Packet Power Retrofit Solutions: Smart Power Cables

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Turn Basic PDUs into “Smart PDUs” and Start Monitoring Equipment with Dedicated Circuit Connections …in Minutes

Upgrading your standard un-metered PDU to a fully metered PDU doesn’t have to mean going to the expense of purchasing a new smart PDU along the costs of adding network cable drops and a massive integration effort with a monitoring program. Packet Power “Smart Cables” simplify the process with the entire solution often costing less than most metered PDUs and can be implemented quickly and easily.

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What is a “Smart Cable”: Smart Cables are just like a standard power cables except with embedded wireless power monitors.  Each Smart cable provides high accuracy power measurements from current to energy usage information which can also be viewed on a local display. Since the Smart Cables are line powered and wireless there is no need for network drops.  The cables are available to fit any plug type from small single phase cords to high amperage three phase devices and use a failsafe design that can never interrupt the current path.

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Cables are available in any current rating or plug type, single and three phase and are certified for use in most regions.

Installing a Smart Cable network is easy as “1-2-3”

What makes Smart Cables different from so many other solutions is the ease of deployment. Even a large network can be deployed in three easy steps thanks to the self-configuring feature.

  1. Start-off by connecting the “Smart Cable” to your PDUs using the standard power plug connections. The “Smart Cable” is line powered and wireless eliminating the need for network or power connections.
  2. Next connect the Gateway module to your network. The Gateway automatically detects and configures any Smart Cables in range, seamlessly adding them to the network. The self-configuring feature makes adding any future Smart Cables to the network a true “plug and play” experience.
  3. Once your Gateway is connected to your network you are immediately ready to monitor all your PDUs. Using the EMX energy portal (available as a local or cloud application), you can instantly access real time energy information, generate intuitive reports, and set customized alerts. No additional programming or commissioning is required.
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Packet Power Technology – the self-configuring mesh network

At the heart of the Packet Power system is the Gateway module which automatically detects and configures any new Smart Cables, adding them to the network.  This simplifies installation and scalability allowing a few or a few hundred cables to be added with ease.  Smart Cables can be located up to 30 meters or 100 feet from each other with at least one cable having to be within range of the Gateway. 

A single Gateway can support hundreds of Smart Cables, while additional Gateways can be added for redundancy or capacity. Data for all of the Smart Cables can be accessed through a single IP address on the Gateway.

Once a network is established, the data can also be instantly accessed using Packet Powers EMX portal. For applications with existing Building Management Systems or DCIMs, the Gateway can also provide SNMP or ModBus TCP/IP data to interface with just about any third party solution while simultaneously providing access to information on the EMX portal.

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If a radio path from any Smart Cable to the Gateway is not optimal for distance or transmission reasons, it will relay the signal through nearby Smart Cables forming a dynamic mesh network.  The result is a wireless network that is as reliable as a wired network.

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Providing information that makes a difference to your business

Ultimately, it’s the information provided and how it can be used that will determine the value of your monitoring system. Below are just a few of the ways Packet Power customers are using the information from a Smart Cable system.

  • Simplify and automate reporting: allocate operating costs by user, technology platform, or project
  • Analyze energy usage trends
  • Segregated access to reports and real time data by customer improves customer satisfaction and the customer experience
  • Easy to access real time data
  • Increase reliability with pre-emptive alerts that bring issues to light before they affect critical loads using the policies and alerts feature
  • Identify stranded power and additional capacity and maximize infrastructure utilization
  • Make accurate PuE calculations
  • Have better information to plan for future infrastructure changes

The Cost Effective Solution: Less expensive than metered PDUs without compromise

Packet-Power-savingsDeploying a Smart Cable network is more affordable than you may think. Adding a Smart Cable to your standard PDU often costs far less than many metered PDUs while providing all the functionality. Looking at the total cost of ownership, the Smart Cable scenario becomes more attractive as it has a single IP address and network drop per hundreds of PDUs eliminating the costs of network cables and maintaining a fleet of IP addresses. Also there are no network cable drops needed for Smart Cables. Monitoring also becomes much more affordable as there are no commission or programming costs associated with the Packet Power monitoring solution. Even when using the EMX monitoring portal, licensing fees are a fraction of that of conventional systems, or non-existent when only using the SNMP or ModBus data.

The truly secure wireless solution: 

Packet Power offers a wireless solution that is as secure as any wired system. Transmissions are made using a proprietary, out of band protocol that cannot communicate with any third party devices such as those using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or ZigBee.  In addition the Gateway firmware limits communications to the interchange of power and environmental data from Packet Power nodes, eliminating the possibility of using the Gateway as a conduit to the network. Gateway security is further enhanced by available 128 bit encryption.

What makes Packet Power different than any other wireless solution?

  • Uses a secure out of band frequency (900 MHz typical) using a pseudo random algorithm
  • Only supports the transmission of power and environmental data over a proprietary protocol; not Wi-Fi, Blue Tooth or ZigBee
  • Not detectable by conventional networks (No SSID)
  • Cannot be used by a third party to gain access to the site’s wired network / does not support data interchange with third party devices
  • Gateway devices are limited to servicing requests for monitoring data only from applications running on the customer’s wired data network
  • Designed for close proximity transmission; no stray signals
  • Available 128 bit encryption for hardwired network side

To learn more about PTS Data Center Solutions available to support your Data Center Power Management and Monitoring needs, contact us or visit:

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