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Smart Grid News

Substation automation equipment donated for research to university

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, April 16, 2012

North Carolina State University has received a set of new smart-grid compliant substation automation products from ABB, which the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center will use to research smart grid technologies.

The university is now working with protection and control devices, substation automation control systems and remote terminal units, which is helping FREEDM researchers study hardware and software for the smart grid. The new tools will give engineering students greater testing and feasibility capabilities of smart-grid compliance solutions and ways to integrate new devices into existing power grid equipment, according to Renew Grid.

"This equipment will allow our students and our researchers to take our Green Energy Hub research and technology demonstration laboratory to a higher level as we continue to help shape America's power grid for the needs of the 21st century," says Dr. Alex Huang, director of the FREEDM Systems Center.

Substation equipment in action

Across North America, smart grids are being deployed and are offering utilities never-before-seen benefits that are resulting in increased efficiency in operations. In Canada, distribution companies are using new smart grid technologies to gather digital fault indicators and to provide secure, reliable communication of the vast amount of data that is being collected, The Engineer reports.

According to the news source, a growing number of utilities are also installing advanced intelligent electronic devices onto substations, which can remotely control the flow of electricity, monitor equipment health and see real-time data through displays without having to go into the field. These devices, which are similar to those that were donated to North Carolina State University, provide utilities with a multitude of benefits, and are being used at a higher rate throughout the country and across North America.

Deployments in North America are being watched by countries around the world, mostly due to the regulations that have appeared in order to ensure grid security. As more smart grid projects begin, the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission's North American Electric Reliability Corporation has developed a series of stringent regulations that can result in fines of up to $1 million per day.

SUBNET helps utilities integrate substation IEDs through highly innovative software and products, and also ensures smart grid endeavors comply with NERC CIP standards as well as a utility's existing IT policies. 

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