Focus area: Supply and control

Optimizing resiliency for disaster recovery

Solution/product description

"Recent events that cause long term downtime (i.e. catastrophic weather patterns) create many challenges to provide communication services to the right emergency response groups at the right time.
Applying Adaptive Power tools and techniques will allow the Critical Facility – CF (Headend or Hub) to:
• Selectively reduce energy consumption at the CF
• Allow power only to selected communication capability supporting Emergency Response needs
• Effectively turn down non-essential network elements and service delivery equipment
• Reducing over-all CF load
• Extend runtime of the backup generation
• Effectively restore to standard operation when emergency is cleared
Critical facilities have set operational plans to ensure availability and resiliency (via - back-up energy generation) to sustain the facility. NREL Studies have shown that the typical backup generator has only 2 days-worth of fuel before requiring refill.
Applying Adaptive Power in a systematic approach to monitor and control energy at the Critical Facility (CF) during a major power outage can help ensure service continuity to - First Responders, Local & State Agencies, Communication Towers, etc. This is not intended for every Headend or Hub. However, the cable service delivery network has evolved: Missing from this illustration are all the other communication facilities and links to subscribers that are not typical “triple play” customers. Providing connectivity and communication to these Emergency Response groups allows effective coordination with each other and outside the affected area.
Adaptive Power as a tool to power down network elements in the critical facilities is the first step. This allows the energy generation by the generator or other energy source to support a modified or smaller critical load.
If the reduced load is significant then there is the potential to extend the run time on the backup generator. NREL studies have indicated that recent weather related incidents and resulting down time of infrastructure have been averaging longer than 2 days.
This implementation is intended for those CFs that are strategically located in the Metro Region and clearly Network Engineering, Operations and Facilities would need to establish the exact items in the CF that need to be managed. However, with that plan there is a strong potential for providing effective communications to Emergency Response needs and optimize the resiliency of the CF by utilizing Adaptive Power tools and techniques.
" Applying Adaptive Power in this scenario has a two-fold impact. First the systematic turn down of network elements and service delivery equipment is needed because newer technologies require a power off sequence. One cannot just un-plug this equipment.
Once utility power is restored at the CF there is the need to reenergize the network elements and service delivery equipment. This is not just flipping a switch.
The challenge is to bring back full operation of the network elements and service delivery equipment requires the reverse of the shutdown process.
This is the second impact of applying Adaptive Power. The same sequence that powered down can be applied in reverse to sequentially power up the CF with minimum manual intervention.
The result, a disaster recovery plan that optimizes the CF network elements and service delivery equipment load requirements:
• allowing for selected communication capability to Emergency Response needs
• effectively turning down non-critical network elements and service delivery equipment
• potentially reducing CF load
• extending the runtime of the backup generation
• effectively get back on-line when infrastructure is restored
o in a managed cost effective approach
o With minimal manual intervention.

How does your project address / improve the focus area (Monitoring and Measurement, Demand Response, Supply and Control)?

Recent events that cause long-term downtime (i.e. catastrophic weather patterns) create many challenges to providing communication services, especially to Emergency Response groups. MSO’s critical facilities have set operational plans to ensure availability and resiliency (via - back-up energy generation) to sustain the facility, but have limits. Utilizing Adaptive Power tools that can monitor and control energy at network element levels is a potential approach to control energy during a major disruption in standard operations. An Adaptive Power implementation has the potential to ensure service continuity allowing critical communication capabilities to First Responders, Local Agencies, State Agencies, etc.).

What was your inspiration for your project?

Seeing the most recent weather related incidents that have had a significant impact upon the communities that are devastated and realizing Emergency Responder groups need effective communications to help those in need.

What is the single most exciting thing about your project?

That the MSO/Cable Industy has the connectivity to provide reliable communications to Emergency Response organizations especially in times of catastrophic conditions to maintian connectivity and communication when basic infrastructure is not available.

Why did you decide to take part in the Adaptive Power Challenge?

I have been engaged with the SCTE since 2004 and especially active with the E2020 Initiative. I have experience in optical transport communication equipment and have fundamental knowledge of disaster recovery equipment and their operation. I believe the MSO Industry can lead the rest of the Communication Service Providers demonstrating the best in technology and operating practices that help the communities they serve. Also, I think this is fun to participate.