PEA Transforms Power Transmission Network
Thailand attracts tens of millions of tourists annually. In Chiang Mai, the Rose of the North, tourists can walk in the ancient city, visit old temples, and pray to the Buddhist deity Phra Phrom. On Phuket Island, the Pearl of the Andaman Sea, visitors can enjoy sunny beaches and swim. Although Phuket Island is 1,200 km away from Chiang Mai, and both cities boast different scenery, they are decorated by beautiful lights at night.
The Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), Thailand’s largest electric power company, plays an important role in supplying power for those lights. PEA aims to provide affordable and reliable electric power services for 17 million customers in 99.98 percent of the area of Thailand. With 512 substations and 914 offices, PEA offers power transmission of up to 10,173 circuit kilometers (cct-kms), and 24,000 kilometers of optical fibers. PEA not only brings a colorful experience to local residents and tourists, it also promotes Thailand’s economic growth.
The digital transformation of traditional electrical power companies is the only road to fast development of Smart Grids. With the rapid growth of IP-based services, PEA’s early communications network for power transmission could not meet the needs for service development. For example, its legacy grid is old and vendors of some equipment have stopped providing boards and chips, making it difficult to buy spare parts, multiplying O&M costs. What’s more, legacy Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) devices cannot provide sufficient bandwidth for new services. Some existing services, like SCADA, could take advantage of IP networks, but PEA’s network could not accommodate the evolution.
One of the most important electric power companies in Southeast Asia, PEA has been exploring how to apply advanced ICT to upgrade its power grid. One of PEA’s important projects is the study of the evolution of key technologies that can transform power backbone and distribution transmission networks into a Smart Grid.
Huawei began discussions with PEA in 2014. Many critical production and PCM services needed to be moved smoothly to a new network without affecting service quality or security. PEA also has been launching new services, and the new network required flexible access and capacity expansion.
After analyzing PEA’s demands, Huawei developed a unified transmission solution to complete the upgrade of PEA’s power transmission. The solution adopted several methods, such as customized network migration tools, dual-domain bridging technology, and reused network management and equipment.
Huawei developed a unified transmission solution to complete the upgrade of PEA’s power transmission
A public power grid is an indispensable part of modern life and affects the national economy; therefore, any upgrade must ensure reliable, secure service cutovers. Huawei’s customized migration tools ensured that existing services were not adversely affected. What’s more, the tools can access new services and provide spare parts service for up to 10 years as the network evolves.
TDM services, such as dispatch telephone and relay protection, are carried by mature and reliable SDH hard pipes to ensure low latency and jitter. Bandwidth-hungry services, such as office automation, are carried by MPLS-TP soft pipes to fully utilize network resources and ensure flexible and efficient transmission. This combination of hard and soft pipes supports PEA’s strategic evolution towards all-IP networking.
To solve the existing network’s problem of insufficient optical fiber resources, the built-in WDM solution enables high-bandwidth transmission and conserves fiber resources by using one pair of fibers to uniformly carry multiple services. Furthermore, to deal with many ultra-long-distance network spans (80 kilometers to 200 kilometers), Huawei applied built-in optical amplifiers to reduce the number of regeneration sites and minimize network investment costs.
Huawei’s unified, customized transmission solution for PEA uses technologies such as Pulse-Code Modulation (PCM) and Smart 40G. This supports the smooth evolution towards an all-IP network and ensures highly reliable transmission of mission-critical services.
The unified network ensures stable network operations. Unique technologies, such as built-in WDM and ultra-long-haul transmission, simplify the network and reduce overall network investment. Huawei also committed to providing spare parts for 10 years. In addition, ultra-high bandwidth and flexible scalability will satisfy the PEA’s development needs over the next three to five years.
“The reconstructed power grid carries production and office services in a unified manner, enables electric power services to be migrated to an all-IP network in the future, and ensures reliable transmission of key services," said Supatat Inkhow, regional manager of PEA’s network communication department. “It delivers powerful performance and flexible scalability to meet service development requirements for the next three to five years.”
With the rise of the Internet of Energy and large-scale growth of new energy sources, building a better, connected Smart Grid has become a trend. Huawei aims to achieve further mutual benefits with PEA. In 2016, Huawei and PEA initiated strategic cooperation in innovation centers so that the two companies can collaborate on the development of innovative and competitive solutions.
“Huawei’s innovation center for the electric power industry is the first of its kind in the world,” said Wang Yifan, manager of Huawei’s Thailand office. “It’s also part of our engagement in Thailand’s Smart City program. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Thai government and PEA to promote best practices for R&D and quickly produce innovative results to achieve win-win solutions.”
With this solution, travelers to Thailand can admire the bright lights and thank PEA and Huawei for their joint efforts to build an all-IP unified Smart Grid.