SCTE Goes For Green With Energy-Management Standards


The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers formally adopted the first two energy-management standards for the cable telecommunications industry -- aimed at saving MSOs money and reducing electricity usage -- with more in the pipeline.

The standards were created by the SCTE Standards group's Sustainability Management Subcommittee with the goal of helping operators cut energy consumption and costs in operations facilities. SCTE 184 establishes 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 SCTE's 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."

TWC is fully 100% in compliance with the specs, according to Cooper. "A lot of this work came out of our group," he said.

The SCTE now is developing a spec to cover measurement of energy efficiency, Cooper said. That document is about 16% complete, he added.

Other standards in the works from the Sustainability Management Subcommittee include the Adaptive Power System Interface Specifications (APSIS), which 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.

SCTE 184 covers a 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, which Cooper expects to become part of equipment-certification cycles, sets environmental, electrical, sustainability and other requirements for the design, manufacture, selection and installation of new equipment.

Specific metrics established by SCTE 186 include: recommended operating temperature (21-70 degrees Celsius) and relative humidity (45%-95%) benchmarks; mandatory front-to-back airflow for proper heat exhaust to ensure 8.3-11 degree Celsius change from inlet air temperature; 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 SCTE's Standards Program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.