Throughout recent months, as fires ravaged thousands of acres of California, the Northern California company PG&E was forced to make a terrible call to completely shut down power in many areas. They did so in order to lessen the impact of the fires, and almost certainly save lives, but it was hard on customers and at times, even deadly.
As an example, a man in Pollock Pines, just east of Placerville, died shortly after his power was turned off. He required oxygen and was no longer able to get it. While there hasn’t been a 1:1 absolute link concerning the causation between the cutoff and his death, it’s a terrible tragedy that everyone involved wishes could have been avoided.
Avoiding such tragedies is the promise of the RTU-powered smart grid.
The smart grid, which is developing from dream to reality, is an electrical grid that can make targeted slowdown, shutdown, or ramp up a decision, based on usage, need, and other factors. It can make instant decisions, and not get into situations like the one in California. But doing this requires a remote telemetry unit for the smart grid that actually works. RTUs have to be able to monitor vast amounts of information across the grid and send them to a master station that can make the right decisions.
That means that the RTUs have to be able to withstand whatever nature can throw at them—they must be rugged. As the smart grid is the way of the future, it’s crucial to get it right. That means understanding what the smart grid is, finding the best remote terminal unit for the smart grid, and ensuring it will work effectively as a part of your SCADA system.