“Our Maverick 450 outstation UHF radio IP network “A short story about what we have, things that we have observed and done differently along the way”
The Orion electricity network covers 8,000 km2 of rural and urban Canterbury, and while we have fibre in the urban environment, in the large rural area we rely on radio for telemetry data. Our radio network is built around 3 building blocks: point-to-point low latency Mimo, point-to-multipoint Mimo and lower speed point-to-multipoint SISO. This provides not only IP bandwidth but also very low latency links that provide ultra-fast communications, enabling millisecond operation of power network switches to protect both equipment and people during fault events.
This short story will cover a number of our challenges, explaining why low latency is needed, Antenna masts that wobble in Lee Air zones, Roadside and Hill top cabinets that utilise passive cooling heat exchanger techniques, Product Compliance challenges where manufactures state their product complies but in practice it does not (and the liability then comes back onto you the licensee), Cross polarisation vs 45 degree polarisation over water path challenges, A different approach to solar panel’s at hostile sites, Supplier risk challenges – will they continue to be around if they won’t tell you they are EBIT positive. Lastly don’t sweat the cost of the radio it’s not your dominant cost.
Neville Digby — Senior Systems Engineer – Orion New Zealand
Andrew Mackintosh — Control Systems Engineer – Orion New Zealand