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Wireless Communication for Substation Automation

Substation automation is a key smart grid application that enables remote monitoring and control of intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) through the substation to achieve improved power grid reliability and visibility as well as lowered operational costs.

To implement this application requires a reliable, secure, low latency bidirectional communications infrastructure between the IEDs and substation computers and/or computers located in the utility’s operations center.

In modernizing existing power system substations, the cost of wired communications is often prohibitive, as it requires the expense of trenching. As wireless requires no trenching, it’s typically the most cost-effective solutions for smart girid communications.

For new power system substations, wired and wireless communications may coexist. Because the cost of trenching to run cabling from the control house to IEDs is minimal as the substation is built, a wired network is likely to be used. As additional IEDs are added over time, wireless may be introduced to avoid trenching so over time, both communication networks are likely to exist in all substations.

Substation automation benefits for utilities include:

Higher reliability and efficiency in power delivery – Centralized access to data enables faster analysis and more timely fine tuning of IED devices.

Lower operating costs – Fewer visits to the substations to monitor substation devices and record data is needed with centralized monitoring and control, reducing truck rolls to the site.

Reduced response times – With near real-time visibility and automated alarms, utility operators can quickly troubleshooting and resolve many problems remotely, accelerating resolution time.

A reliable, secure, low latency broadband network from ABB Wireless creates a strong foundation upon which to build substation automation applications. In addition, a network used for substation automation can be leveraged for additional applications such as video monitoring for operations and security; site access control; mobile worker communications with the substation, and more.

A reliable, secure, low latency broadband network from ABB Wireless creates a strong foundation for utilities to build substation automation applications. In addition, a network used for substation automation can be leveraged for additional grid automation applications such as video monitoring for operations and security; site access control; mobile worker communications with the substation, and more.

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