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Using connectivity to enhance substation automation performance

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Online connectivity is helping utilities around the country get the most out of their smart grid deployments, especially when it comes to substation automation.

Increasing connectivity is one of the best ways that utilities have been able to attain their goals when it comes to transmission and distribution service. Many companies are looking to use substation automation as a means to make electricity flow more reliable and efficient. These capabilities can help energy providers manage the various electricity sources that are entering the grid and predict power demand. This helps these companies anticipate the kind of loads that customers will generate and makes sure that the utility will be able to handle it.

However, in order to do so, companies need to make sure that they have a thorough understanding of how their electric grid is functioning. Factors can change throughout a utility's infrastructure based on the customers in the area and the terrain, along with other factors that will influence performance. Communication technologies like intelligent electronic devices can measure how much current is flowing and even control this. In doing so, utilities can build a clearer picture of their grid performance.

Using IT solutions for connectivity
Greentech Media reported that IT solutions are among the best ways to get the most out of smart grid projects. These can help companies effectively manage the connectivity of a deployment and focus it toward certain performance areas.

For instance, the news source noted that technologies are now available that can monitor theft and communicate multiple factors affecting the grid in a single unit. This can be used to bring down grid load and eliminate the potential for a power blackout in the process.

Improving Vermont's smart grid
One state that is focusing its efforts toward connectivity is Vermont. The state's energy spectrum is undergoing a change in the electricity sources it uses and its smart grid is working to accommodate them. The Times Argus reported that smaller, community-based power stations, like a solar farm or wind turbine, are growing increasingly popular. In order to accommodate these sources, utilities are turning to sensor technologies that can seamlessly incorporate these sources into the existing grid.

SUBNET has helped numerous companies complete these tasks by IT solutions that can accommodate incoming renewable energy sources. By being able to collect the information coming in from IEDs and consolidate it into a single server, a company can make sure that it is making the most of its substation automation technology.

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