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Radio frequency mesh architecture

Enabling next generation distribution area applications while extending the life of existing RF Mesh

ABB's wireless mesh architecture integrates RF mesh access points from multiple meter communication vendors with TropOS private broadband mesh backhaul. With this approach, utilities can extend their existing AMI infrastructure and gradually migrate backhaul for their RF mesh network to high-speed wireless broadband, without expensive equipment rip and replace and with minimal service disruption.

In addition to enhancing AMI communications, the ABB wireless mesh architecture is designed to enable utilities to leverage a single field area network to support both AMI and next generation distribution area smart grid applications. Such new applications include feeder automation (FA), advanced AMI, outage management, leak detection and streetlight control. While it would be ideal to leverage existing field area communication networks deployed initially for AMI to support these incremental applications, it's often not feasible. Cellular networks, which many utilities initially selected for backhaul of RF mesh, are challenged to adequately meet these next generation application requirements. The new smart grid applications require broadband capacity, lower latency and greater reliability, which the ABB wireless mesh provides.

radio frequency mesh architecture diagram

Migrating all field area communications to a private network offer utilities end-to-end visibility and improved control over the communications network including coverage and capacity, security policies, and quality of service (QoS). In addition, pinpointing of communication network issues can be identified more quickly and resolution can be accelerated.

The ABB wireless mesh architecture utilizes SuprOS communication network management to support both the RF mesh and broadband mesh networks. SuprOS provides centralized network visibility and control, improving manageability and simplifying problem resolution.

ABB wireless mesh architecture benefits

  • Greater flexibility and customer choice
  • Enables FA, advanced AMI, and more, extending life of RF mesh investment
  • Reduced O&M expense, higher reliability, control of technology lifecycle, more capacity, QoS
  • Can choose technology that best suits needs of devices and applications
  • Enhances operational efficiency, accelerates problem resolution

The ABB wireless mesh architecture leverages field proven ABB Wireless TropOS broadband mesh technology for creating a private wireless broadband field area network that delivers high capacity and reliability, strong cybersecurity and low latency. By integrating support for several RF mesh vendors, ABB’s wireless mesh architecture offers utilities a cost effective and simplified path towards upgrading field communications to enable more demanding utility field automation applications.

Learn more about the ABB’s wireless mesh architecture and utility field communications evolution.

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