PoE Computers - Electrical Transmission Industry

Thinlabs PoE Computers are full desktops running Windows or Linux (or VDI Clients) and can be used as a replacement for your office equipment. The price is similar while the costs are significantly lower overall.

As promised there are different use cases, some of which our customers have told us about. Here’s an example of Thinlabs PoE Computers being used in the Electrical Industry.

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A large European energy company is testing Thinlabs PoE (Power over Ethernet) Computers in electric substations (an RFI process was conducted and Thinlabs was the only HMI (Human Machine Interface) that fully aligned with the required specifications.

Solution Description:

Thinlabs 22” PoE Computers, powered by Cisco routers, are to be installed in the company’s electric substations. Being smart grids, the substations rely on computers to manage all aspects and the company selected PoE devices to reduce installation costs and also to centralise UPS (uninterrupted power supply) by only backing the Cisco router (as the devices are PoE via the router, backing up the router would be enough to power the devices continuously). Additionally, Thinlabs Device Manager has been chosen as the solution that would help the energy company manage devices remotely and securely. Thinlabs software management suite allows the company to remotely access and update the HMI device in a secure way. Some elements of the software solution include:

  • Remote Device Management
  • Remote Patch Management
  • Remote Antivirus Management

Advantages / Solution Specifics

  • In case of power loss, the substation can be controlled by PoE computers powered via a switch / router backed by UPS thereby allowing staff to continue work, using PoE computers for troubleshooting and do the usual work during power failures (as well as preventing other support staff from driving up to the substation(s))
  • The advantage of PoE is that the device uses very little power when compared to a regular computer, thereby reducing power load during outage and helps the company maintain control
  • The devices had to operate in a non-standard IT environment (no DHCP service; no DNS services and no directory service (Active Directory), as well as less than optimal conditions environmentally (no air conditioning)

Show Me the Money!

  • No electrical wiring or cabling required
  • Consolidated UPS back up via the router
  • Longer uptime, leading to less manual intervention by Substation Engineers and reduction / elimination of travel

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