5G supports electricity grid and automation

WIVE The 5G trialS were conducted as part of the Wireless for Verticals (WIVE) research project. Credit: WIVE

5G has successfully been used in trials to enable operational efficiency with smart electricity grid and harbour automation in a development which could see ports move closer to zero emissions.

Nokia, ABB and Kalmar conducted the industrial trials which leveraged the low latency capabilities of 5G to support time-critical applications and both enhance protection and efficiency in smart electricity grid and harbour automation.

Kalmar’s automation research director, Pekka Yli-Paunu, said: "Network slicing in 5G networks brings a higher level of predictability and control for our safety-related applications. 5G connections should work at the same level of reliability, latency, and bandwidth as cables and its management should be simple enough."

WIVE project

The trials, conducted as part of the Wireless for Verticals (WIVE) research project, represent one of the first real-world applications of time-critical 5G applications on electricity grid and harbour automation.

In the first trial, Nokia and ABB demonstrated how URLLC technology can be applied to protection applications in medium-voltage distribution networks. It is vital that severe faults are cleared immediately to keep the distribution network running, guaranteeing the safety of personnel and avoiding damage to equipment. The trial confirmed that 5G/URLLC fulfils latency requirements set by protection applications.

In the second trial, Nokia and Kalmar successfully demonstrated the ability of URLLC technology to advance container yard automation. Reliable and low-latency messages are required, for example, in safety related messages.

"Managing power distribution networks with an increasing amount of distributed energy resources and an increasing need of flexibility requires advanced technology for protection, control and monitoring. The 5G URLLC technology provides an affordable communication platform for deployment of these advanced technologies. The results of the WIVE project are encouraging for future utility-scale implementation of 5G," said Petri Hovila, programme manager at ABB.

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