A US-based gas utility with over 500,000 customers has selected Mimomax for their gas SCADA, 800MHz communications upgrade.
The utility was running gas SCADA/telemetry across an old radio system comprising of a hilltop master radio with a small number of remote radios. Used to monitor pipeline pressures and flows plus monitor the state of different control devices, the communications system was no longer fit for purpose with only 9.6kbps data throughput. While the system had been adequate to suit their needs when they were only dealing with serial traffic, a requirement to provide networking meant bandwidth had become a limiting factor.
In addition to a lack of spare parts to repair the legacy analog radio system, the utility was also unable to remotely troubleshoot any issues with the radios in the field. A communications upgrade that could support both serial and ethernet traffic, provide resilient communications links despite terrain challenges and also offer a significant increase in data capacity were the key requirements on the list.
After reviewing their options for their gas SCADA communications, the utility selected Mimomax Tornado radios to upgrade an initial group of telemetry sites. The key benefits of using a MIMO-based system were the ability to bring a huge increase in capacity to the SCADA communications network which would allow the connection of many additional sites. MIMO would also assist in mitigating recurring issues due to forest terrain and valleys creating poor RF propagation at certain sites .
The ability to use residual bandwidth to add new sites was also attractive to the utility’s site designers who would no longer need to consider how to bring connectivity as new sites were developed.
The increase in bandwidth opened up new opportunities for data collection and connectivity of devices. Estimating they now only utilize a small percentage of the available capacity on the Mimomax network, the utility is looking at adding features which will enable a more dynamic approach to their business operations and make use of residual bandwidth.
Having seen the benefits brought by this first communications upgrade project, the utility is now planning to upgrade another legacy analog radio in their network which will allow them to connect a further 11 sites to the Mimomax Tornado radio network.