SCTE SEMI Forum Sessions

On April 10, a dozen experts–representing cable system operators, as well as vendors from within and outside of the industry–will engage in presentations and panel discussions on the latest thinking around strategies for more effective management of their plants, facilities and fleet.  The presentations will follow a keynote address by Kevin T. Hart, executive vice president and CTO of Cox Communications, on ways for cable operators to align workforces, operations and outreach programs to reflect modern energy and sustainable thinking.

SEMI Forum 2013 will include three program modules of four presentations each.  Each module will conclude with a panel discussion among the four presenters within that module.

The presentations at this year’s SCTE SEMI Forum were chosen through a call for papers process, which is now closed.

Session: Energy Evolutions—A Look Into Applications, Software, Modeling and Smart Grid

10:30–11:30 am, followed by a roundtable discussion 11:30 am-Noon
Roundtable moderated by Mark Dzuban, SCTE

The infrastructure that provides power to the country has not had significant changes or advancement. This is about to change. The grid is entering its next phase of evolution and it will involve software, networking, intelligence and controls. Join us for a look at what is looming for the electric grid.

Modeling Energy Strategies for the Cable Industry
Tim McElgunn, Chief Analyst, Broadband Advisory Service, Bloomberg BNA; and Mark Zangari, CEO, Quantellia
The task of transforming energy supply and consumption is complex and is dependent on a huge number of known and unknown variables. Many of these factors are external to the MSO and outside its control. These complexities create significant financial and operational risk for MSOs. For example, how much will energy efficiency improvements of new equipment compensate for service and power demand growth? Will accelerating equipment replacement cycles negate improved equipment efficiency? What is the optimal deployment of sustainable or off-grid energy sources, and over what timeframe? How does this change under different assumptions about energy price trends, capital costs of transformation, and on-going expenses of operating the transformed energy supply? To manage this risk, MSO executives must make decisions that optimize many competing factors touching many departments. Planning in this kind of environment requires a way to efficiently create and modify complex scenarios and to be able to change assumptions quickly, incorporate these into the analysis, and communicate results clearly to both technical experts and non-technical management.

Energy Management Applications
Frank Sandoval, Platform Architect, Comcast Cable Communications
Instrumenting and controlling cable infrastructure presents opportunities to control energy costs and increase service reliability. A software framework to enable controller applications to grab measurements and issue commands to devices opens a new field of innovation. So-called adaptive power applications will be able to seamlessly shuttle service flows to specific paths in response to power disruptions, and match system power consumption to service levels. This presentation will provide a survey of work to date in this field, and consider the business and technical opportunities on our immediate horizon.

Software Controls for Energy Management
Alan Young, Telecom and Media Consultant, Wipro Technologies
A focused discussion on the need for intensive monitoring, analysis and management solutions that can reduce consumption and therefore costs, and can ensure that sufficient energy is available when and where it is needed for the deployment of new services. Using case studies from the retail and telecoms sectors, the presentation would outline how operators could realize savings through a comprehensive approach that would include continuous measurement of consumption at a granular (asset) level, analysis of data for trends and opportunities to reduce wasted consumption; and application of controls to ensure consumption is optimized. Further, the presentation would show that such rigor would in fact not only improve energy efficiency but could also improve reliability and availability.

Smart Grid: Communications Infrastructure Strategy
Wes Sylvester, North and South America, Connected Energy Networks, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Over $100 billion will be invested globally in the next five years to modernize the electrical grid. Smart Grids are a means to bring distributed intelligence and automation to optimize power supply and demand, improve grid security and reliability, and reduce operational costs. Accomplishing this will require an interoperable, secure, and scalable communication infrastructure to provide real-time information to the grid operators. This presentation will discuss an industry vision and strategy for Smart Grid communications and opportunities for industry vendors to partner on new solutions areas and services for utilities.

Session: Outside Plant and Fleet—Energy Savings from Workforce Management Approaches

12:45–1:45 pm, followed by a roundtable discussion 1:45-2:15 pm
Roundtable moderated by Charlotte Field, Comcast Cable Communications

Outside plant and fleet management are closely related. The program or system used to ensure the plant is maintained will influence how much fuel is consumed. Also, new architecture solutions either in development or available today to replace legacy will also impact fleet energy footprint. At the same time, the default fleet fuel option of either diesel or gasoline is at our doorstep. Learn more about the interconnected fleet and plant energy spaces and how good workforce management practices can reduce energy costs.

A Balance of Power
Robert Howald, Fellow of the Technical Staff, Motorola Mobility
Examination of strategies and solutions impacting the growth of plant power requirements will be the focus of this presentation. We will project at what pace this might occur based on market trends and implementation projections. We can compare this power consumption "CAGR" against increased efficiencies expected from power supplies and from the potential of alternative sources over time, and evaluate the bend trajectory of the curve. The discussion will offer key evolution insights that will allow operators to balance the opposing objectives of service growth and power efficiency.

Outside Plant Management Opportunities in both HFC and Fleet for Executive Management
Jim Heidenreich, Vice President, Strategic Platforms & Customer Fulfillment, Alpha Technologies Inc.
A new approach, namely a MMS (Maintenance Management System), will provide Executives with necessary reports to assess the health of the OSP Power network and validate the PM Certification. Once base lined, their Network Operations (NOC) personnel will be able to effectively remotely manage the aging power supply systems and proactively deploy the right fix agency to pre-empt OSP failures to insure network reliability and return on investment.

Alternate Fuels for Your Fleet: Yes-or-No
Bill Raynor, Managing Partner-Fleet Director, Midwest Green Fuel, LLC-Gary Crossley Ford, Inc.
As the United States continues to explore alternatives to petroleum based fuel for vehicles, fleet managers are faced with the same challenge of how to incorporate alternate fuels into workforce management procedures. Questions such as what fuels are viable today, infrastructure required to support these new vehicles and potential culture and training needed to help with a successful incorporation of alternate fuel fleet will be examined.

Utilizing Fleet Efficiency Metrics to Identify and Codify Best Practices that Reduce Costs and Carbon Emissions: A Time Warner Cable Success Study
Andrea Thomas, Senior Sustainability Strategist, Coppervale Enterprises Inc.; and Jack Sheehan, Senior Manager Technical Operations, Time Warner Cable Inc.
This Coppervale and Time Warner Cable’s focused case study aims to examine the evolving fleet and fuel efficiency effort that established a fuel baseline, generated energy and operational efficiency metrics for comparison, and that examined what best practices certain cable-system fleets are already spearheading to ensure: 1) unnecessary service truck rolls are reduced and 2) that the vehicles are consuming fuel as efficiently as possible per truck roll.

: Facilities—Modular Approaches to Facility Energy Management
2:30–3:30 pm, followed by a roundtable discussion 3:30-4:00 pm
Roundtable moderated by Marty Davidson, SCTE

Data centers and facilities have received a lot of energy attention due to their single source of demand for power. Balancing efficiency with performance and density challenges is no easy task. New tools including SCTE’s energy standards and recommended practices are available to aid in this challenge. This session will provide a focused discussion on modularity as a next step in striving for a better balance of energy, performance and density management.

The Holy Grail for Next Generation Headends: Increase Density and Lower Operating Cost While Introducing New Services
Terence J. White, Executive Vice President, Critical Systems & IT Strategy, Inertech, LLC
Introduction of many next generation services planned by Service Providers are being limited (or prevented) by the capacity of their head-ends – physical space constraints, available power service and/or on-site cooling capacity. This presentation will provide an examination of a pre-build solution to address labor, space, power, water constraints when looking at hubs and critical facilities.

Modular Datacenter Energy Efficiency and Thermal Research Overview
Mark Hendrix, P.E., Senior Engineering Manager, New Product Development, CommScope, Inc.
A key driver in datacenter efficiency is the power consumed by the cooling system. For more traditional datacenters that use CRAC units or chilled water, cooling systems can account for as much as 30% of facility power consumption. For a 30 megawatt facility, that’s 79,000,000 kilowatt-hrs per year, which is equivalent to 54,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Also, at $0.10/killow-hr, this amount of energy would represent a $7.9 million annual expense for cooling system energy.  CommScope has been working through an industry/academia consortium sponsored by the NSF to research datacenter cooling efficiency improvements. This presentation will present an overview of datacenter industry cooling requirements and the research work done to date. Also presented will be the potential cooling system energy savings that can be realized using the studied cooling methods. Finally, the pros and cons of the cooling options studied will be explained.

Hub In A Truck Concept
Dan Cooper, Vice President, Critical Infrastructure, Time Warner Cable Inc.
This presentation will discuss the disaster recovery options for critical facilities like hubsites and headends. Disaster recovery planning for hubsites presents unique challenges for DR planning. The services, equipment and fiber at the location is usually unique to the site and the services can’t be shifted to another location. If a site was destroyed it could be months until the site is rebuild and back on-line with the thousands of customer s served out of the location with no service. The presentation will discuss the unique challenges of the hubsite that mainly impact the cable industry and possible solutions to address restoration with an examination of "hub in a truck" model.

Modular Approach to Improved Efficiency & Reduced Power Consumption at the Hub
Mark Welsko, P.E., Director, Mission Critical Design, WES
This presentation identifies and explains the key elements of the modular approach to critical facility design and implementation. Demonstrates a successful modular design with integrate structural, power, space & cooling factors into a single solution that is flexible and scalable to allow for synchronization of facility growth with the requirements of the operation of high efficiency with a low PUE operation of 1.1 and under in many parts of the US. Through the use of industry guidelines (including SCTE SEMI 184) and real-world examples, the presenter will provide the tools and knowledge-base necessary to make appropriate design choices that can be applied to this and any critical facility.

Sessions and speakers subject to change