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Mission-Critical IoT to disrupt smart grids – A revolution in the power sector

Richa Daga, Software Engineer, Cisco
11 Dec 2020
Event Center

Mission-Critical IoT to disrupt smart grids – A revolution in the power sector

As the future would have more connected devices than people living on the planet, it becomes imperative to understand the IoT landscape to maximize the business potential of any sector. Changing the way to deliver power in the Utility sector can boost its efficiency, safety, reliability, and ultimately profitability. Modernizing the grid has enormous potential to improve performance. The upgraded network will enable the utility to deliver modern applications such as a smart grid and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
The day is not far off when the IoT based energy-consuming devices in our smart homes would communicate with the utility supply to effectively balance power generation and energy usage. Electric utilities can collect data from end-user connections using advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) devices connected to the Internet backbone that enable two-way communication between utilities and customers.
A smart grid communications network consists of a wide area network (WAN), multiple field area networks (FAN), and neighborhood area networks (NAN). So, crucial investment and technology decisions are required in each area to mitigate the possible vulnerabilities and risks at different applications and endpoints. In the past, utilities worked on communications networks based on time-division multiplexing (TDM) technologies. But can these technologies support the long-term requirements of the network?
We need to meet the low-latency requirement of teleprotection and stringent reliability requirements of critical grid operations such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) control and monitoring systems. To achieve this, careful consideration of the available next-generation communications network is necessary for the evolution of the underlying communications network. Choices such as whether the transport should be Connectionless or Connection-Oriented, whether the technology should be IP, IP/MPLS, or packet-optical technology lie ahead of us to reap the benefits of Industrial IoT.
The proposed session would be a presentation with end-user and enterprises as the target audience. The need to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages in distribution grids and the benefits in merging both information and operational technology (IT/OT) traffic in one network are some of the aspects that would be covered. Supporting legacy utility services and logically separating different types of application data to manage their security and reliability to enable mission-critical use cases is the need of the hour.


With a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and a post-graduate degree in Networking, Richa is as technical as you can get. She has vast experience working in the telecom and optical networking domain as a professional embedded software engineer at Ciena. She has also worked at Cisco Research and Development offshore center and had worked for the development of products on SONET, OTN, ETHERNET technologies from scratch. She has worked in the data plane area for bring up of line cards, FPGAs, and ASICs device drivers and has been a part of the customer response team handling live customer network issues on the deployed products.
She was the chairperson of IEEE Women in Engineering branch of her alma mater and headed/hosted various seminars, presentations, and organized state/national events.
She has technical papers published in national conferences and has been conferred with the best orator award at many gatherings. She received an outstanding student volunteer award in the Women in Engineering field in AGM-2011 by the Delhi section of IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Being an all-rounder, she believes in investing in knowledge and sharing with other women in tech via communities. She was a speaker at the past IoT Slam where she shared her insights regarding 5G, IoT, and optical technologies. Richa is based out of New Delhi, India.


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