Welcome from the Energy Program Office
Energy 20/20 - Milestones
The SCTE Energy 20/20 Program brings the cable operators and vendor communities together to address our industry's energy challenges. This page highlights the contributions made at our semi-annual meetings.
In 2010, SCTE began to investigate the possibilities of energy efficiencies for the cable industry. We examined some technology at that time was first emerging as commercially ready to help drive down energy consumption. Technology today that is commonplace such as LED lighting, server virtualization, and fuel cell backup power was deployed as a proof in concept projects. All of these trials were very successful and them along with the solar photovoltaic plant installed on the SCTE office in Exton Pennsylvania resulted in a 40% reduction in grid energy usage.
With those successes, the SCTE energy program team turned its attention outward to the industry. In 2014 the Energy 20/20 program began at the fall Cable-Tec Expo show. In a standing room only setting, the framework for motivating the industry was outlined and started. The industry is very different now than it was in 2014. The operating companies have consolidated, major names in the vendor space have shifted and advances in efficiencies have been announced. As we turn the calendar to 2021, SCTE’s Energy Program is positioned to continue to encourage sustainable energy management approaches to help drive down costs and increase operating energy efficiencies. This success story report highlights the major milestones of the Energy 20/20 Program. If you would like to get engaged in standards development or write an article for the SCTE Technical Journal, please contact the Senior Director of the Energy Management Programs Derek DiGiacomo.
Thank you and please enjoy the review.
SCTE took the leadership role with industry top cable operators to address over one billion dollars annual energy costs. The focus of the multi-year effort included all of the network with the exception of customer premise; customer premise equipment remained with CableLabs.
Introduction of APSIS Concept
- The importance of standards grew as an end to end energy idea was developed, capitalizing on the daily nature of high-speed data traffic to reduce energy use in response to monitored loads.
- SCTE’s Adaptive Power Systems Interface Specification (APSIS) is an end-to-end energy control system across the broadband network. It manages specific pieces of equipment, such as routers, switchers, and CMTSs, but also provides energy monitoring and control systems. One area of focus for APSIS would be to power down equipment, such as a router, set-top box or power plant, when it’s not in use. Depending on the conditions, the equipment could be put into “rest and sleep” mode instead of running at full power during non-peak times.
Initial Energy Standards and Best Practices Launched
The initial batch of Energy Management Subcommittee (EMS) documents focused on metrics and best practices for the cable network.
- SCTE 184 Energy Management Operations Practices for Cable Facilities,
- SCTE 210 Performance Metrics for Energy Efficiency & Functional Density of Cable Data Generation, Storage, Routing, and Transport Equipment
- SCTE 211 Energy Metrics for Cable Operator Access Networks, SCTE 213 Edge and Core Facilities Energy Metrics
Outreach to utility vendors began to expand our relationship with grid providers and helped SCTE gain insight on how the energy marketplace is evolving
- First CableLabs presentation to SCTE Energy Team on the Voluntary Agreement CPE Program
- Energy efforts in the home have been led by CableLabs and the Voluntary Agreements focused on continued improvement in the energy efficiency of Set-Top Boxes and Small Network Equipment used by consumers of US residential video and broadband internet services.
- First MSO case study presented on CCAP and energy savings demonstrating how utility incentives can substantially reduce the payback period for energy efficiency based projects.
- Momentum and more MSO case studies presented on approaches to become more energy efficient in critical facilities
- SCTE 186 Product Environmental Requirements for Cable Telecommunications Facilities and 216 Adaptive Power Systems Interface Specification (APSIS™) published
- Plan for Cable Tec Expo 2015 revealed
APSIS Proof in Concept Demo Conducted
ARRIS performed proof-of-concept demonstration at Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans using its E6000 CER CCAP system. ARRIS engineers paired elements of APSIS with a proprietary energy management application. The application used the APSIS interfaces (through a translator function) to monitor traffic through APSIS-standard MIBs. During a simulation of a period of reduced activity, such as typically encountered during late night/early morning hours, the application consolidated traffic transmission from among in-use line cards onto a fewer number of cards and shut down the rest.
Energy 2020 Tour of energy-supporting vendors on the show floor
Cable’s Power Innovators Exhibit
Was unveiled featuring case studies from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Liberty Global and SCTE.
Astronaut John B. Herrington spoke to the team regarding importance of managing and accounting for power in space
Energy 2020 Excellence Awardee
Sam Khola awarded Energy 2020 Excellence Award in 2016
Khola has gone above and beyond in helping to generate program awareness, standards, and solutions to assist the industry in overcoming its energy challenges.
First edition of SCTE Journal of Energy Management published
Also published numerous standards and operational practices:
SCTE 203 Product Environmental Requirements for Cable Telecommunications Facilities —Test Methods
SCTE 208 Cable Operator Carbon Data Collection Recommended Practices
SCTE 218 Alternative Energy, Taxes, Incentives, and Policy Reference Document
SCTE 219 Technical Facility Climate Optimization Methodology
SCTE 225 Cable Operator Fleet Maintenance and Vehicle Selection Operational Practice
SCTE 226 Cable Facility Classification Definitions and Requirements
SCTE 228 Inventory of Energy Efficiency Practices for Broadband Provider Facilities-(withdrawn 2022)
SCTE 229 Operational Practice for Cable Facility Design Process
US National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) study conducted on incorporating renewable energy into critical facilities, and feasibility of off-grid facilities to reduce greenhouse gasses shared with the energy team.
SCTE engages with Villanova University RISE Forum to conduct Masters’ student research project producing a critical facility energy measurement tool.
LinkedIn Energy 2020 Group launched
SCTE Villanova University RISE report on Sustainability and Opportunities Benchmark Research published with SCTE.
Cable operators documented material results in “Show Me The Money” session at Cable-Tec® Expo in Philadelphia
Energy featured at Innovation Avenue during Cable-Tec® Expo in Philadelphia
The wide-ranging Energy 2020 presence at Cable-Tec Expo included two exhibits on the show’s Innovation Avenue focal point – one by Technetix and another by Liberty Global and Ericsson – Each showcasing how cable system operators can reduce unnecessary power consumption in the headend and in the network, in conjunction with the principles of SCTE’s APSIS standard (SCTE 216)
Energy 2020 tour of energy-focused Expo exhibitors was conducted
Utility Scale Power Presented
RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) and EFECs (Emissions Free Energy Certificates) are used to create an artificial connection from the customer back to specific low carbon or renewable generation types. For each metered MWh of power generated from a qualifying source a REC or EFEC is created to represent the environmental attributes associated with that power. Purchasing a REC or EFEC allows customers to support renewable or carbon-free generation while obtaining their electricity supply from the mix of resources delivered to the grid, and to encourage the development of more low carbon or renewable generation.
Impact of Distributed Grid
Questions to consider as you build your strategy:
- What’s the value of budget certainty?
- What’s the premium you’d be willing to pay for investing in an asset closer to your load?
- Are you trying to hedge retail prices, or just wholesale energy?
- Does your load closely match wind or solar generation profiles?
- How much of your load is in competitive markets?
Demand Side Management Utility Opportunities Introduced
Demand-side management programs aim to lower electricity demand, which in turn avoids the cost of building new generators and transmission lines, saves customers money, and lowers pollution from electric generators. Utilities often implement these programs to comply with state government policies.
ISO 50001 Energy Management System Framework
Specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system, whose purpose is to enable an organization to follow a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption. (https://www.iso.org/standard/51297.html)
380 Volt Powering Case Study
DC powering for critical facilities is an opportunity for energy savings. By reducing the conversion factor and migrating to higher voltages such as 380 volts infrastructure costs as well as power savings be realized.
Air Conditioning Coil Unit Cooling Technique to Improve Efficiency in Older Units
Blue Box is a foam injection process that delivers near perfect surface area coverage throughout the coil, delivering the most complete and effective process ever for cleaning & sanitizing coils.
Hot Air Containment Strategies in Critical Facilities
SCTE Villanova releases Critical Facility Energy Assessment Tool
A spreadsheet was constructed to help analyze critical facility power to identify areas of energy opportunity.
Airflow In Critical Facilities Case Study
Cable operators can use CFD as a tool to assist in improving air flow management and to identify the types of facilities and conditions where it is most effective. Reference to facility types follows the nomenclature defined in ANSI/SCTE 226 Cable Facility Classification Definitions and Requirements.
Energy and IoT for Energy Data Management
Energy IoT is the ability to connect critical energy assets into a controllable energy network that provides real-time energy data that strengthens critical infrastructure against outages and delivers better energy efficiency.
NREL Microgrid Resilient Renewable Energy Study
Renewable energy microgrids support the triple bottom line (energy savings, cost savings, resiliency). Storage, diesel and renewable energy make up the strategic deployment of a blended power source.
Proof of Concept for APSIS
Announced the Adaptive Power Challenge
The Adaptive Power Challenge aimed to spur development of new technologies and solutions that can help manage energy across broadband networks. Twenty submissions were received for consideration.
Immersive Cooling and Geothermal Use for Critical Facilities
Immersion or direct liquid cooling is a computer cooling practice by which computer components or servers are submerged in a thermally conductive dielectric liquid. The liquid is electrically inert with over 1200x the heat transfer capacity of air. This allows centers to drastically lower energy requirements for cooling.
The only new form of electricity since AC and DC, digital energy (DE) is made up of discrete packets of energy and data and efficiently runs on cables that are thin, safe, inexpensive, flexible and data-enabled, making DE the ideal powering solution for complex and evolving infrastructure systems. https://voltserver.com/news/press%20release/funding/partners/2019/11/14/sidewalk-labs-announce/
Adaptive Power Challenge Received 20 Submissions and 6 chosen for final pitch:
- Sofc.NL Holding B.V.
- Energy Cool
- Dr. Robert Cruickshank III
Lithium Ion Battery Backup
Up and coming lithium ion battery chemistry was examined by a leading manufacturer to identify use cases that could apply to cable specific applications.
Cable Operator Power Reliability Case Study
A leading cable operator’s findings concluded that reliability should be baked into where it is needed not where it is wanted. Also, it was found that heat over time can be problematic and solving mechanical cooling issues can extend service availability.
NREL Report on Renewable Energy and Resilience of Telecommunications Facilities; Distributed Generation and Controls
Phase Change Cooling Techniques
- Phase change materials (PCMs) are substances with a high heat of fusion that, when melting or solidifying at a certain temperature (i.e., a phase change), are capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy.
- During a phase change (melting or freezing), molecules rearrange themselves and cause an entropy change that results in the absorption or release of “latent heat”, meaning that during a phase change the temperature of the material itself remains constant and does not affect the temperature of the system.
- Phase change materials have been used in building applications since before 1980. Salt Hydrates, an inorganic PCM, have dominated the landscape for the past 40 years, but their shortcomings (corrosivity, short lifespan) have prohibited wide adoption of the technology.
Adapter Power Challenge Contest Concluded Award Winners Announced:
Teleste and SOFC captured top prizes for their energy management approaches in the Adaptive Power Challenge, created by the SCTE, in partnership with Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA).
The two winners, one in the Enterprise category and the other in the Breakthrough category, earned prizes of $10,000 and the opportunity to present their solutions directly to the biggest cable system operators in the world. The winners were determined following presentations by six finalists at Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta. Entries were evaluated by judges from CableLabs, Comcast, Cox, Liberty Global, and Canada's Rogers and Shaw.
SCTE Critical Facilities Training Class Launched
Since the telecom industry has grown and consolidated, there is a greater demand on the facilities in terms of the services delivered, as well as the number of customers they are serving. This increased demand and growth often means they are outstripping their original infrastructure and they are now suffering in terms of power, cooling, and space. This course develops the necessary skill set to help ensure the critical space is performing at its peak potential.
Hub Site of the Future Discussion
With critical facilities playing an important role in the access network, leading cable operators shared their thoughts on how this unique space will change in the next two to three years.
Energy Storage for Cable Applications
A complete microgrid systems approach that was presented included layered energy storage to drive up availability as well as reduce total operational energy expenses.
Cogeneration Use Case
A leading power integrator presented a use case of cogeneration which is: the generation of electricity and other energy jointly, especially the utilization of the steam left over from electricity generation to produce heat.
Microgrid Working Group Launch
- The SCTE Microgrid Working Group’s charter is to educate the community on the applicability and use of microgrid technology in MSO facilities; define operational practices and standards; demonstrate that the technology is deployable and manageable for service providers; facilitate communication between service providers, industry partners and other standards organizations; and create a microgrid based use cases example library that shows how resiliency can be improved, operational costs reduced, and deployment times reduced through the appropriate application of microgrids.
- Utilize the unique collaborative relationship with the EMerge Alliance, the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing knowledge and standards for direct current and hybrid alternating & direct current technologies.
- Tim Martinson, the Work Group’s chair, is Vice President of EMerge and will be the Group’s primary liaison with EMerge. With that relationship comes access to a wealth of knowledge and experience in microgrids used in commercial, industrial, technical and residential buildings and campuses.
- David E Geary, PE, Comcast Senior Principal Electrical Engineer, is the Vice Chair. Dave and Tim have been pioneers on the utilization of Higher Voltage Direct Current for over a decade. Dave has chairs standards efforts with in EMerge, most notably the Data Center Standard for Hight Voltage DC.
Generic Access Platform Effort Introduced to Energy 2020
SCTE formed the Generic Access Platform (GAP) Working Group to accelerate innovation by defining common interfaces within node housings that support plug-in modules conforming to the GAP’s physical, thermal, mechanical and electrical specifications.
Use of Sensors to Improve Critical Facility Energy Management
High volume monitoring sensors use case for power quality analysis was presented. An amazing 216,187 points of data was referenced over the course of 240 minutes to track anomalies in three phase power distribution.
Flywheel Energy Storage
It was outlined that the energy stored in a “charged” flywheel can sustainably substitute traditional backup batteries to allow for emergency generators to spin up and begin to carry critical load.
Current EMS Chair Ryan Capone Announced
New EMS chair presented his vision for subcommittee focus for the next few years. He noted great work was done around the critical facility and there is opportunity in the outside plant for standardization.
Susan Jin Davis Keynote with Energy and Sustainability Focus
Comcast Chief Sustainability Officer painted a sustainably focused picture for our cable networks challenging the team to develop not only financially sound solutions that will enable 10G but sustainably sound creations supporting environment, network advancement and financial needs.
Importance of Facility Commissioning
It was outlined how on average, commissioned buildings have operating costs that "range from 8% to 20% below that of a non-commissioned building" according to the U.S. General Services Administration.
Announcing the CableLabs Gridmetrics® Project
Gridmetrics is an early stage project being incubated at CableLabs®. It is a data platform that measures, monitors and tracks the availability and stability of the distribution portion of the power grid by combining data from power sensors in the outside cable plant (last mile) with data analytics and a private, high-speed secure communication network. While the service is being developed at CableLabs, it is powered by cable companies around the world.
Broadband Energy Storage 50 Years of Evolution
Power availability was discussed highlighting most advanced energy storage is not just a battery but requires a BMS, battery management system, to operate the cells internally with the battery to properly regulate charge and discharge while protecting the cells from over-discharge, overcharge, temperature, and more.
Perovskite Photovoltaics: Path to a Terawatt Technology
Advanced solar chemistry was introduced to the cable team by the National Renewable Energy Labs. Perovskites when ultimately commercialized, have the potential to enable greater power production density and application to almost any surface.
MSOs present their Energy Briefs at Cable Tec Expo 2020
The Energy 2020 Initiative entered its sixth year and brought about impressive attention to the importance of energy management. From the 2018 Adaptive Power Challenge, to introduction of creative technologies addressing energy efficiency approaches for: access networks, inside plant, and critical facilities; the Energy 2020 Initiative has driven the energy priority discussion from both an environmental and bottom-line approach. This exciting session showcased leaders from Comcast, Cox, Liberty Global, Rogers and Shaw.
Outside Plant Enclosure Round Table Discussion
Derek DiGiacomo moderated a discussion on outside plant enclosures with the Energy Team consisting of:
John Dolan – Rogers, Mike Glaser – Cox, Tom Hurley – Comcast, Sam Khola - Liberty Global, Alan McDuff – Comcast, and Todd Musat - Shaw.
Shaw reviewed, evaluated and then benchmarked bulk power supply consumption against actual accounts using telemetry data from the power supplies with metrics collected in 2018.
How can we ensure power availability for critical HFC services?
EnerSys presented on power availability for critical service by looking at traditional lead acid, lithium and generator use-cases for Hybrid Fiber Coax.
SCTE Adaptive Power Challenge Award Winner Update
SCTE Adaptive Power Challenge Start-up Winner (2018) Circonica provided timely updates to their commercialization journey.
New SCTE Energy 20/20 Brand and Focus Revealed
SCTE debuted the new brand along with the shift of mission and reaffirms the importance of the Energy 20/20 Program for the Cable Broadband Industry.
Renewables and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Take Center Stage
Following an exciting MSO-led panel discussion focused on the importance of greenhouse gas management, several solution providers highlighted cutting-edge technologies that address sustainable powering needs.
Green Optical Communication Architecture and Technology and Their Impact on Future Broadband Access
Operators want to expand their own wireless services like CBRS and LTE. Current power supply are under heavy load or even overburdened. Very limited margin can be released for support. Energy saving could help to improve the situation and to avoid building new power supply systems, different ways of thinking need to be embraced. Today’s fiber nodes and amplifiers are heavily relying on electricity grid. This creates big problems during power outages. Saving energy can help to increase the battery life during an electricity outage or severe weather, improving the reliability and user satisfaction. CableLabs highlights cutting-edge opportunities in the optical network of the future.
October 2021 Cable-Tec Expo©
New Cable Industry Power Pyramid Released
The major SCTE member cable operators provided data to construct a refreshed look at how power is involved with our industry.
MSO Success Stories
The Energy 20/20 initiative enters a new phase and brings about impressive attention to the importance of energy management. With the introduction of creative technologies addressing sustainable energy approaches for: access networks, inside plant, and critical facilities; Energy 20/20 drives powering discussions from both an environmental and bottom-line approach. This thought-provoking session showcased experiences by leaders from Comcast, Cox, Liberty Global, and Shaw.
As featured in the new power pyramid, industry depends on power to provide essential services. This electrifying team discussed the importance of improving electrical grid monitoring conditions. Cable and the grid share a lot of common infrastructure and cable industry technology can help to better sense utility grid conditions in near-real time. We’re in an excellent position to improve grid condition reporting for all Americans and to boost power recovery after a major incident.
Revolutionary Carbon Offsetting
Carbon Lighthouse: the climate crisis is here, and carbon offsetting can help bide humanity time to revamp our energy system. Companies can and must play a role in this fight, and consumers know it.
SCTE 275 2021 – Grounding and Bonding Task Force
- MSO contributions from Cox, Comcast, Shaw, Rogers, and Charter
- The working group reviewed current grounding practices of each of the MSOs over a period of 3 years
- Grounding and bonding standards from electrical and telecommunications industries were also reviewed
- A ‘matrix’ document comparing the specific practices and requirements was developed and maintained
Cable Tec Expo 2022
A well-rounded session transpired after words from the Energy Management Subcommittee Chair, Ryan Capone. There were roundtable questions, an update from SOFC -a past Adaptive Power Challenge Winner. The MSOs had an opportunity to share their energy stories:
Closing the Loop - Circularity in the Cable Industry
Participants dove-in on some of the biggest challenges to circularity and the solutions emerging to address those challenges.
This panel moderated by Kris Waters discussed current and future efforts to:
Design products for sustainability and circularity
Keep assets and materials in their highest possible use for multiple cycles
Maximize usable recycling yields
Incorporate recycled content into new products
Pathway to a Greener, More Energy Efficient Cable Access Network
Intel presented some data and information regarding a move to virtual CMTS.
- Goal is to reduce power while maintaining KPIs
- KPIs typically include throughput, latency, packet drops, etc.
- Sample analysis shows increased latencies for lower power states but all within network requirements.
Distributed Access Architecture (DAA)
A Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) case study was presented By Tele2 including assumptions, calculations, conclusions, and a few interesting twists!
EV Workplace Transition Plan for an SCTE Member Company
SCTE’s partnership with the Villanova University College of Engineering RESILIENT INNOVATION THROUGH SUSTAINABLE ENGINEERING (RISE) FORUM resulted in some excellent graduate student projects for the broadband cable industry.
“The RISE mission aligns with the goals of Energy 2020, which helps cable telecommunications operators manage power, density, and performance growth in ways that are beneficial for their businesses, their customers and the environment.” -Chris Bastian, SVP and CTO- Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers
Benefits of Virtualizing CMTS
Dell technologies covered how Virtualized Cable Modem Termination Systems (vCMTS) reduce power consumption for cable operators by consolidating functions onto virtual instances running on standard servers, eliminating the need for multiple dedicated hardware units. The dynamic allocation of resources based on demand optimizes power usage during periods of low network activity. The energy efficiency features of virtualized infrastructure, including power management in hypervisors and cloud platforms, contribute to overall power savings. Additionally, vCMTS enables more efficient lifecycle management of hardware, allowing operators to adopt and replace equipment for increased energy efficiency.
Hybrid Supercapacitor Energy Storage
ATX provided a presentation discussing how Energy Storage Systems play a big part in establishing a reliable power source. Supercapacitors were originally designed as an electrical storage device with rapid charge/discharge capabilities, but over time it evolved to behave more like a battery.
GRIDMETRICS DELIVERS NEAR REAL-TIME POWER EVENT ALERTS FOR US DISTRIBUTION GRID
Gridmetrics™ Power Event Notifications (PENS)
By aggregating network data, the Power Event Notification System (PENS) provides an observation view of the stat of power in the last mile of the distribution grid.