CASE STUDY

PBE solves difficult communication challenges and provides reliable cellular coverage within the NYPA Niagara plant facility.

PBE Provides Clear and Reliable Communications and Improves Safety at the New York Power Authority.

The Location

The Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station is a hydroelectric power station in Lewiston, New York, near Niagara Falls. Owned and operated by the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the plant diverts water from the Niagara River above Niagara Falls and returns the water into the lower portion of the river near Lake Ontario.
Named for New York city planner Robert Moses, the plant was built to replace power production after a nearby hydroelectric plant collapsed in 1956. It stands across the river from Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Stations in Ontario, Canada.

The Situation

The Robert Moses Niagara Hydorelectric Power Station needed to update their communication systems. The lack of updated communications created several issues and safety concerns:

  • If an emergency occurred inside the station, an employee would have to use an old fashioned wire-cable paging phone to contact emergency personnel
  • The power station has very confined areas and communication coverage area was a challenge. Delays in emergency service response times would occur due to lack of communication
  • Safety was a concern because there were no emergency and warning systems for people without radios

The Solution

PBE visited the NYPA Niagara plant, which consists of a network of buildings and tunnels. PBE provided consultancy and design. The need for reliable cellular coverage within the facility motivated this project to be completed in (2) phases.

In Phase 1, PBE designed and installed coverage that was provided in the Robert Moses building. In the S&R building, PBE installed outdoor antennas to receive off-air cellular signals and cabling was installed and brought into the first floor communication room. Head-end equipment in the communication room included a bi-directional amplifier (BDA), a dualband BDA, a primary fiber hub and an RF combiner unit. Two secondary fiber hubs, remote unit power supply units (PSUs) and universal power supplies (UPSs) were placed in the Robert Moses Niagara Plant that further connected to remote units (RUs) with antennas pairs within the building.

In Phase 2, two Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) secondary hubs were installed along with 13 remote units. The results are enhanced safety now that NYPA has full coverage for emergency
and operation channels.

OPERATING ISSUE:
• No emergency communications
• Delayed emergency response time
• No emergency and warning systems for
people without radios 

SYSTEM SOLUTION:
• Reliable Cellular Coverage
• Full coverage for emergency and
operation channels