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Huawei has given us great confidence in ensuring network communications, automation and reliability. Our operational efficiency has been boosted, enabling us to contribute more to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and become a leading energy service provider in Asia.

Evan Liu Director of Power and Networks Dispatch for Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM)

Background

Macau, a densely populated international free port, is one of the world’s four largest gambling destinations. Through a combination of light industry, tourism, hospitality, as well as its renowned casinos, the city has prospered and become one of the most developed and affluent regions on the globe. In 2017, its GDP reached US$49.99 billion (MOP 404.2 billion).

With its high population density and robust entertainment industry, Macau consumes a huge amount of electricity. In 2017, the maximum daily load on Macau’s electrical grid exceeded 1 million kilowatts for the first time. This massive consumption has necessitated changes to the city’s electric power industry.

The Vital Role of CEM’s SDH Network

Companhia de Electricidade de Macau — CEM, S.A. (CEM) is a public utility company with the sole concession to transmit, distribute, and sell low-, medium-, and high-voltage electricity throughout Macau. CEM also owns power generation facilities. The transmission network in Macau is comprised of 23 main substations, 7 customer high-voltage switching stations, as well as 299 kilometers of 66 kilovolt, 110 kilovolt, and 220 kilovolt high-voltage cables. The Macau power grid is connected to the China Southern Power Grid (GSG) through two 110 kilovolt cables and two 220 kilovolt cables. The 11 kilovolt medium-voltage electricity transmission network is comprised of 40 customer switching stations and 1,480 customer substations (11 kilovolt and 400 volt, respectively) connected by cables for a total length of 718 kilometers. The low-voltage transmission network includes 854 kilometers of cable, while the street light network is comprised of 529 kilometers of cable and close to 15,000 street lights. Almost the entire CEM power network uses underground cables.

CEM’s power generation system service is connected through a Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) network. This network consists of traditional services, such as relay protection, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and substation analogue telephony; as well as a number of IP-based services that include a Power Quality Monitoring System (PQMS), a Remote Energy Management Service (REMS), HVRTU remote diagnosis and IPCs, Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV), and IP telephony, among others. CEM’s SDH network connects all the high-voltage substations, power stations, and control centers in the Macau area and is linked to GSG’s SDH network.

Challenges

Meeting IP-Based Service Challenges

CEM’s existing SDH network lacked the capacity needed to support the development requirements for smart grid services. More IP services — including Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and video surveillance — on the future network will entail high bandwidth and transmission efficiency requirements. The network had been in use since 2008 and the technology could not satisfy the network reliability requirements of new services and changing industry standards. In addition, the existing network was unable to support the operation of additional services due to inadequate network isolation. This indicated there was a lack of effective segmentation and protection between services.

As a result, CEM needed to upgrade the existing SDH network before conducting any future business expansion. This included logically dividing the network so that different services could operate independently; improving network reliability to eliminate single points of failure that impact system operations; providing rapid network fault recovery and an SDH protection switching time of less than 50 milliseconds; as well as improving network security capabilities and deploying network security devices.

Solution

Huawei’s carrier network solution calculates different services, as well as data transmission and bandwidth requirements, and then incorporates the innovative ‘zone-specific, multi-level, and layered’ concept, to use optical transmission equipment such as Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (WDM), Optical Transport Networking (OTN), and Hybrid Multi-Service Transport Platform (MSTP) in network construction. The solution also considers the structure, voltage levels, and regional interconnection of the power grid. It adopts mature IP and SDH products to build a power communications network that best suits the grid and carries a variety of services that include dispatch telephony, telecontrol and data signaling, teleprotection signaling, and office automation. It also boasts stringent network security access control technology and a unified network management system that manages network security and services.

Based on the advantages of Huawei’s solution and its extensive experience serving more than 170 electricity customers in 65 countries, CEM selected Huawei to help the energy company upgrade its power communication network and digitally transform.

Soft and Hard Power Transmission and Transformation Communication

Huawei’s power transmission and transformation communication solution adopts Hybrid MSTP hard pipe for relay protection services that have high delay and jitter requirements, such as differential protection. The hard pipe simulates a ‘dedicated fast lane’ to ensure there are no interruptions, and guarantees real-time and reliable service operation, with one-way delay under 5 milliseconds, and two-way delay difference under 20 microseconds. For the IP data network channel carrier, Multi-Protocol Label Switching – Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) soft pipe is used for signal transmission. This ensures flexible and efficient channel transmission, high network resource utilization, and smooth IP service expansion.

In the solution, built-in PCM boards allow for the creation of ‘all-in-one’ devices that enable direct network access for traditional low-speed services (such as traditional Foreign Exchange Station (FXS) and Foreign Exchange Office (FXO) interface telephones). The devices also reduce equipment stacking and service cascade conversion, simplify the network, and improve network reliability. An abundance of low-speed interfaces (such as in the original SCADA system) negates the need for additional PCM equipment, supports unified access for low-speed power services, conserves space, and lowers investment in equipment rooms. This supports unified management of old PCMs and other network devices that was not possible before.

A Reliable High-Speed IP Network

CEM has two main sites — the dispatch center and the standby dispatch center. They are the information cores that administer essential business systems and manage CEM’s key data. They control user access, filter packets, manage service applications, process information, and backup data.

The data center network adopts a modular architectural design for scalable service adjustment and development. The network supports redundancy and the backup of critical devices and links. The data center network adopts effective security control policies to logically isolate data based on service and permissions, and uses physical isolation to ensure the security of important service data. Each primary site has two high-reliability, redundant, high-performance data center switches. The two sites are directly connected through fiber.

Huawei’s CloudFabric Data Center Network Solution provides customers with a next-generation data center network that boasts agile deployment, intelligent operations and maintenance, ultra-broadband interconnection, as well as an open ecosystem. The solution also provides model-based fabric for industry scenarios, which supports flexible, on-demand, self-service customization for faster cloud data center network solution design. Based on the capacity, type, and number of CEM’s ports, Huawei provided its CE series core data center switches and GE series access Ethernet switches. For each site, two CE switches were used for data center interconnection. Huawei USG series firewalls were deployed in active-standby mode between the core switches at the primary site and the campus. The campus core switches act as routers with Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing protocols deployed. At substations, each switch has two equal-cost routing paths provided by the campus core switch to ensure IP network redundancy.

CEM’s different systems (AMI, CCTV, REMS, and PQMS) in the power generation zone of the network are logically separated, with cross-regional access provided through the USG series firewall, which provides fine-grained application layer protection and service acceleration. Policies can be set by the administrator. The Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) provides simple, unified network security for CEM that includes virus, spam, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack protection, as well as malicious traffic detection. There is no direct access between the generation and office zones; only designated employees have permission to access the “data exchange zone” to exchange data.

Benefits

Illuminating Asia’s Entertainment Capital

Huawei provided a power communications and transmission network that is both reliable, and easy to scale and manage. The network helps CEM light up Asia’s beautiful entertainment capital.

The network’s overall capacity and service capabilities were significantly improved to meet the current and future requirements of various service departments. At the same time, service interruption risks caused by the old network were alleviated, which improved security and reliability. In addition, the isolation and self-recovery capabilities of each service on the same network were optimized, and the network’s management and monitoring capabilities improved.

Evan Liu, Director of Power and Networks Dispatch for Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM), spoke highly of Huawei’s advanced technologies and quality service: “Huawei has given us great confidence in ensuring network communications, automation and reliability. Our operational efficiency has been boosted, enabling us to contribute more to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and become a leading energy service provider in Asia.”

Macau is currently developing the ‘One Center, One Platform’ project. It will involve the construction of a trade and cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries with the ultimate goal of turning Macau into the ‘World Tourism and Leisure Center’. Macau is also participating in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. The opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the world’s longest sea bridge, will further stimulate industry development, especially that of Macau’s entertainment industry. However, expanded industry development will lead to increased electricity consumption. According to electricity sector forecasts, Macau’s maximum daily electrical demand will grow to approximately 1.2 million kilowatts by 2023. Looking to the future, Huawei’s powerful digital platform capabilities will help CEM, as well as other companies in Macau, meet growing business needs, deepen digital transformation, and bring digital to the entire city.

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