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Global T&D shipments will rise to more than 3 million by 2020

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For the emerging smart grid to truly flourish, it will need new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices, which will be necessary for the function of a wide range of data collection, sharing and control actions that will help utilities realize never-before-seen efficiency and reliability.

These deployments appear to be on track to help create such a grid, with a new report from Pike Research noting that the global market for transmission and substation automation SCADA equipment will continue to rise throughout the decade. In the period between 2012 and 2020, worldwide shipments of the devices will grow to 3 million, driven by the need to outfit distribution substation and feeder projects with the devices, as well as the number of transmission modernization projects occurring throughout the country.

"While the digital substation control market has been evolving for 40 years, the market drivers are changing dramatically," says research director Carol Stimmel. "Previously, solutions were differentiated by the features they provided to utilities. Today, productivity tools, ease of use, and customer service are key. Vendors that provide advanced configuration, coordination, and the ability to implement system-wide changes in a cost-effective and timely manner will succeed in this market."

However, because the market is still in its nascent stages, several companies will perform their upgrades based on differing philosophies of substation automation designed. This, in turn, will result in disparate adoption models that could create interoperability issues down the line. To take a proactive stance against such an issue, the IEC 61880 protocol was drafted, and has since snowballed and gained recognition all over the world.

Still, some utilities remain uncertain about the efficacy of substation automation projects, and some countries as a whole may be less likely to adopt the smart grid technology, the report stated.

"Early signs also suggest that the ongoing debate between centralized and distributed automation for technical loss control may be leaning toward a centralized approach, although a hybrid approach is expected to prevail for a few more years," the report read.

In North America, SUBNET is making huge strides in supporting the use of substation automation, and has developed products and solutions that ensure both installation and integration are performed efficiently and quickly. SUBNET combines the latest substation technologies with modern networking and IT infrastructure, ensuring all utilities can benefit from the revolutionary technology.

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