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China’s Three Gorges Project (TGP), as one of the biggest hydropower-complex projects in the world, ranks as the key project for improvement and development of the Yangtze River.
The China Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC) was founded in 1993 with registered capital of CNY111.598 billion and about 14,000 employees. As part of the initiative to build the Three Gorges Project and develop the Yangtze River, CTGPC was authorized to develop the hydroelectric resources in the main river and tributaries of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and to build four massive hydropower plants. The four hydropower plants will have a total installation capacity of 385 MW and will produce 175.3 TWh of electricity per year, making the Three Gorges Project the world’s largest hydroelectric project.
In 2003, CTGPC constructed an optical network for communications services with Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) devices. As communications services of the Three Gorges project continuously increased over time, the existing bandwidth and operating mode were insufficient to meet present and future service requirements. In fact, even some devices were no longer manufactured and spare parts were unavailable. The original optical network was in a precarious state.
Mission-critical services (power dispatching, emergency command, Office Automation (OA), telephone dispatch, and video surveillance services, etc.) in the Three Gorges project had high requirements for communication network reliability. Any incidents, such as device faults, fiber cuts, and network management system breakdowns would put the operation of key services at great risk. So the solution providers had to take all these threats into consideration.
The geographic environment in Three Gorges was too complicated for laying fiber in some places. Some nodes were not suitable for laying out fibers. Services were supposed to be connected through the optical network and microwave. To improve Operation and Maintenance (O&M) efficiency and to enable quick troubleshooting, the optical network and microwave had to be seamlessly integrated.
After a thorough analysis of customer’s service requirements and existing fiber resources, Huawei offered a transmission network solution with the following outstanding benefits:
This project planned to construct two fiber ring networks. To prevent services from being interrupted by several fiber cuts, Huawei’s solution used Automatically Switched Optical Network (ASON) technology to implement services as a permanent 1+1 protection mechanism at the diamond level.
Huawei’s solution used a device-level protection mechanism by way of 1+1 hot backup for core components in OSN devices, such as the cross–connection board, main control unit, and power supply unit. When one board was faulty, the backup board would immediately take over services to prevent the device breakdown.
Huawei’s solution deployed one U2000 (a network management system) at the pivotal center and cascaded dispatch center. To improve network security, VERITAS (third-party software) was configured to monitor the network management system and application services in real time. In this way, a geographic hot backup was deployed to improve system reliability.
Huawei’s microwave equipment was embedded with the switching matrix, and could be integrated with the optical network to form a wireless/wired convergent network. In addition, the U2000 is an integrated network management system — able to manage the transmission network, access network, and datacom devices simultaneously to export end-to-end fault analysis reports. These reports will help quickly locate the faulty nodes, reduce management blind spots among conventional network management systems, and further improve O&M efficiency.
This project comprehensively and considerably improves the robustness of the network in terms of device, service, and network-level reliability. In particular, this project concentrates on developing CTGPC’s advantages and leveraging its abundant fiber resources to construct an ASON network to guarantee stable operation of its key services.
Unified network management for wired and wireless networks save customer’s OPEX, and allow for expansion to the transmission network
Huawei owns an integrated management system for wired and wireless (microwave) networks. This project takes full advantage of this system to connect the original isolated network “islands” and achieves fast end-to-end service deployment and centralized network protection. This system also enables the CTGPC to conduct precision management and O&M of wired and wireless networks simultaneously.
As the world’s largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges project successfully applies ASON technology to its communications network to improve network reliability and stands a model for other power generation enterprises seeking to construct transmission networks.