Substation automation remains central to ABB’s product portfolio, following a century of innovation in power generation, transmission, and distribution. Today’s utilities depend on automatic systems to monitor, control, and protect their network and the investment it represents.
Modern automation isn’t just about collecting, and collating, data; though that remains a central task of any automation system, the increasing intelligence of IED’s, Relays and RTUs offers scope for greater autonomy too. Decisions can be made locally, or in concert with other local devices, while centralized SCADA systems alert human operators to decisions made by the machines.
Many transmission networks are migrated to fiber-optic communications, with an optical ground wire carrying gigabytes of data in a loop configuration for redundancy. But older, and remote, installations still use Powerline Carrier (PLC) installations which offer robust, and economical, communications where latency is more important than bandwidth.