Digital technology has been transforming concepts and operational capabilities of different systems across sectors. Substation automation is such an invention derived using the endless possibilities offered by the internet and cloud-based technology. Substation Automation System (SAS) amalgamates software and hardware systems in a seamless manner to enable operation, control, and management of electricity production and distribution from a remote center.
The most convenient aspect of remote systems is that they could be operated either locally or remotely depending on the requirement by the company. Imagine the productivity such a system can offer. Besides, the many advantages include quick defect rectification, automated scheduling of servicing, hazard prevention, human safety, and advanced security features. Firms offering remote substation automation systems pursue advanced technical protocols, including IEC 61850 test suite, for evaluating the systems and process.
What is a Substation Automation System?
Substation automation systems have been devised for operating and controlling power grids/ electrical substations remotely, as well as, automating the different tasks. Accordingly, periodic, preventive, and corrective maintenance could be undertaken without the physical involvement of the engineers and technicians. Cloud-based technology helps in carrying out the task through a dedicated computer or through the specific app installed in the mobile, while the responsible individual is traveling.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are the basic structure that aid in substation automation. The exclusively designed user interface, computers with the customized software, and a closed network integrated with advanced safety measures is the mainstay of SAS. The user interface can be custom-designed and controlled according to the different levels of the users. To prevent unauthorized entry of individuals to different systems.
The real-time measurement and inspection help in monitoring the functioning of the substation. Thus augmenting the security and proactive possibilities. Phase Measurement Units (PMU) are the components that render the user with the parameters and status of the components and critical subsystems.
The Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs), installed in the systems, collect data from the components and provide inputs to the vital systems. The devices would facilitate the command of the substation by the remote operators. Thereby, the operators, maintainers, and supervisors don’t have to move to the location for confirming the conditions.
What are the benefits of Substation Automation Systems?
Substation automation systems have become a promising technology for power distribution. Smart grids are the future and the traditional electricity control and distribution system are turning obsolete rapidly. All the reputed organizations across the globe are embracing SAS technology.
The benefits of substation automation systems include:
- Advanced safety features that prevent operation by unauthorized individuals
- Better security to persons operating, maintaining, and repairing the grid. As all the activities can be undertaken remotely.
- The safety aspects and procedures to be followed could be conveyed graphically.
- Early warning in case of any suspected flaws, defects, or issues.
- Easy identification and localization of defective components/ area.
- Defect liquidation in the shortest possible time with the SAS aiding in displaying the exact cause.
- Increased productivity.
- Controls of the system could be predefined, i.e. operator, maintainer, supervisor, and management.
- Enhanced asset management solutions.
- Cost-effective solution with reduced maintenance and operational costs.
- Improved customer support that enables retention, as well as, growth.
- Nil or reduced outage due to technical defects, flaws, or human errors
Why Substation Automation System is Advisable?
Substation Automation System offers seamless connectivity, improved efficiency and smart power distribution. By reducing human efforts and mechanical procedures, it enhances productivity as well.
The unique characteristics of SAS include the following:
Standby System – An uninterrupted power supply is the ultimate aim of companies. Substation automation systems facilitate standby or redundant systems. The system can be programmed to take over the control in case of any detected failure in the system.
Proper Monitoring – Human monitoring or interaction is not necessary when you have a substation automation system in place. It would be monitoring the parameters and registering the same in data log 24×7. Any irregularities or variations would be noted in the log against the specific time stamp. The authorized personnel would be notified through automated messages in case there is an alarming situation or urgent interference is required.
Indications of Defect – The defective areas would be indicated by the system. In turn the technical team needs to spend more time investigating the root cause. The elimination of the defect could be undertaken through the systematic process, with the exact information available to the team.
Advanced Technology – More entities are going for substation automation systems. The traditional systems that require constant human interference would soon become obsolete. Consequently, there would be a shortage of components and elements that are required for consistent performance. With reputed firms offering advanced automation systems, this is the right time to go for the same.
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