Low-cost I/O for Utility Markets

A new input/output system, jointly developed by Opto 22 and Power Engineers, presents a low-cost alternative to remote telemetry units (RTUs), by implementing the utility industry standard Distributed Network Protocol (DNP).

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The SNAP DNP I/O family, part of the Opto 22 SNAP Ethernet line, is designed for use with DNP3-based SCADA systems and connects to electrical, electronic and mechanical utility devices via an array of optically isolated analog and digital modules.

Opto 22 Vice President, Bob Sheffres, says Power Engineers, a consulting engineering firm specializing in the power generation and distribution markets, provides the DNP-based communications expertise and drivers. Says Scott Olson, SCADA manager for Power Engineers, “SNAP DNP I/O is appropriate for gathering meter data and logging performance data from equipment to optimize system performance, establish maintenance schedules, and meet regulatory and Homeland Security requirements.” Other applications include the remote monitoring, control and managing of auxiliary systems, such as security and access control for substations.

SNAP DNP I/O modules are DNP slave hardware devices with embedded Linux-based operating system and 10 Mbps Ethernet connectivity. The modules plug into standard SNAP I/O mounting racks and integrate with legacy DNP equipment. Prices start at under $1,000.

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