Mainpower NZ Ltd is a community owned company and has been distributing electricity to the communities of North Canterbury and Kaikoura in New Zealand for nearly 100 years. It is a not for profit company with customers receiving a share of profits and the company sponsoring community initiatives.
RipEX network is used there for SCADA communication with pole top circuit breakers which are part of the power lines company’s network and also for remote maintenance of these RTU’s.
Key requirements of the new network are concurrent serial communications over multiple serial ports while keeping max. throughput over long distances. The terrain within which the network operates is a mixture of rural and urban environments that includes multi-path propagation. RipEX ticked all the boxes and provides the robust solution the end user was looking for.
The main RF network is around one hilltop base station that services approx. 50 remote sites. The network operates at max. data speed (16DEQAM) in UHF band using frequency split (different Rx and Tx channel). Com 1 services the SCADA communications utilising DNP3. Com2 provides transparent serial coms for several proprietary RTU maintenance and programming protocols. A broadband RipEX RF link carries the two serial connections from HQ SCADA to the hilltop base station.
A fifteen years old network had been used that offered low speed serial communications. It was becoming obvious that this network needed to be migrated to a modern efficient solution. The new RipEX network delivers such a solution and more than surpasses all the customer’s expectations.