Washington Gas selects IP solution for smart distribution network

Innovari and Trilliant interoperable smart grid services
The Washington-based project represents the first production network deployment of the recently launched Alcatel-Lucent 7705 SAR-Hc, which was created specifically for the utility

In the US, global telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent and California-based communications software provider Trilliant will work with Washington Gas to deploy an IP utility network for the purpose of increasing the efficiency and safety of gas distribution.

The IP-based data network will allow Washington Gas to strengthen service responsiveness for 1.1 million customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia in the United States, the suppliers of the technology claim.

In addition, the IP network will aid Washington Gas to use real-time remote monitoring to manage natural gas distribution from its 11 operation centres – enabling the utility to respond faster to gas leaks and pipeline problems, negating the need to dispatch a field technician.

The network is envisioned to automate the capabilities of the distribution network, enabling a smarter and more efficient service for Washington Gas customers.

The deployment will include the use of Alcatel Lucent’s advanced IP/MPLS and 950 Microwave Packet Radio communications technology, already used by Washington Gas, which is re-enforced with Trilliant’s SecureMesh wide area network broadband solutions – part of the Trilliant Smart Communications Platform.

The combined solution aims to allow for swift communications from utility operation centres transmitted directly to distribution devices in the field.

Apart from the deployment of the IP network, Alcatel Lucent and Trilliant have previously collaborated on sales, marketing and solutions development to offer smart energy solutions to other customers, according to the French telecommunications company.

Trilliant smart grid partnerships

The deal follows two other partnerships forged by Trilliant in recent months.

In January 2015, Trilliant revealed a strategic partnership with Bit Stew Systems, a provider of industrial automation solutions for utilities.

Trilliant teamed with Bit Stew Systems, headquartered in Canada, to to offer the company’s platform for software defined operations for the industrial internet alongside Trilliant’s Smart Communications Platform.

And in the same month, US grid situational awareness company Innovari and Trilliant announced they had achieved interoperability between their two products.

The companies said the ability of the Innovari Interactive Energy Platform and the Trilliant Smart Communications Platform to work together will deliver multiple real-time smart grid benefits to utilities’ operations and customers.