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[Music]
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Hi, Kelly from Opto 22 here. Have you ever wondered how, when you call your mom on the
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telephone, the signal travels between your phone and hers? In the old days, switch operators
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would manually connect your phone line so your voice could travel over the correct circuit.
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Now, all switching is done electronically in central offices, where hundreds of lines
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are switched every second. With telephones being everywhere, these central offices, or
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COs, are everywhere as well. In fact, you've probably even driven by one but you may
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not have noticed because the building can be very non-descript.
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Today I'm standing in front of the central office for Verizon Communications, one of
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the world's largest communication companies. A few years ago, they designed and implemented
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the next generation CO. And they've invited us here today to take a tour of it.
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[Music]
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I'm now sitting with Don Nitsch from Verizon, who is going to talk to us today about the
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Garden City office. Don, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
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>>Don: I'm senior engineer for Verizon power in New York state. I am on special projects
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and this is one of my projects.
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Kelly: Ok, so modern telephone companies use electrical switching because you can connect
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and disconnect many lines at any given moment. Are there any downfalls to doing switching this way?
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>>Don: Computers are very small equipment. They're confined into small areas. They produce
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a tremendous amount of heat. We have to cool equipment. If the equipment exceeds 100 degrees
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it starts to fail. We are in a life saving business as much as the ambulance, fire, doctors,
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because they have to communicate through our network. We cannot have downtime. If we have
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downtime, communications doesn't happen. Verizon is the biggest energy user in the
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state of New York. Probably the telephone companies throughout the United States are
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the biggest single energy user. In this facility, we had a goal to go green, to reduce our energy
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costs, to reduce our pollution costs.
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>>Kelly: So a few years ago, Verizon decided to address some of these issues with a new
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prototype. Can you kind of explain this prototype?
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>>Don: They started a project with fuel cells to reduce our energy cost, reduce our electric,
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and the fuel cells were a co-gen project that converts natural gas into electricity. So
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basically we are using steam power, hot water to drive mechanical equipment, and that does
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produce the chilling. The major benefit is reduced emissions. Our boilers aren't running
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nearly as often because the fuel cells are producing hot water and we're drawing less
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power off the grid. So we're reducing the amount of fossil fuels that the utility has
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to use to produce electricity for us.
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>>Kelly: The success of this prototype really depends on the reliability of the monitoring
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system. To implement this monitoring system, Verizon turned to Marine Interface, who has
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over 16 years of experience implementing control and monitoring systems.
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Eric: We got involved with Verizon after the 2003 blackout because Verizon decided to better
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monitor and control their power systems. My name is Eric Breen. I'm the owner and president
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of Marine Interface Corporation. We're a systems integrator and we monitor large-scale,
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high-reliability power systems. We're using the Opto 22 SNAP I/O series product line primarily
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with PAC R2 brains. We interface it to everything affecting power, starting with monitoring
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the utility power that comes into the building, the generator power that's produced by the
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generator when it's running. We monitor the fuel tanks. Then we monitor the transition
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of power, whether the transfer switches are open or closed, whether the circuit breakers
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are in the normal position or the emergency position, and then we monitor the health of the battery
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plants also for the equipment that's providing the actual power to the service generator equipment.
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We used Verizon's operations support network to transmit all the alarms. The beautiful
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thing was this wonderful network existed between all of the buildings already, and we wanted,
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we wanted to use that to transmit the alarms. We used Unicenter, which is a software product
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that's normally intended to monitor IT equipment like printers and servers, and we used the
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power of Unicenter and the alarm reception capabilities of Unicenter, in Verizon's
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environment to receive alarms from power-related devices, non-IT stuff, machinery. In other
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words, we'll send alarms when a fuel level drops low in a fuel tank the same way Unicenter
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would receive an alarm from a printer that ran out of paper. So by using Unicenter on, at
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the datacenter and using the Opto equipment connected to the network in the remote buildings,
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it enabled us to put the whole picture together.
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>>Eric: This is one of the switch gear bays. We have a Opto 22 16-module rack in
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there with a variety of different module types. This rack is monitoring the health and switch
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positions, everything to do with the generator in the other room. We have a simple I/O unit.
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This is a serial input module here that's doing double duty, the two ports on it. One
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port is talking to the panel instrument here. The other one is talking to the Caterpillar
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custom communication module. And then we have various digital input modules. We're monitoring
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the temperatures in the generator room as well as the intake air temperature to the
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engine's cooling system. And then we have digital output modules. We have the ability
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to remotely control the engine. You know, we basically just had to clip in the modules
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we needed to acquire the signals that were here.
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[Music]
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When we looked at selecting a hardware, we realized our application had a lot of serial
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data feeds, had a lot of different signal types. We used the Opto 22 systems because
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of the flexibility it offered with providing a module for each data type without buying
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anything extra, and we had the power of programming drivers ourselves to work with the various
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serial protocols that were available. So it gave us a lot more flexibility both programming-wise
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and hardware-wise than any other PLC would have given us.
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>>Don: I like the system because it's actually reduced my expenditures. This has been a relatively
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trouble-free system. We can use Opto by switching from screen to screen, building to building,
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no dial-ups, one control center. That was a big benefit for us. During the blackout,
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we had one control center in Manhattan and you can't get to that control center during
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a blackout. There is no subways, no buses. Forget about traveling! We can have all the
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experts looking at screen, looking at the same data from ten different rooms or ten
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different states or anyplace in the world.
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>>Kelly: Well thank you so much for sitting down with us today and showing us your central office.
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And thank you guys for watching this video. If you would like more information
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about this application or other applications, check out Opto 22's website. Have a great day!
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[Music]