ABB presents digital grid approach at leading power sector event in Paris

ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Friday, 26 August, 2016

Control room

ABB has presented its digital substation model at the Cigré conference and exhibition in Paris from 22–26 August 2016, a leading global platform for power experts and a showcase for the latest technology developments in the sector. Digital substations will be a key component of next-generation grids as they enable smarter power systems.

The entire electricity system is undergoing changes on a scale and pace not seen since its inception. While there is a rapid growth in renewables, which are by nature subject to supply fluctuations, generation is now distributed over a myriad of locations and the traditional model of one-way electricity flows is giving way to multidirectional flows. This is not only bringing about changes in the transmission infrastructure itself but also the way it is operated, necessitating more intelligent management of supply and demand. This requires sophisticated monitoring, communication and control systems across the power value chain of generation, transmission, distribution, storage and consumption, and calls for a smarter power system that makes greater use of digital technologies.

Digital substations will play a key role in the power system of the future. They will incorporate digital communications via fibre-optic cables, replacing traditional copper connections using analog signals. They will also enable greater flexibility, availability and safety, while reducing cost, risk and environmental impact. Digital substations will also feature intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) with integrated information and communication technology. An IED is a microprocessor-based protection and control device for power equipment, such as circuit breakers, transformers and capacitor banks. The increasing amounts of data available in a digital substation will also enable more sophisticated monitoring, diagnostics, protection and optimisation of assets.

“Digital substations are a key component in shaping the evolving grid, and ABB’s latest technology offering in this area will enable customers to optimise their operations,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Grids division.

Facchin delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of Cigré 2016 on 21 August, presenting the evolution of the power sector and related technology trends including the digital substation.

ABB’s digital substation showcase at Cigré includes disconnecting circuit breakers (DCB) with fibre-optic current sensors (FOCS), a hybrid high-voltage switchgear with a digitally compatible motor drive, Relion protection and control IEDs, the FOX family of communications devices, a MicroSCADA Pro monitoring system and an Asset Health Center solution. The exhibit also demonstrates ABB’s Transformer Intelligence concept, in which sensors, monitoring platforms and software are combined to enable the extraction and analysis of data to optimise performance, improve safety and optimise costs.

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