After changing the power transmission and transformation network to bear production and office work in a unified manner, it is able to support future electric power business All-IP development requirements. At the same time, it will guarantee highly-reliable transmission of important business. Its powerful performance and flexible scalability can meet the development requirements for the next three to five years.

SUPATAT INKHOWRegional Manager, PEA Network Communications Design Department

Huawei customized the Power Transmission and Transformation Solution for PEA. The solution centrally bears production and office services, supporting All-IP development and high-reliability transmission of mission-critical services.

In Thailand, Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) is responsible for providing electric power and related services to Thailand and neighboring countries, covering 99.98% of Thailand's territory over 74 provinces. PEA is continuously building a smart network that adapts to the ever-changing market environment and the fierce commercial competition.

A light bringer from Chiang Mai to Phuket Island

With its unique charm, Thailand attracts tens of millions of tourists from across the world every year. In Chiang Mai, the Rose of the North, tourists can walk in the ancient city, visit old temples, and worship Phra Phrom to pray for world peace. On Phuket Island, the Pearl of the Andaman Sea, visitors can enjoy sunshine on the beach or swim in the sea to play with fishes. Phuket Island is 1,200 km away from Chiang Mai. Although the two places have different views during the day, they are both 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 consumers. It serves 17 million customers in 99.98% of the area of Thailand. With 512 substations and 914 offices, PEA offers power transmission of up to 10,173 cct-km, and optical fibers of 24,000 km. PEA not only brings a colorful experience to local residents and international tourists, but also promotes Thailand's economic growth.

Urgent Need to Upgrade Power Transmission and Transformation Network

As the smart grid is developing, the digital transformation of traditional electrical power companies is the only road to development. With the rapid growth of IP-based services, PEA's early communications network for power transmission and transformation could not meet the needs of service development. For example, the existing grid's legacy was old and vendors of some equipment had stopped providing some of the boards and chips, making it difficult to buy spare parts. This situation multiplied O&M costs. The old SDH devices could not provide sufficient bandwidth for new services such as video surveillance. Some existing services, such as SCADA, were able to take advantage of IP networks, but PEA's network could not accommodate the evolution. All these problems prompted PEA to upgrade its power transmission and transformation network.

Unified Transmission Solution Assists PEA's Services to Evolve Towards IP

As one of the most important electric power companies in Southeast Asia, PEA has been exploring how to apply advanced ICT in the smart grid. One of PEA's important projects is the study of the evolution direction and selection of key technologies of power transmission and transformation grid, the backbone network of smart grid. Based on a good understanding of the customer, Huawei has discussed with PEA regarding the network upgrade scheme since 2014. Many critical production services and PCM services of the existing network should be smoothly moved to a new network without affecting service quality and security. In addition, with the rapid development of smart grid, PEA has been launching new services. The new network should have flexible access and capacity expansion capabilities for those services.

After thoroughly analyzing PEA's demands, Huawei conducted many experiments and tests to develop a unified transmission solution customized for PEA. The solution completed the upgrade of PEA's power transmission and transformation network by adopting several methods, such as customized network migration tools, dual-domain bridging technology, and reused network management and equipment. With this solution, PEA's transmission and transformation network has entered a new stage.

  • Seamless, secure, and reliable interconnection of the old and new network with smooth network evolution

    The electric power industry is the most fundamental industry of the country's economic development. Different from common enterprise network, the power grid is an indispensable part of modern life and affects the national economy. Therefore, the upgrade must ensure a reliable and secure service cutting. Huawei's customized migration tools can ensure that the existing services are not affected during the switching of the old network to a new one. Moreover, the tools can have access to new services and provide spare parts service of up to 10 years for the smooth network evolution.

  • Soft and hard pipes for unified carrying of production and office services to satisfy future development needs

    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 video surveillance and 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 choice to evolve towards all-IP networking.

  • Built-in WDM and ultra-long-haul transmission technology to simplify the network and reduce investment

    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 allowing one pair of fibers to uniformly carry multiple services. Furthermore, to deal with multiple ultra-long-distance network spans (80 km to 200 km), Huawei applied built-in optical amplifiers to reduce the number of regeneration sites and minimize the overall network investment costs.

Huawei's unified transmission solution customized for PEA leverages new technologies such as PCM and Smart 40G. The solution carries both electric production and office services to support the smooth evolution towards an all-IP network, while ensuring highly reliable transmission of mission-critical services. Unique technologies, such as built-in WDM and ultra-long-haul transmission, simplify the network and reduce overall network investment. In addition, Huawei committed to providing spare parts for 10 years. Huawei's professional technical teams planned the entire network, ensuring stable network operations. Moreover, ultra-high bandwidth and flexible scalability can satisfy the development needs in the next three to five years. Using Huawei's unified transmission solution, PEA has stable network architecture for the upgrade of the transmission and transformation network. This serves as an important example for power companies' transmission and transformation network construction around the world.

PEA spoke highly of the project's delivery. SUPATAT INKHOW, regional manager of PEA's network communication dept commented:" The reconstructed power transmission and transformation 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. It delivers powerful performance and flexible scalability to meet service development requirements of the next three to five years."

With the rise of Internet of Energy and large-scale growth of new energy, building a better connected smart grid has become a general trend. Huawei aims to achieve mutual benefits with PEA. In 2016, Huawei and PEA initiated strategic cooperation in innovation centers so that the two companies can develop innovative and competitive solutions through deep collaboration. Wang Yifan, Manager of the Thailand rep office, said: "This innovation center is Huawei's first innovation center for the electric power industry in the world. We have invested resources, personnel, and technologies. In the future, we will strengthen cooperation to effectively promote R&D practices and produce innovation results at an increasing speed to achieve a win-win collaboration. This is part of Huawei's active engagement in Thailand's Smart City construction."

Next time when you travel to Thailand, you can quietly admire local night views and think about PEA and Huawei's efforts behind them.

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