Technology Smart technology enables next generation digital substations Power generation sources are increasingly distributed, volatile and intermittent. Utilities must rapidly adopt a more intelligent and reliable grid. Modern substations require the highest rate of system availability, performance and networks able to comfortably handle large and ever-growing amounts of data. AS THE SMART GRID GATHERS MOMENTUM, digital technologies are being steadily incorporated into utility operations. A study by EY found that 92% of electrical utilities and power generation companies decided to invest in the digital grid in 2017. In the next few years, that trend is expected to accelerate. EY predicts that investment in the digital grid will reach half a trillion dollars annually. Clearly, the digital grid has moved front and center in the power and utility sector. It is being driven by the growth in renewables, increasing cybersecurity risk and the demand for greater effi ciency. To realize the dream of a digitized grid, however, the equipment deployed must offer high performance and be highly reliable. That requires a network infrastructure that can not only deal with current demands, but can cope with future innovation and a massive increase in data traffi c volume. The key to achieving this is the digital substation. The digital substation The digital substation lies at the cornerstone of the evolving digital utility. It is the heart of an infrastructure that must be able to withstand the explosion in data generated and consumed by intelligent substation equipment, which is expected in the coming years. To achieve this, digitization must streamline the information and data exchanges in the electrical grid and in the communications network. The digital substation means replacing conventional measuring equipment such as current transformers (CTs) and voltage transformers (VTs) with non-conventional instrument transformers using digitalized sensor technology. This will reduce exposure to high voltage signals. This new breed of high-performance digital sensors and merging units are much easier to install. They can pass digital outputs directly to the process bus, and preserve signal integrity. Another element of the migration to the digital substation is the signifi cant reduction of copper wires. Conventional copper wiring is limited to carry information from only one measurement point or control signal. It also introduces potential safety risks. Traditional circuit breakers and control equipment require time and money for manual testing and maintenance. In addition, they offer limited information about asset health and condition-based maintenance. By migrating from copper wiring to fi ber optic cables as part of the transition to the digital substation the quantity of signal wiring in a substation would be reduced by 80%. Grid reliability, on-site and worker safety, and power availability will all benefi t. Further, the introduction of fiber optics will simplify utility networking requirements. Instead of separate networks for substation automation applications and video surveillance, they can be converged into one fully integrated communications infrastructure. Far from being a distant dream, this is reality for some. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology enables video security cameras to operate solely on Ethernet, thereby eliminating the need for them to have a separate electrical power source. But perhaps the biggest gain will come by integrating precise time synchronization into the substation network. Precision timing is a key concept in the modern utility. Modern digital protection and control relays and smart sensors need to be synchronized and require highly accurate timing references. The IEEE 1588 v2 standard describes a network-based precision time synchronization protocol that ensures the sub-microsecond accuracy required for modern utility applications. It also eliminates the cost to install and maintain a separate dedicated timing network. Instead, time synchronization signals can be 12 industrial ethernet book 2.2018 SOURCE: SIEMENS Substation networks with a high bandwidth backbone support a large amount of redundantly connected IEDs at the bay level.
Industrial Ethernet Book 104
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