from sophisticated 24 x 7 technical support, which is provided by the AIRAYA Support Center in Morgan Hill, California. Through the partnership with AIRAYA and Wireless Dynamics, Nacogdoches benefits from a powerful time-to-market advantage, and the ability to quickly evolve their network to meet new demands through the use of advanced technologies and services.

The Solution

Challenged with Connectivity and Obstacles AIRAYA Technology Meets the

Challenge and Proves Instrumental in Nacogdoches Disaster Recovery. Unlike conventional wireless broadband bridges, AIRAYA’s WirelessGRIDTM backhaul radios are outdoor-ready WirelessGRIDTM full-duplex links that are specifically designed for rapid deployment in harsh environments. Rugged and fully weatherproof AIRAYA radios are designed for ease of configuration, diagnostics and management. Proven in thousands of private networks worldwide, WirelessGRIDTM radios are ideally suited for bandwidth-hungry applications that require robust, predictable, and secure connectivity. AIRAYA radios maximize range and capacity, as well as deliver ultra-low latency and outstanding performance in a dual-radio, single antenna configuration with asymmetrical dedicated transmit (TX) and receive (RX) radio paths. Purposebuilt to boost signal strength and enhance network performance, this powerful, innovative technology was instrumental in the success of the Nacogdoches project. Even in areas with high interference, the superior capabilities of the backhaul radios paved the way for a successful service rollout.

AIRAYA’s WirelessGRIDTM backhaul radios with user-selectable 5, 10, 20 and 40 MHz wide channel and power settings, allowed for the more than 500 channels in the 4.9-5.8 GHz frequency range solving the problem of mitigating the high RF interference in the area. The flexibility of the AIRAYA products removed the contention of frequency interference in the area and allowed the city to open more channels which allowed the network to operate more efficiently with greater throughput. The channel configurations of the radios were accomplished without having to uninstall the equipment that was deployed. The channels upgrade was entirely done in the software and as a result the Nacogdoches network achieves a high throughput of 30Mbps of Full Duplex performance.

AIRAYA’s WirelessGRIDTM backhaul radios proved their reputation for reliability and rugged design after the eye of hurricane Ike passed just west of Nacogdoches, all electricity in the city was knocked out by the powerful storm. As soon as power in the city was restored, the AIRAYA backhaul radio came up without any failure or loss of equipment and provided data and communications to the city immediately without any interruptions.

To ensure the success of wireless projects of any size, planning is critical. The City of Nacogdoches had a clear view of its needs from the start. Cost and performance were important, considering the wide area of deployment. In addition, the network needed to provide:

• Predictable connectivity in a diverse geographical area

• Hassel free installation and configuration

• Intuitive system management interface

• Flexibility and value

AIRAYA’s WirelessGRIDTM technologies were particularly well suited for the types of challenges the City of Nacogdoches was facing by providing, predictable packet delivery, high performance, and software definable flexibility at an economical price. Nacogdoches’ dispersed geographic and high interference areas required a “cost efficient” and “no disruptions to the city” solution which are not possible with current wired networks. AIRAYA was pleased to partner with Wireless Dynamics on this project and look forward to working together in the future.

Network Architect

Wireless Dynamics has selected AIRAYA’s WirelessGRID™ Fuurell-Duplex Backhaul Links as the workhorse of the Nacogdoches network. To enhance network performance, the WirelessGRID™ 29 dBi Dual Polarity Dish Antenna was also deployed to reinforce and prvide the coverage and throughput of the requirement the infrastructure and provide backhaul connectivity to the network. Currently the network provides coverage to the perimeter of the City and to all of its government offices.

Download the Wireless Dynamics case study

Water Management Security

Company Overview

Regional governmental agency supervised by the Department of Environmental Protection that  is responsible for Water quality, flood control, water supply and restoration of the environment in 16 counties the state. It is the largest water management district in the state, managing water needs for 7 million residents. 

Situation

This regional water management district is leading one of the largest environmental projects in the nation’s history. A critical part of this massive effort involves the use of retention ponds to capture, control and provide water, on demand, between various areas for water supply and flood protection. The Field Station overseas a total water conveyance system made up of canals, levees, water control structures, and navigation locks. The situation at hand involves the industrial pumping system that quickly moves large amounts of water to and from retention ponds and waterways. Since these enormous pumps are turned on and off “blindly” from remote switching locations, there is always the danger of harming anything immediately in front of the valve opening. This includes both animals – who have built their homes on or around the valves – and people, such as naturists or teenagers who happen to be in the area without permission.

Challenge

The remote locations of these valves present the problem of how best to power surveillance cameras and wireless equipment used to transmit data back to the Network Operations Center. Running cable from the local power company would be cost prohibitive. In addition, the catchment basins and flood control structures at the pump stations need to be monitored but are often located in remote areas that do not always have access to the power grid. Lastly, these systems must be reliable under the extreme environmental conditions:  heavy rain, heat and high humidity and the occasional hurricane.

Solution

An innovative video surveillance solution was developed to remotely view the gate areas before the valves are actuated. Staff can easily monitor the information submitted by multiple remote cameras on a central management console, greatly reducing the risk of a valve gate opening and activating water release before all is clear.

Solis Energy installed its Solar Power Plant (SPP12110-312) to reliably power the surveillance cameras and wireless radios. Rugged and reliable in harsh environments, Solis Energy’s SPPs are designed to ensure continuous, reliable power for up to seven days without sunlight.

Water Utility Smart Meter

Company Overview

Developer of smart metering solutions designed specifically for the municipal utility market and designed to help increase efficiencies, reduce costs, conserve energy and water, and improve customer service. The network architecture and platform effectively captures information and enables real-time alerts, quick analysis and rapid response by intuitively presenting actionable information. Utilities use these systems to help lower operating costs by reducing unaccounted water loss, leak detection at every service point, and peak load reduction.

These smart water systems are used for municipal water utilities to help them build, operate and maintain systems of water works, water pipes, pipe lines, conduits and other structures for the purpose of furnishing water to its members.  Implementing smart water meters deliver faster, more efficient meter reading, theft and leak detection, remote monitoring, managing of peak and off-peak usage, and intelligent water management.

Challenge

Many challenges exist when implementing smart water systems. First, installation sites do not often have access to power, and extending conventional grid power is either not feasible, too costly, or both.  Second, these systems are frequently deployed in earthquake prone areas.  Lastly, the system design should permit easy installation by non-technical staff with a simple, error free test and turn-up. 

Solution

Solis Energy was brought in to develop a cost effective solution to deliver reliable, uninterrupted power to the radio and sensors required for a smart meter deployment. Solis Energy customized a Solar Power Plant (SPP12020-U11-F) with an adjustable solar array to meet the systems rigid specifications. Earthquake tolerance was satisfied with enhanced mountings for the power plant’s contents and enclosure. The installation process was streamlined so that the technician installing the Solar Power Plant simply mounts the power plant enclosure and solar array then plugs in the connections to pre-wired inputs. At the push of a button displays indicator lights verify that the battery is charging and the solar panels are wired correctly to the unit. This solution is scalable to all smart meter installations.