EDF powers up remote monitoring data network

EDF Energy said today it had installed mobile routing technology to remotely monitor the performance of its 400 electricity substations across London and the South East of England.

A six-month roll out deployed EDF Energy's networks branch substations in the South East with Sarian MR4110 wireless routers, which allow the company to remotely monitor its electricity substations. The routers link to its legacy monitoring system to a wireless internet protocol (IP) network.

And EDF Energy Networks is also using Remote Manager software from the manufacturer and now Digi International company, Sarian to configure and manage all of the units. This allows the company to diagnose and remedy problems without having to dispatch an engineer every time an issue occurs, as had been the case in the past.

As the largest electricity distribution network owner in the UK, the new wireless routing capability is saving EDF time and costs associated with maintaining and managing its substations.

Roger Yeo, senior project engineer with EDF Energy Networks said: "The new management system means we no longer have to dedicate time and money sending out our staff to either fix problems or wait for external engineers at substations."

The remote management software allows EDF Energy Networks to configure and conduct routine operations, such as software upgrades, remotely at scheduled times. It also provides the company with essential security functions such as an audit trail of events for each unit, which is vital in its delivery of national infrastructure resources.

The technology sends performance information initially via EDF Energy Networks' VSAT satellite network. But in the event of a problem with the satellite network or if the primary connection becomes unavailable, the routers switch to a GPRS mobile network connection.

"The Sarian solution has provided us with a lot more control. We can now either fix the problems ourselves remotely or make a more informed decision about whether an engineer is needed," Yeo added.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.