Brian Sims

LOCKEN addresses challenges of access control in power supply networks

ACCESS CONTROL in the electricity industry must address the many security challenges realised as a result of infrastructure layout and potential inherent risks. Scattered sites, such as electrical substations, electric power plants, wind turbines, solar farms and hydraulic stations demand particular attention.

LOCKEN has provided solutions to the largest organisations in this industry since 2003, including the renewable energy sector, with tens of thousands of access points installed.

The electricity industry covers a wide range of facilities, often forming a linear structure over hundreds of miles, or scattered over vast areas, such as wind farms. They are usually located in rural areas with extreme weather conditions.

LOCKEN’s electronic access control solution includes cylinders and keys that have been designed for challenging environments, such as mountainous or seaside areas. Cylinders have the IP 66-67-68-69 rating and high levels of protection against water ingress and foreign bodies.

The latest generation of electronic keys use induction technology to enable contactless information to be exchanged between the key and the cylinder. This technology allows the electronic key to transmit access rights to the cylinder, even in the case of salt ingress, pollution, dust blockages or a rusty surface caused by humidity.

Security risk exposure

Energy sites represent a significant target for large-scale attacks, with the impact of vandalism having the potential to compromise the country’s core infrastructure. The LOCKEN access control solution plays a major role in mitigating the risk of attacks. First, the electronic key only opens the cylinder when configured with the necessary access rights. These may be granted in real-time with the Bluetooth module present in the latest generation of keys by communicating with the MyLocken app via an advanced AES128 encryption protocol.

Second, any openings or attempted break-ins are logged in the electronic key’s memory and sent to the LOCKEN Smart Access management software.

Health and Safety

At energy sites, access to certain areas is restricted to qualified staff. This is the case at electrical substations where the most sensitive areas are off-limits except to officers with the necessary authorisation. As for wind turbines, staff must be qualified to work at specific heights to reach the highest parts of the turbine.

LOCKEN’s advanced access control solution helps Distribution Network Operators to comply with Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations.

The solution works alongside the MyLocken app and new technology (RFID and beacons, etc) to send technicians control messages about required safety instructions imilarly, users can interact with the central system and submit on-site attendance reports and flag up anomalies, etc.

These bespoke features are designed to meet ever-stricter safety requirements and provide maximum protection and reliability to companies within this sector.

*Further information is available online at

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