Power and Connect through Smart Grid Technology

Smart Grid: The Power Grid Paradigm Shift

Governments and utilities worldwide are transitioning towards a low-carbon economy and changing the way power is both produced and consumed. The traditional power grid is seeing a revolutionary transformation that will unlock the integration of renewable energy sources, meet growing usage demands, increase power efficiency and quality, and enable new services to meet environmental targets.
At the heart of this revolution, energy suppliers and retailers are investing in wireless Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to re-imagine the power grid. With connected machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions, they can:
  • Optimize electricity generation and distribution to serve more customers more efficiently and reduce carbon footprint
  • Reduce peak consumption by shifting demand loads
  • Boost efficiency through improved diagnostics
  • Lower operational and maintenance costs
  • Increase visibility into grid operations
Historically, utilities and connected solution vendors had to implement and operate their own communications infrastructures, or rely on traditional wired telephone lines or radio communications that limited where and how they could connect equipment. With today’s ubiquitous cellular networks and highly reliable wireless applications, utilities can connect more devices in more places than ever before, and deploy and maintain them at a much lower cost.

Sierra Wireless has more than a decade of experience building intelligent wireless solutions that enable smart grid transformation. With deployments around the world, we offer industry-leading cellular M2M technologies—rugged gateways and intelligent embedded modules with long life spans, cloud platforms, expert application development assistance and more.


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Customer Story

Itron Extends Smart Grid to More Customers Faster

Itron, a global leader in smart energy and water solutions, uses Sierra Wireless AirPrime® 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE cellular modules for its OpenWay Smart Grid solutions worldwide. OpenWay lets utilities deploy any combination of cellular and RF mesh communications for smart grids under a single network management system. Sierra Wireless provides proven, reliable cellular connectivity options that Itron needs to serve customers around the world, as well as global support and pre-certified cellular modules that let the company expand to new markets and networks much faster.


"With the support of Sierra Wireless and Verizon, we are able to deliver a 4G LTE solution that is cost-effective and provides longer-term investment protection by utilizing the latest wireless technology platform. With the industry’s broadest portfolio of software, communications and measurement technology, Itron has the ability to adapt our solutions to utilities’ unique needs. All with the goal of enabling our customers to operate more efficiently and create a more resourceful world."


Jeff Carkhuff, Vice President of Global Solutions Marketing for Electricity Itron

Technology Overview

Connecting the Smart Grid

Today’s smart grid encompasses a broad continuum of technologies, including: 
  • Energy generation (distributed generation sources, renewable energy) 
  • Transmission and distribution (load management, demand response) 
  • Smart metering (residential, commercial and industrial) 
  • Electrical vehicles (charging stations)
Sierra Wireless has been helping utilities and energy customers build efficient, highly reliable smart grid solutions for many years. We provide complete device-to-cloud IoT solutions, including:
  • Embedded Solutions: AirPrime® Embedded Wireless Modules and Sierra Wireless embedded SIMs are designed with low power consumption and are highly reliable, ruggedized, and cost-effective. They are simple to integrate, easy to program, secure, and scalable from 2G to 4G. The AirPrime embedded modules portfolio also features built-in application processors, modems, and optional GNSS to reduce system complexity and save board space. And we provide open-source Linux-based platforms such as Legato®, which simplify and accelerate the development of IoT applications for smart grids. 
  • Networking Solutions, Routers and Gateways: Our networking solutions include intelligent AirLink® gateways, management tools, and services for rugged environments where reliability and security are essential. They provide persistent connectivity, location-based services, and remote monitoring to help energy suppliers control infrastructure, instrumentation and other equipment in smart grid applications. 
  • Cloud and Connectivity Services: Our cloud services provide the simplest and most scalable way to securely store, retrieve, analyze and integrate data to build new value in smart grid applications. They accelerate time-to-market, reduce risk, and lower deployment and maintenance costs with over-the-air monitoring and upgrades of cellular M2M devices. 
By working with Sierra Wireless for your smart grid solution, you also gain:
  • Unparalleled energy industry expertise: Collaborate with a seasoned team experienced in large-scale wireless deployments for utilities around the world. 
  • Simple integration and deployment: Get new services to market faster with open, proven and pre-certified cellular IoT technologies.
  • Secure and rugged products: Our embedded modules and gateways are designed for long product lives, even in harsh industrial environments. Tested to military specifications, they deliver secure, reliable wireless connectivity under extreme temperatures, humidity and vibration.
  • Faster time-to-market: Work with a partner with strong, longstanding relationships with leading wireless carriers to accelerate network certification and integration in markets worldwide.


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