The current vision of a truly smart grid offers a great opportunity for utility modernization and advancement in part through a vast growth in the numbers and types of connected devices in a utility network. This migration to an intelligent grid that features connected devices is driving the need for increased network bandwidth, strong security and mission-critical network reliability. And as the need for greater data capacity and smart grid applications grows, the FlexNet system continues to evolve to meet demands for the next generation. There is a new sense of urgency among utilities to invest in a network that can meet these challenges.
Sensus understands how utilities operate, having supplied utility solutions for over 100 years. Sensus' FlexNetTM system provides the most comprehensive network features of any other utility communications solution in its class. Because FlexNet is a licensed spectrum network solution, it includes everything a utility could need for creating a secure, data highway for mission critical applications like smart metering, distribution automation, demand response and more. The FlexNet communication network is backed by a broad range of deployment options and services and is already well established and proven in volume deployments with millions of endpoints.
The FlexNet™ system gives utilities the peace of mind that the solution they deploy today will provide a clear path to the utility network needs of tomorrow.
- Flexible multi-application network for Smart Metering (AMI), Distribution Automation, Demand Response and more
- Licensed spectrum
- Dedicated channels for applications
- True two-way communications
- Simple RF architecture (endpoint to base station)
- High-performance reliability, availability and scalability
- Low latency
- Over-the-air upgrades
- Open standards network architecture
Sensus and its electric, water and gas utility customers are proving that an important line of defense against severe weather can be found in a resilient, two-way communication network. Using Sensus FlexNet™ technology, utilities can collect and access real-time data from various smart sensors that provide a critical view of a utility's infrastructure. It's this access to system status before, during and after a storm that helps utilities restore services faster and avoid additional damage.
Watch the "Superstorm Sandy: Lessons Learned" video to learn how our FlexNet system stands up to Mother Nature.
Increased Spectrum and Speed
Sensus acquired 525 KHz of additional spectrum, and introduced higher modulation schemes, substantially increasing data rates.The additional spectrum provides more data communication channels and lets utilities transmit nearly ten times the amount of data up to a rate of 1.2 Mbps.
More Dedicated Channels
Multiple applications sharing the same channel can often result in interference and increased latency. With more spectrum and higher transmission rates, Sensus can dedicate more distinct channels to specific applications, greatly reducing interference and latency. Utilities can prioritize applications with time-sensitive data requirements such as distribution automation, remote shut off and demand response.Thus it alleviates pressure on the overall network.
In addition to providing ubiquitous coverage in rural areas across the country, FlexNet is designed to serve even more densely populated areas, expanding its reach to 10,000 to 20,000 meters per base station. Large amounts of data will be simultaneously transmitted at faster rates and with significantly reduced latency.
Support for IPv6
The FlexNet system supports true end-to-end IPv6 across all platforms; electric, water, gas and lighting control. IPv6 compatibility transforms the system from a single-application AMI network to a truly interoperable Smart Grid network enabling industry standard addressing and routing protocol to be used between all endpoints and applications.
Increased Security Measures
Sensus is integrating IBM's asymmetric encryption and enhanced key management technologies into its FlexNet™ communications system for electric, gas and water utility smart endpoints, including meters and distribution automation devices. The technology integration includes National Security Agency (NSA) Suite B standards compliant cryptographic logic from IBM in all newer generation devices.