Substation systems are now evolving into digital substation automation solutions. This trend is fueled by advancements in information technology that provide substation operators with the ability to digitize substation operation, extend communication interfaces to the primary equipment in the substation, and monitor and control the substations more effectively.
Computers play a key role in the success of digital substation automation solutions. Any computer-related performance issue or failure has the potential to directly impact the operation of a substation or disrupt the power distribution system. Therefore, the reliability and availability of substation computers is a key factor for the efficient operation of a substation, making it essential that substation computers be managed on par with the other critical equipment in the substation.
A good maintenance strategy can help increase the lifespan of these computers. The trend in computer maintenance in substations is increasingly towards predictive maintenance (also known as condition-based maintenance). A well-orchestrated predictive maintenance plan can support the maintenance needs of a substation computer well ahead of time, thereby optimizing the uptime and reliability of the computer and saving on maintenance costs.
Moxa is a global leader in IEC 61850 & IEEE 1588 smart substation solutions, providing a wide range of networking and computing products for substation automation. Daniel Lai, senior product manager, Moxa, having experience in industrial automation, communication and computing product planning, developing and global marketing spoke to Devendra Kumar, Editor, ELE Times during India Smart Grid Week (ISGW) 2017 earlier this month at Manekshaw Center, New Delhi and discussed digital substation automation solutions and Predictive Maintenance Strategy for Substation. Excerpts.
ELE Times: How can you define Digital Substation and in what respect it is Intelligent?
Daniel Lai: The basic element of digital substation is that the device is intelligence whether primary or secondary and in intelligent substations all devices should be connected to Ethernet and finally they directly communicate and control the computers. Intelligence means that the device can think. They have ability to make judgment and perform some action in response. They share feedback with control center and operation system. Moreover operation system gives simple command to intelligent device and they accomplish action immediately.