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Ultra-spectral efficiency at the core of Great River Energy’s new SCADA communications network
Requiring a communications network to support their SCADA requirements, Great River Energy in Minnesota chose to deploy radios from Mimomax for their extensive 700MHz Point-to-Multipoint communications project.
With a 56,000 square mile service area to cover, Great River Energy was in need of a robust, cost-effective and stable communications solution to support their critical infrastructure. Tree cover and challenging terrain added challenges to the coverage design of the project and the solution needed to be scalable to add an element of future-proofing for network expansion.
Mimomax engineered a wireless Point to Multipoint communications network based around their world-leading Tornado radio. Utilizing full duplex, Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) communications combined with high order modulation (256 QAM) effectively doubled the data capacity in the two 1MHz channels Great River Energy had leased.
“The level of throughput offered to Great River Energy via our Tornado radios allowed them to effectively utilize the available 700MHz spectrum in ways not possible with traditional radio communications,” said Paul Reid, General Manager for North America, Mimomax.
Incorporating Adaptive Modulation into the Tornado radios allows for every link in the point-to-multipoint network to be maintained independently, irrespective of any modulation fluctuations in the surrounding links. In addition, the two by two MIMO technology offers the flexibility for customers to carry out activities such as software updates while continuing to run their SCADA monitoring.
With 700MHz being a narrow slice of spectrum sandwiched between Verizon’s LTE system and FirstNet’s proposed public safety broadband network, further challenges were posed in terms of out-of-band interference and the potential for self-interference. The built-in duplexers in the Tornado radios assisted with removing channel perturbations and due to their operation on lower RF power, the Tornado network offered the opportunity for greater levels of frequency re-use.
Click here to read an article about this project in POWER magazine.
Great River Energy is a not-for-profit cooperative which provides wholesale electric service to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin. Those member cooperatives distribute electricity to approximately 685,000 member consumers. Great River Energy generates electricity from a variety of resources, including coal, natural gas and renewables. With $4 billion in assets, Great River Energy is the second largest electric power supplier in Minnesota and one of the largest generation and transmission cooperative in the United States. Learn more at greatriverenergy.com
The key benefit of using this [Mimomax] solution is essentially that more data can be passed through a small channel. The use of MIMO technology combined with high order modulation means we will be able to transmit an impressive amount of data inside of a 50kHz channel.
Kathy Shaft | PE, Senior Telecommunications Engineer - Great River Energy
Our robust communication solutions are deployed across the globe in point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations to support industrial infrastructure for Utility, Oil and Mining companies and to provide linking for Public Safety and Transport organisations.