Tag Archives: Energy

Setting High Standards – How the Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Standards are poised to change the way Utilities view their Land Mobile Radio investments.

Tait RadioFor years the Utility Industry has depended on the reliability of Land Mobile Radio systems to support their most mission critical responsibility, public and employee safety. Land mobile radio systems are the lifeline between system operations and their field crews that are working in one of the most dangerous environments in our communities.

Working around power lines that carry anywhere from 110 to 345,000 volts is dangerous business. When storms occur and power lines are on the ground or sparking dangerously overhead, it’s the utility worker that must quickly identify and isolate hazards so that repairs can be made and power can be safely and promptly restored.

Historically, these voice systems played a much more significant role in everything from dispatching work orders to meter reading to constructions crews. Now, with workforce automation solutions, such as automated data dispatch, most field communications are over carrier networks, delivering digital work orders to laptops, tablets and smart phones. The utilization of the LMR system has declined dramatically, along with its perceived value to the business. That all changes when an outage event occurs and their land mobile radio system again becomes the center of the assessment and restoration activities.

Let’s not kid ourselves, these systems are expensive, and their perceived value to the industry is diminishing. This is where the DMR standard steps into the conversation, as it provides two key business values that are undeniable.

First, it enables a Utility to optimize the value of a “must have” investment in critical voice communications.

Secondly, it enables a utility to minimize future capital investments and operating expenses related to private broadband, MESH and carrier services.

To be clear, DMR is not a silver bullet for Smart Grid communications, or for distribution automation and SCADA. It is simply a tool that utilities already must invest in, and it can now support a fair number of SCADA and Telemetry use cases that can tolerate latencies of up to 1.5 seconds and work within its limited bandwidth. Not very impressive when compared to 3G/4G performance, but quite impressive when you consider there is minimal to no associated operating expenses, the link and end point can be monitored, managed, and correlated with grid events, and utilities will be able to distinguish between a communications outage and an electrical one, and it is all performed over a network already designed for mission critical applications.

Let’s take a closer look at these two undeniable business value statements concerning DMR.

DMR helps the utility industry Optimize the Business Value of Land Mobile Radio Capital Investments.

  • DMR more than doubles the capacity of legacy systems through the use of time division multiple access and packet data, delivering two voice or data for each licensed 12.5 KHz channel.
  • The DMR standard is open and supports interoperability with other DMR compliant original equipment manufacturers, providing the opportunity for vendor diversity and competitive market driven pricing.
  • DMR can provide SCADA and Telemetry Communications anywhere within the Land Mobile Radio coverage that can tolerate its bandwidth and latency characteristics.
  • DMR supports Quality of Service and committed bandwidth allocation for priority traffic, whether it is voice or data.
  • DMR requires no additional communication sites; it is the only digital LMR standard for Voice and Data that was designed to match the legacy coverage footprint.


DMR helps utilities Minimize Capital Investments and Operating Expenses for field area communications.

  • By optimizing the business value of land mobile radio, a utility will be able to minimize their investment in private broadband, allowing targeted deployment for high bandwidth, lower latency use cases.
  • In addition, utilities that want to utilize their advanced metering mesh radio systems can do so judiciously, minimizing the added complexity and performance variability inherent to mesh systems.
  • Finally, and most importantly, utilities can minimize the rapid growth in operating expenses by leveraging infrastructure that is already managed and supported. By utilizing the DMR system for SCADA and Telemetry in addition to its voice application, utilities can use less carrier services; more fully utilize their existing service management capabilities and optimize both capital and operating expenses.

In closing, the DMR standard was developed with utilities in mind. Its’ mission critical design is capable of supporting critical use cases beyond voice. When fully utilized, it provides a path to a higher return on investment for Land Mobile Radio Systems, and a tool to minimize growing operating expenses and minimize of capital investments in private broadband.

Want to learn more? Register for Tait Communications webinar ‘Crossroads in Grid Automation and M2M’ live on the 1st of July at 10AM New York / 3PM London

Spotlight Interview: Philip Mullins from Tait Communications

Philip MullinsPhilip Mullins,

Solutions Marketing Manager, Tait Communications

Philip Mullins comes to Tait as the former Executive Industry Consultant in IBM’s Global Center of Excellence for Energy and Utilities. He served both internal and external clients as a trusted adviser on utility communications and was a leader in the development of IBM’s Global Intelligent Utility Network Communications Reference Architecture and Solution Offering.

Philip has over 32 years of experience in the communications technology and Energy and Utilities industry with deep subject matter expertise in radio based technologies including; Analog and Digital Land Mobile Radio, Microwave, Analog and Digital Cellular, MESH and WiMAX. Over the past 10 years, Philip has focused on Smart Grid related communications, executing strategy and assessment engagements at leading US Utilities and developing intellectual capital assets that supported IBM’s global solution delivery teams.

Philip is also an IBM Inventor, holding five issued patents, with 1 patents pending,

Prior to IBM, Philip was a leader in Texaco’s Global Information Services organization for several years and prior to that spend 14 years as a senior member of the technical staff at Motorola and supported the evolution of wireless technologies through the early development of Digital Land Mobile Radio through Digital Cellular and emerging 3G Technologies.

Philip is also a United States Air Force Veteran that specialized in Ground Radio Communication Systems, and Combat Radio Communications Systems.

1. Why did you decide to do a webinar with Business Review Webinars?

Great way for Tait Communications to present our point of view on Critical Voice Communications and the opportunity to optimize that investment with our GridLinks Solution.

2. What will the audience learn from attending the webinar?

Two key learning objectives, first, that Grid Links can help optimize a “must have” investment in critical voice communications, and secondly, GridLinks can help Utilities minimize the capital and operating expenses associated with Service Management, Private Broadband and Carrier Services.

3. How did you get into the industry and what do you most enjoy about your role?

I first began working with Utility customers over 20 years ago while troubleshooting a critical voice infrastructure failure, and since that time have developed a deep admiration for the important work they do and the critical services they provide our communities.

I immensely enjoy working with customers, understanding problems and developing solutions that solve them in an optimal way.

4. What would someone be surprised to know about you?

I hold patents in several RF technology fields including RFID, Cellular and Wi-Fi.

5. Who or what is your inspiration?

I am inspired by people that don’t give up and invent new ways of doing things. A few examples are Sir Edmond Hillary, Richard Branson, Elan Musk and Dean Kamen.


Philip Mullins is presenting the Tait Communications webinar ‘Crossroads in Grid Automation and M2M’ on the 1st July at 10am New York/3pm London. Click here to register.


How much power are you wasting?

TurbodenSince late ‘90s renewable energy has been living a boom that would have shaped the future of the power sector in Europe and in the rest of the world. Renewable sources, specifically bioenergy, solar, wind and geothermal energy have been on the verge of a boom that proved to be even almost uncontrolled in many countries. Renewable sources gained public awareness while few players and few countries started opening possibilities and granting incentives (or specific regulation) to boost the industrial footprint overall efficiency and reduce their overall CO2 emissions through the exploitation of waste heat streams.

Industrial players use to release this heat in the environment someway paying to remove it.
The ORC technology represents an excellent opportunity to exploit waste heat and increase the overall efficiency of systems and to contribute to a sensible reduction of greenhouse gases released through electric or mechanical power production.

What’s going on today?
Nowadays natural gas is playing an increasingly important key role in the world’s economy, as it is seen as a viable alternative to oil, whose reserves are being depleted in many parts of the world. For the United States of America, one of the most oil dependent countries in the world, natural gas is an attractive alternative also thanks to the ability to produce natural gas domestically (including shale exploitation).

The use of this fossil fuel in the United States and elsewhere in the world depends upon the many natural gas pipeline networks that have been set up. These transmission pipelines carry the precious resource efficiently at high pressure over thousands of miles, from the well where it is produced right to the users. In order to keep the high pressure required, the gas has to pass through gas compressor stations, located approximately every 100 miles along the pipeline, in order to boost the pressure and ensure that it can keep flowing. The gas in compressor stations is normally pressurized by dedicated turbines, electric motors and reciprocating engines driving compressors. Hot exhaust from the prime movers in a gas compressor station constitutes a potential precious free source of heat.

Turboden ORC units can convert waste heat from the exhaust of gas turbine-driven (or reciprocating engines-driven) compressors into clean, reliable, cost-effective electricity, or mechanical power resulting in an increased overall efficiency of the system.
Turboden recovery solutions allow to enhance the efficiency of oil & gas transmission systems, therefore to boost financial turnover as well as to contribute to companies environmental sustainability.

ORC technology can be efficiently adopted also in other different fields of application of the oil & gas industry, such as exploitation of flare gases, heat recovery from refinery processes and liquid streams associated with oil wells. ORC systems are easy to integrate, flexibly operating even on highly inconstant heat sources, and completely automated (leaving the industrial user focused on his/her own core process).

Turboden ORC systems have already been chosen by prestigious customers (overall 280 references worldwide) for several heat recovery applications due to high reliability, high level of efficiency, minimum running costs and ease of installation. In 2010 Turboden breaks into the North American market with its first 1 MWe ORC unit in a heat recovery system downstream of a gas turbine in a gas compressor station, where the waste heat from the turbine exhaust gas is recovered in a heat recovery boiler and transformed into electric power. In the same year Turboden supplied a 1.8 MWe unit that recovers heat from the associated gas coming from oil extraction through controlled combustion (instead of flaring) in an oil refinery plant in Russia.

Turboden is already studying advanced heat recovery systems for major oil & gas players located in the Middle East, Russia, and Central Europe, and it has strategically decided to invest more and more in applications for this industry.

So, let’s talk about how you can pick this low-hanging fruit available for your industry.

Have you ever thought about investing in a technology that, recovering waste heat, can produce electric and mechanical power, exploitable into the production processes?

In your opinion, what are the main barriers that prevent the penetration of these solutions in the oil & gas sector?

Do you reckon this innovative system worthy or, by contrast, not enough impacting to be of interest for the oil & gas sector?

What are the ways to push the diffusion of these systems in the industry?

Want to learn more? Register for Turboden webinar ‘Waste Heat: Free Fuel for Efficiency Improvement in Oil & Gas Industry’ live on the 26th of June at 10AM New York / 3PM London



Spotlight Interview: Bob Buchanan

Bob Buchanan is the Global Marketing Manager for Canusa-CPS. He has over 30 years experience in technical service, product management and marketing of construction products, including the last 15 years with Canusa-CPS. Mr. Buchanan is active in AWWA and NACE chairing, several committees and task groups that are either updating existing standards or developing new standards toward improving pipeline construction methods. He has also presented several papers and written a number of articles about pipeline coatings.


1.       Why did you decide to do a webinar with Business Review Webinars?

Actually, I have been thinking of using webinars as a sales & marketing tool for some time and BRW provided a tailored package that was exactly what we were looking for.

2.       What are you hoping to achieve from doing the webinar?

Simply a continuation of the marketing efforts that we are currently doing along the lines of the topics that we will present.  That, along with presenting Canusa as a professional organisation that our customers want to go to for quality information.

3.       What are you looking forward to explaining to the audience?

We have a message that we are working to get out and webinars provide an alternate platform to get that message out.

4.       Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Canada – a great place to live and work!  Aside from that, I enjoy travelling and Latin/South America has been interesting – favourite place would be Buenos Aires Argentina because it has the South America feel with an old European twist.

5.       How did you get into the energy industry?

Always worked for manufacturers of commercial construction products and ended up coming to Canusa through a colleague who I worked with at a previous company.

Thank you Bob for taking time out to answer our questions. To hear more about what Canusa-CPS can offer you and your company please sign up to their complimentary webinars on the 15th and 29th October 2013.