Swiss utility optimises grid communications with Hitachi ABB technology


Switzerland-based grid operator CKW has selected Hitachi ABB Power Grids to enhance its grid communications network.

The energy provider to some 200,000 customers seeks to modernise its grid communications infrastructure to ensure reliable operations and manage the transition to an increasingly distributed and decentralised grid.

CKW will install ABB HItachi Power Grids’ FOX615 hybrid platform and the FOXMAN network management system.

The company was looking to invest in a highly reliable communication network that could cover legacy as well as new technology and at the same time meet its stringent cybersecurity requirements.

Have you read?
Enel to increase grid reliability with TXpert digital transformer programme
Landis+Gyr improves cybersecurity of smart meters with German acquisition

The FOX615-based network uniquely met CKW’s cybersecurity standards by offering a fully integrated encryption solution, covering even the time-critical signals. The solution offers improved runtimes, especially for protection applications based on optimized MPLS-TP technology and the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) as well as interoperability between conventional and modern protection applications.

Based on modern, packet-switched (MPLS-TP) networking technology, the new network needed to support legacy mission-critical applications but allow for upgrades to accommodate the bandwidth-intensive applications of the future – all in one box and at a low total cost of ownership.

With testing completed, CKW’s network is now operational and ready to support new smart grid applications and next-generation customer services.

Stefan Mattmann, project manager of the grid communication 2020+ project, at CKW, said: “The FOX615 hybrid multiplexer ensures real-time performance and deterministic network behavior with a reduced total cost of ownership.

“Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ solution enables a reliable operational technology network and provides seamless migration from legacy to state-of-the-art technologies for all utility applications, including supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and teleprotection.”

Claus Vetter, head of the automation and communication global product group within Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ Grid automation business unit, adds: “Utilities today are facing two major challenges – complexities from distributed energy sources and growing cybersecurity threats.

“The collaboration with CKW highlights not only our strong product portfolio but also Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ expertise and ability to support increasingly challenging cybersecurity scenarios and guidelines.”