SCTE announces first two energy standards for cable industry

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers logo

SCTE 184 and SCTE 186 designed to reduce consumption in facilities

EXTON, PA — The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) today announced the formal adoption of SCTE 184 and SCTE 186, the first two standards for energy management in the cable telecommunications industry.

The standards, the first in a planned portfolio of energy-related specifications for the industry, have been created by the SCTE Standards Program’s Sustainability Management Subcommittee (SMS) to help the industry reduce energy consumption and costs within mission-critical operations facilities. SCTE 184 establishes for the first time recommended practices for energy management, while SCTE 186 defines common environmental and sustainability requirements for equipment within those facilities.

“Optimizing existing energy resources is essential to ensuring the availability and cost-effectiveness of cable service offerings,” said Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Time Warner Cable and chairman of the Sustainability Management Subcommittee. “By establishing standards that can reduce consumption in critical facilities, we’re laying the foundation for real, immediate returns for the industry as well as more comprehensive energy approaches in the near future.”

“The desire of cable operators and vendors to meet consumers’ demands for new services is leading to new equipment purchases and a growing need for power,” said Derek DiGiacomo, senior director, information systems and energy management for SCTE and head of SCTE’s Smart Energy Management Initiative (SEMI). “The time and expertise that Dan Cooper and the SMS team put into SCTE 184 and SCTE 186 are only the beginning of their long-term commitments to helping the industry prepare for its energy needs in the years ahead.”

SCTE 184 provides operators, facilities designers and contractors with a comprehensive menu of best practices, particularly for the expansion of existing facilities or the construction of new facilities. The standard covers a wide variety of issues, including: Design Consideration; Site Location; Building and Room Construction; Electrical and Cooling Systems; Energy Efficiency; Containment Management; Fire, Safety and Security; Environmental Monitoring and Building Management; and IT Systems and Data Communications.

SCTE 186 has been created to significantly enhance energy efficiency and increase product reliability by creating environmental, electrical, sustainability and other requirements for the design, manufacture, selection and installation of new equipment. The new standard is designed to reduce operational expenses through such key metrics as:

  • Establishment of recommended operating temperature (21°-70° C) and relative humidity (45%-95%) benchmarks;
  • Mandatory front-to-back airflow for proper heat exhaust to ensure 8.3°-11° C change from inlet air temperature;
  • Ability to monitor and measure intake and output of air temperatures on a per-device basis;
  • Variable-speed fans with real-time reporting of fan performance; and
  • Average computer server power supply efficiency of 87% with optimal power supply load levels of 50%.

Operators, vendors and other parties may download a copy of SCTE 186 at no charge at SCTE 184 can be purchased in the SCTE Bookstore at The Sustainability Management Subcommittee currently is developing additional standards, including the Adaptive Power System Interface Specifications (APSIS™) that can vary power consumption based on network traffic demands, as well as Predictive Alarming standards that can provide notification and diagnosis of impending equipment problems, based on signal variations within the network.

“Until now, energy considerations have often taken a back seat to the need to meet subscriber demand for compelling new services,” said Cooper. “SCTE 184, SCTE 186 and the standards that will follow are intended to make sure that energy management has a seat at the table as our industry plans for the growth we anticipate in the future.”