Introducing A New Era Of Substation Automation

By bridging the gap between analogue and digital technologies, a wide range of opportunities are being created for the modern utility.
Published: Thu 21 May 2015

Built on the international standard IEC 61850, ABB’s digital substations are achieving new successes when it comes to maximized reliability and availability, increased safety, ease of configuration, interoperability, real-time performance, and reduced cost of ownership.

New era of substation automation

With the application of IEC 61850-9-2, a new era of substation automation has begun and ABB is recognised as one of the leaders of this technological revolution. [Engerati-Enabling Digital Substations.]

The exchange of sampled values between non-conventional instrument transformers (NCIT) and intelligent electronic devices (IED) devices for protection functions and other purposes is defined in this part of the standard. The interconnection between sensors, actuators, protection and control devices, is referred to as “process bus”. Besides analogue data also status information from primary switchgear to IED’s as well as command signals from IED’s to the primary switchgear, can be exchanged. This enables the standard-compliant digitalization of the last mile in substation automation, and brings with it a wide range of benefits for the utility.

Digital substations-the benefits and features

Talking to, Stefan Meier, Digital Substation Product Manager, ABB, ahead of the upcoming webinar “We are bridging the gap. Enabling the ABB digital substation”, we were given an overview of the benefits of digital substations, as well as the features:

  • The digitalization of all data reduces the risk of electrocution significantly. The absence of the risk of open current circuits reduces exposure to high voltage electricity and reduces the risk of damaging equipment.

  • Reduced outage times-By replacing all copper cables with digital communication capability shortens installation and retrofit times and enables reduced outage times during secondary system replacements.

  • Security of investment-digital technology creates a future-proof substation due to efficient information management, diagnostics and data configuration for optimized operation and maintenance.

  • Built-in cyber-security in the enabling products, enables user-friendly central management of security events.

  • Increased availability-complete supervision of all substation automation components facilitates fast fault detection and elimination, further minimizes the need for periodic maintenance, lowering costs as well as reducing outage times.

  • Highest performance-Merging units with minimum delay times and IED’s with the highest GOOSE performance levels supports fast data transfer and protection functionality.

During the webinar, Meier will expand on the facts and figures which echo the benefits of a digital substation. This will cover:

  • Copper cable reduction

  • Reduction of space needed for protection and control panels in relay house

  • Reduced installation time

  • Outage time reduction

  • Operational cost reduction

Having accumulated over 15 years of in-service experience with NCITs for transmission level applications and the largest installed base of IEC 61850 substation automation systems, ABB combines the two technologies in its offerings with NCIT and process bus for sampled analogue values.

To join the webinar on the 11 June, register here.