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COST VALIDATION OF SUBSTATION CONTROL SYSTEM IN ABU DHABI SUBSTATIONS
R. SUBRAMANIAN* H. AL HOSANI M. A. YOUSIF M.AL HAMMADI
Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (United Arab Emirates)
Abstract The computer based Substation Control System (SCS) is designed to perform a number of standard functions for control, monitoring, and protection of utility class substations. Due to a multitude of technical advantages, and perceived cost benefits available with this technology, the SCS application has been incorporated in the transmission and distribution substations now built on Abu Dhabi power system. It is now performing, at many substations, a broad range of process activities with a multilevel architecture, a distributed intelligence and a duplication of major hardware and software devices. The control system is normally supplied with all software packages and displays installed and tested including configuration of the database, logs, tables and graphics. Of great importance in the design are the database computers, which are built around micro-supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software to support all the supervisory monitoring and control functions in a redundant architecture. The hardware and software suite has to be of a well proven design suitable for real-time operation where reliability is a prime consideration. These components are required to be modular, and have adequate hard disk and memory capacities to satisfy the requirements of the operating system and application software. There should be enough spare capacity left in the system as extension capacity for future use. The long-term operational success of SCS is dependent on two important factors: reliability of the hardware and software system performing substation functions and performance of the communication * P.O. Box 6120, ADWEA, Abu Dhabi
system employed at different levels of the control hierarchy. Reliability is a measure of the quality and performance of the equipment itself over a period of time. In a control system environment, reliability figures are indicative of how well the process system components can be expected to perform for a specified period of time under a stated set of conditions. Performance of the communication system is measured in terms of the number of errors that can occur over a specified period of time, and this error factor is normally quantified as Bit Error-Rate (BER). As the communication function is the “spine” of control system technology, the use of IEC protocol is the preferred answer to the need for interoperability among system platforms available today from a myriad of vendors. To quantify cost benefits, it is first necessary to quantify the levels of performance, quality, functions, redundancy and openness of protocol supported in the design. The technical life, maintenance burden on staff, up front, operating and maintenance costs are also to be considered. This paper focuses on the full gamut of concept, design and engineering of modern control systems required for a practical application. It is then compared for cost and performance with the traditional control system designed with a large number of conventional devices, such as switches, meters, relays and other individual hardware devices. Keywords System Architecture-Hierarchical Control-Distributed Intelligence-Communication Protocol-Local Area Network-Workstation-SCADA Interface.
and any two end points of the computer system. it makes a comparison with traditional control systems from technical.0 3. In a coherent architecture. performance. SCS provides additional capabilities such as self-check and diagnostics. a LAN is the backbone for intelligible and fast transfer of digitally encoded messages between the different control levels. protection. database computers (DBCs).0 SCS Platform Architecture Fig. number of hardware components and potential network expansion required. workstations.0 Introduction The Computer based Substation Control System is a seamless integration of a larger number of hardware and software components to share resources with each other over a network medium. monitoring and disturbance recording. application software. As a result. sequence recording. Important SCS components include intelligent electronic devices (IEDs). level of redundancy needed. mimic the state of the substation.1 shows the benchmark system architecture of an SCS system installed in one of the 400 kV transmission substations in Abu Dhabi. etc. In SCS technology. Because the birth of SCS is based on a concept of hierarchical control and distributed intelligence.0 Substation Functions Functions normally required of the SCS are illustrated in technical literature [1. automation.2] and important functions that are worthy of description include: • • • • • • • • • • Control & monitoring of switching devices. the proliferation of schemes implementing substation functions to different levels of the control system is increasing in the marketplace. transformers. 3. 2.0. historical data storage and substations control from a remote operations centre. The advantage is that. The goal is to provide the maximum possible reliability and redundancy with the greatest possible ease of expansion. the SCS architecture provides hardware and software resources to support multiple functions in a single box. It also discusses the requirements of a high performance system. and display.0. the limits of hardware redundancy and the issues impacting costeffectiveness of the control scheme. processing. This is because all IEDs collect all process information. thereby achieving operational flexibility to cope with many contingency conditions occurring in the substation. even in the event of loss of communication between the plant interface IEDs and upstream DBCs. all SCS devices are fully integrated into a software functional package by a communication system to provide substation functions in respect of control. In this scenario. Finally. It also ensures availability of a three level hierarchical control. & data archiving Database management System supervision & diagnostics Serial interface to protective relaying of event The following sections provide an overview of how the above functions are achieved in Abu Dhabi installations. limits of performance and reliability parameters considered. storage and archival. To make an optimum design balance between cost. since it determines the number of functions supported. and perform control functions with high security and efficiency. communication interfaces.1. This paper describes the underlying principles and topics of fundamental importance concerning the technology and architecture of a modern SCS applied on to recent substations built on Abu Dhabi power system.0. An optimum SCS design is one that performs most of the control and automation functions as close to the primary equipment as possible.1. It is a real-time operating engine for data acquisition. SCADA communication interface Circuit (bay) and station interlocking Synchronizing & sequence switching Metering Automation & time synchronization Alarm management. local area networks (LANs). The architecture must be able to monitor the process states and operating conditions of plant items. communication protocol. etc. thereby eliminating the use of redundant equipment. graphical presentation. functionality and redundancy. The selection of an SCS architecture is not a trivial matter. the highest communication requirement has arisen for handling process data and control commands in real time. reduced number of panels. performance and cost perspectives. The system must be reliable in operation . transmission. etc. and impart control commands to the plant equipment from the local control point. the maximum use is made of digital information and communication resulting in minimal hardwiring. giving a detailed account of hardware functional descriptions wherever appropriate. most control and automation functions are still achievable. and far less system downtimes.
The transformer tap position indication can be processed as either a digital input or analogue input. First. BCUs process digital inputs for status monitoring and analog inputs for load values. 1 Typical SCS Configuration from this terminal. In order to meet this availability figure. and provide control order to. This is to ensure that the failure or removal of any one SCS component will not result in the total loss of control of the substation.2. provided it doesn’t affect the functionality in the rest of the control system. the primary plant equipment. The recent generation of BCUs is designed with a touch screen local operator HMI. which provide the interface between the substation primary equipment and computer control system. communication. and is effected from workstation Human-Machine Interface (HMIs). in addition to all-digital local control. The last level is provided at Load Dispatch Centre(LDC). While this level of redundancy is not extended to plant (bay) level. the local control point exists at plant level. which provides SCADA functions for all remote outlying SCS substations. the architecture is backed by hardware redundancy at substation level. They impart control orders as digital outputs. the architecture allows the failure of some I/O modules.25 MBit/s Event logger BCU Protection 400 kV System Protection BCU Protection 132 kV System Protection Fig. transformer tap change equipment.LDC GPS Antenna DBC-MAIN DBC-STANDBY Operator Workstations Engineer Workstation Ethernet TCP/IP LAN (Redundancy not shown) Modem Modem Receiver MicroSCADA MicroSCADA Comm. Gas insulated switchgear (GIS). Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). and function at the lowest level of the control hierarchy to collect information from. etc. all of its subsystems and IEDs. All the hardware used for inputs and outputs is extensively checked by a self-checking software subroutine. It is commonplace to design SCS to provide a 3-level hierarchical control of the substation processes. motor. and functions close to the primary equipment. etc are operated from IEDs via the front panel interface. With IEDs performance measured by high Mean-Time-Between -Failure (MTBF) and low Mean-Time To-Repair (MTTR). which runs typically every 30 seconds without detriment to the performance of the system. All processed analogue and switchgear status information is sent to . processor Comm. processor IEC protocols LON Bus Print Server Star coupler Hardcopy Printer Star coupler Fibre optic LON 1. BCUs are the primary source of data. power supply unit. the control system. Protective Relays. etc. All SCS substations are implemented as a subset of the LDC database. a hardwired standby control facility is provided here. Common IEDs of SCS are the Bay Control Units (BCUs). 3. allowing the operation of the entire plant equipment The building block of the control system starts with IEDs. To raise the reliability standard.0 Bay Control Units throughout its technical life with an overall availability of 99. The second level of control is resident at substation level.98 percent. is designed with a very high reliability.
It is the area where the SCS is centrally responsible for communicating with all other network components. which enables authorized personnel to locally change operation settings. The first one provides a queue for the real time active data to be transferred upstream to populate the DBCs. and where the process events and alarms are received and updated. metering values can be determined and transmitted to a counter. The DBC also drives the printer to produce logs for all the events.2. etc.2. automatic control sequence and transformer tap change control. etc).5 msec. After digitizing the signals.2. type of processing. When lasting for more than 20 msec.0 Central DBCs All digital inputs are normally hardwired to BCUs. The BCU used in the 400 kV substation contains a robust check-sync facility. 3. etc. The DBC is synchronized to the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system to distribute the absolute time reference through the LAN to all the IEDs for the time stamping of events to a resolution of 1 msec. alarm annunciation. and the second helps to build a small archive at bay level. Its main operational function is to handle all the events of the substation. The DBC is in charge of all centralized data processing and substation automation functions. When the computed values are integrated over the time. Digital output circuits must maintain control command security and reliability at all times. calculates phaser values for active power. which are useful to perform some non-operational tasks such as load forecasting. BCUs are used with a database holding two types of circular buffer memory. Digital Outputs The redundant DBCs reflect a true image of the substation processes at all operating conditions. alarms and operator action. and are extensively used for control and operation of GIS components (breaker. Other ranges of current loops can also be engineered. earth-switches. recloser cut in/out. . To minimize the amount of data exchange along the communication medium and improve the overall response time. latched outputs are also supported. The main DBC is responsible for communication with Digital outputs serve as a multi-purpose interface between the control system and the plant primary equipment.bit word (15 bits of data with one bit of sign).2. A status change is detected and processed if the new status persists for at least 40 scan periods. in addition to current and voltage quantities. Digital inputs are used for a variety of purposes including for local/remote indications. The DBC is a redundant system working as mainstandby configuration with automatic fail-over logic. 3. BCUs send information to DBCs only about changes of plant states and analogue variables. 3. respectively. maintenance and historical information using convenient menu-based software programmes running on a laptop PC. subsystems and peripheral devices. and retrieve diagnostic. etc.the local HMI as well as to DBC. sequence of events.3 Analogue inputs Analogue quantities are acquired from either the secondary of current and voltage transformers (CTs/VTs) directly. is settable in the range of 50-1000 msec for Trip-Close commands and 50-3000 msec for Raise-Lower commands. etc. where the operator at station level can issue control commands via a friendly and intuitive interface. The time synchronization signal is transmitted from DBC to all IEDs over a broadcast message every minute.1 Digital Inputs 3. interlock logic. Any status change occurring for less than 20 msec is ignored to eliminate false interpretation of status changes occurring due to transient noise voltages in the input circuits and contact bounce of auxiliary relays. or 4-20 mA. The digital conversion is performed by a 24. The DBC provides mass storage of data. frequency. transformer tap change. which are scanned cyclically for detecting the status changes at a typical scanning period of 0. ensuring that only the correct output device is energized in response to an operator command initiated either locally or remotely.bit analogue/digital converter to give the digitized information in a 16. The number of BCUs. As an additional function. and in a next step. the changes are time stamped with the time of the first occurrence to a resolution of 1 msec. isolators. 0-10mA. All lEDs and BCUs are fitted with a front panel RS 232 port. In return IEDs send a reply message to indicate the successful synchronization of the internal clock to the GPS time reference. alarm conditions. engineering studies. reactive power. power factor. when energized. the algorithm determines first RMS or instantaneous values. or intermediate transducers making a current loop input circuit to BCU in the range of 0-5 mA. and distribute data to the SCADA interface and workstation HMIs. outage investigations. and number of input/output (I/O) modules contained in each BCU depends on the size of the substations and number of automation functions required to be performed in real time. making the use of external synchroscope devices obsolete. It also features database central management and system self-supervision management.3. The duration time of the output contacts.
either DBC or BCU is allowed to send data only when the LAN communication medium is idle. and to distribute and use data with workstations and peripheral devices at substation level.5). In utility applications data communication over fiber optic cables has become the technology of choice. updating the database with changes occurring in the substation processes. amount of data to be transmitted in a single poll. while running in the normal circumstances without a communication driver. Most of the LAN is designed with redundancy in the data transmission path.802. The switchover between main and standby DBCs is automatic under failure conditions.2 shows how process information is transferred from BCUs to DBC. security and efficiency. In this technique. extending into the switchgear room. relays. speed and efficiency of communications needed. The standby DBC. To prevent any two networked devices (nodes) sending information at the same time on the common medium. Fig. The first technique. 3. known as Peer-to-Peer mode. Fiber breakage produces an alarm on the workstation HMI.4.3. known as Master-Slave mode. The second technique. 2 Data Collection from BCU to DBC MAC takes one of three methods standardized by the IEEE (802. allows DBC to poll in sequence all the BCUs and other functional devices for process information. PLCs) with DBCs. depending upon the number of BCUs to be polled. and results in the supply of data being frozen for typically 30 sec to workstations and SCADA interface. workstation graphics and transfer of data to LDC. which acts like a data warehouse for further distribution of data for event log printing. This technique adds certain unnecessary overheads due to the data acknowledgement it processes. these are namely Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection . provides 2-way information exchange between different parts of the installation and the sharing of distributed databases for processing control and status information. For every message that is sent through the network a response message is returned. In this method BCUs cannot initiate message transactions but only respond to a poll instruction received from DBC. this technique needs a network manager to provide medium access control (MAC).1 LANs Field LAN Substation control and monitoring need data in good time. etc. DBC orders the BCUs to respond to its control instruction.4. and a seamless LAN is a distinct necessity to provide a communication network within the substation.4 & 802. and network configuration adopted. It is based on the principle of sharing the medium as fairly and quickly as possible. The field LAN connects all plant level IEDs (BCUs. and goes through the operational sequence with all the IEDs connected to the network. The type of MAC algorithm varies depending upon the availability of interfaces. there are two kinds of technique applied for information exchange between BCUs and DBCs. The standby unit starts with the communication driver to control the station processes following a fail-over in the event of main DBC tripping off-line. High performance LAN is therefore at the centre of SCS operating to the required level of reliability.0 3. so that a single fiber breakage cannot affect the SCS operation in any way. Fig. Depending upon the protocol used in the field LAN. An on-going control sequence is aborted with full security during fail-over. remains in synchronization with the main DBC to mirror its database through the LAN.all the IEDs. It is normally set in the range of 50 -1000 msec. The poll interval is the time between two poll messages sent to one BCU. response time expectations.
for real-time applications. perform primary and secondary plant switching. navigation aids. detailed view of individual circuits. It functions as the operator’s window into the process. token passing on a bus topology. etc. The HMI screen is divided into four segments. known as predictive (ppersistent) CSMA. efficiency and speed. title of page. allowing the operator to view plant states and condition information. master -slave transmissions are much slower than Peer-To-Peer. 3. This is a mature industrial. and file transfer support for IEDs configuration and PLC programmes. Fig. event and alarm pages. and token passing on a ring topology. the functionality of the LAN is least affected. The substation overview displays reflect all the time the current state of the plant equipment and processes. Technical literature recommends. In SCS applications there are stringent speed requirements for interlocking automation functions. The DBCs are connected to Ethernet switches via Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps). As a general rule. At the top of the screen is the first segment that provides the time. symbols. On the whole. This also functions as a diagnostic terminal in the event of problems arising in the plant process and the control system itself. deterministic. 3. Two Ethernet switches are provided to ensure that even in the event of breakdown of a connection between the computer and switch or between the switches. display set. etc. and is applied as station level LAN for its relevance. Star couplers are used to provide an optical link connection to all the field devices. It runs comprehensive graphical user interface software. The entire substation is controlled and supervised from the workstation HMIs. diagnostics display. and performs local processing to produce graphic pictures with process data . SCADA interface and peripheral devices are connected to a redundant Ethernet LAN running under Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).5. With a Visual Colour Display Unit (VDU). The bottom of the screen provides the communication segment to facilitate a dialogue between the operator and control system. and are functioning as passive devices to distribute bytes of data over the LAN to all the nodes in a coordinated and predictable manner. The field LAN designed for the SCS installed at the 400 kV substation works on a proprietary based Peer-To-Peer protocol (LON-Bus). and comprises a number of inter-linked display diagrams such as substation overviews. Reference  provides more in-depth coverage of this technique. page number within the page set. so that the substation equipment can be operated with maximum clarity and minimal confusion. etc.(CSMA/CD). The main display segment is relatively large.25 mbps. and distributes data over a redundant fiber optic medium at a speed of 1.0 Workstation The workstation HMI provides a high resolution display with a minimum screen size of 21 inches. non-proprietary LAN technology. the HMI interface is an intuitive design customizable for the same “look and feel” in terms of colour. alarm format. SCS and communication architecture. While the DBC reflects the true image of the substation process. it provides comprehensive centralized control and monitoring facilities.4. the use of this technique is considered mandatory in the SCS design . any one of the methods capable of performing with a deterministic character . workstations. Then follows the alarm segment showing the recent unacknowledged alarm messages generated in the station. while other devices are connected via standard Ethernet (10Mbps). acknowledge alarms. analogue measured values. day of the week. GIS gas flow. screen layouts. accommodates all the display diagrams mentioned in the previous paragraph. and repeatable response times. etc. date.a functional keyboard and a mouse driver. 3 Station TCP/IP LAN Fig. and supports high data throughput and sustained performance without data collisions. often by a factor of 5. Fig.2 Station LANs displayed in a hierarchical arrangement.3 shows that at station level DBCs. To achieve data transfer with fast. This LAN has a special CSMA/CD in design. workstation operates as an Xterminal accessing the database held in the DBC. 4 shows an efficient display hierarchy for all activities being performed in a substation.
This provides an authorized access to the SCS vendors via the dial-up telephone lines. The print server allows several workstations to communicate effectively with several printers.8. between LDC and SCS stations. The device malfunction or failure is notified by means of audible and visual alarms on the workstation HMIs. Communication to LDC works on the unbalanced mode over direct and alternative routes at a transfer rate of 1200 bps. supplemented with SCSs are also designed with an interface for remote dial-in capabilities. In the control direction the message from LDC is sent over the main line. etc. It is used for manually selected hardcopy printouts of the screen displays of the workstation HMIs. There are two types of printers. onset and clearance of all alarms. 3. The IEC 60870-5-101 performs a half-duplex operation. operator actions such as alarm limit changes. It utilizes pin-feed paper drive mechanism and fan fold paper.a linear check sum on the frame. While keeping the functionality of the operator workstation. A poll and an acknowledgement messages are exchanged before the data communication begins. The maximum number of data (characters) in a frame is limited to 255. as a polling protocol. control procedures. the on change transfer of digital and analogue data. events and analogues with a time tag. performance and so on. tagging. to re-establish communications over the alternative route. The IEC link used on Abu Dhabi system is fully described in reference  in respect of defining different parts of the communication process. This printer records and prints all process changes. but the hardware for engineer workstation is single only. 4 Workstation Displays 3. Remote control from LDC of geographically widespread SCS substations is the normal operation. and data uploading from. . laser jet printer. printing alarms. First is the event log printer designed to be a high performance type.0 SCADA Interface Printers are a part of the HMI.7. such as transmission formats. If and when a problem is detected in the main line. the relay internal database.28 definitions of ITU-T recommendations. This is designed as a redundant facility. execute diagnostic programmes. and the ability to transfer plant commands. It supports the cyclic polling of analogue data. to gather data and alarm information. control operations. Second is a hardcopy colour. 3. engineer workstation is mostly used for control system configuration and accessing protection relays for setting downloading into. the protocol automatically goes through a fail-over procedure within 2 seconds. and in database management and amendment.0 Printers The operator workstation is a redundant terminal. Printers are connected to the station level TCP/IP LAN. Fig.6. They log any information of interest. This interface is designed for the transmission of 11-bit IEC 60870-5-101 messages. The manufacturers are able to assist utility personnel through this interface with trouble-shooting information. changeover to the second printer is configured both automatically and manually. etc.2 using an even parity bit. printers are interfaced directly to the workstation LAN and controlled via a hardware print server.0 Remote Dial-In The SCADA interface provides the remote communication facility to enable the control of the SCS substations to be effected from LDC. and in the event of a printer failure. The messages are delivered on a multi-drop fiber optic cable medium conforming to V. The data structure used in the IEC-101 link conforms to IEC 60870-5 FT1. With the SCS being built with multiple workstations. In the monitoring direction SCS responses are sent over both the lines. As important as the capability to maintain communications over an alternative path is the ability of the protocol to force communications back to the main line automatically once the failure has been corrected. and provide real time logs in the substation. and in the system installed at the 400 kV substation the frame is designed with a maximum of 235 data characters. start and stop bits on each octet (8 bits). view the station states. hand dressing.24 and V. Workstation HMIs are only used for emergency in the case of a communication breakdown between LDC and SCS substations.
OS/2 was considered to be a quality operating system for fast and stable performance. etc.0 Automatic Voltage Regulation The automatic voltage regulation starts with a numeric voltage relay operating at plant level. The use of multiple operating systems in a single platform is also in vogue. The Supervisory Control Implementation Language (SCIL) is part of the Kernel software responsible for dynamic pictures. are a few of the automation functions expected of the SCS in utility substations. without operator action. and to view the database of the SCS components for fault finding and technical reasoning.3.. and Windows NT software. which is mostly software based in SCS applications. Of importance in sequence control. the station load is maintained without disruption. and configured with suitable settings for dead time. The software logic is available for a standby transformer to come on-line promptly. For long distance transmission to LDC. The sampled data from the analogue input circuits is written into a cyclic buffer until a trip condition is reached following inception of a line fault. and second. 4. reclaim time. The first is the multitasking operating system usually selected from OS/2. voltage regulation. dialogues and command procedures. and allows a mathintensive algorithm to immediately run a fault calculation procedure. This is multi-process real time software. This application software is also responsible for specific calculations. logical operations. and performs all the substation functions given in section 2. pole-discrepancy trip time. underfrequency load shedding and load restoration. but it is now at the twilight zone due to its commercial lack of success in the SCS market.9. etc.4. The information is then displayed at workstation HMIs in numeric format. etc. reactive switching. and communicates with DBC via a serial interface to the process LAN. This is normally provided in a separate hardware performing at bay level. file handling functionality and so on.0. The relay monitors the low voltage side of the power transformer. The relay is designed to indicate the transformer tap position from the transformer tap change mechanism using either binary contacts or analogue signals supplied through transducers.0 Automatic Reclosing The automatic reclosing is a function traditionally applied to overhead transmission lines to enable them to return to service. When the distance to fault calculation is computed. This also contains the software needed to configure BCUs and DBCs. switchgear sequence switching. supporting important facilities like database structures. The tap changer can also be operated via the operator interface from one of three control locations provided in the control system.0 Automatic Sequence control Automatic reclosing. and to preserve the integrity of the substation and power system as . This software is activated by operator actions.3. the present trend is characterized by the ascent of Windows NT .0.0 Automatic Fault Location This section provides brief details of the software working in concert with hardware. DBC converts the tap position indication to a BCD code. the information is sent to the relay record. Below are the important functions included in the SCS equipment. The total software packages are divided into three segments such as operating system software. which finds its place in most SCS platforms.0 Software Packages 4. platform software and application-specific software.0 Substation Automation Accurate fault locating function is available as component part of modern numeric distance relays. UNIX. This facility is also used to transfer a feeder on-line from one busbar to another without interrupting load. database handling mechanism. and for that matter even in manual control. In the interlocking rules commands to the switchgear and loading or de-loading of transformers are supervised to provide unfailing safety to personnel.2. with a raise or lower command. fault location. the motor driven on-load tap changer to maintain the voltage within a preset dead-band around the target secondary system voltage. Second is the platform software using MicroSCADA Kernel. changes in process events. plant interlocks and autonomous control of the plant.0. 4. Despite UNIX being far more scalable and more reliable. 4. Third is the application software running simultaneously on top of the platform software. 4. The output of this calculation is given as a percentage of line length. This facility is provided to switch in and out of service of a transformer circuit in proper automated sequences initiated by a single operator command issued from the workstation HMI. This causes the data in the buffer to be held. following a protection trip to clear an internal fault.1. of substation primary equipment is the engineering of interlock. first this limits the duration of overload on the remaining transformer in the bank. cyclic time signals. This brings in a two-fold advantage. and controls. automatically following isolation of a faulted transformer in a 2-bank operation. and is automatically sent in real time to DBC to make it available as a print out information.
with substation functions being supported by an extensive library of protocols. the switchgear is still operable with the hardwired interlock from the local control facility provided at bay level. recording and control application software. communication and software components. If not. however.0 Self-checks and Diagnostics reaching a trip condition. subsystem. MVB Bus. Profibus. then the control system has the potential of automatically retrieving the full complement of relay data to update the DBCs. In all major hardware a watchdog element is attached to each CPU board to indicate a failure. The status of every module. While adding extra costs to the control system. which are transmitted serially through either a star coupler connection or a multi-drop loop connection on a single communication cable. protective relaying and digital fault recorders. Such Protective relays supply power system fault information through the serial interface to DBCs. Numeric data such as fault values and oscillographic (waveform) records are directly uploaded by a command to engineer workstation using the relay manufacturer supplied fault retrieval software resident on this terminal. memory. etc. protection start and trip. Some protocols are designed to “lock in” users with proprietary architectures to create an artificial dependency on a single manufacturer. Most relays are designed with a separate processor dedicated to communication to support multiple communication protocols. input/output (I/O) module. with diagnostic LEDs fitted additionally on the front panel interface. the operation of all the switchgear bays that require this information is blocked by interlocking rules for safety and security reasons. Protocol requirements arise in the application of SCS. etc.0. which is only permitted at the local control point. DNP 3. fault information. functioning in the distributed intelligence is supervised. such as start. Software faults include the operating system. A bypass facility is also provided to facilitate a noninterlocked operation of the switchgear.0 and so on. a range of networking devices and protocol converters is needed to tie all the IEDs together into a unified system. In the aftermath of . data such as status. This is mostly allowed under circuit outage conditions to undertake switchgear maintenance. In hardware. like IEC 103. failure is likely in CPU. etc. but require a series of software tools for configuration. communication link. numeric relays have the capability to log on. the total interlocking requirements are engineered as bay level function. etc. Courier.0.whole. waveform records. loss of chronology in the event reporting are all detected and reported. For this facility. The information is most useful if it is communicated to the workstations quickly after the events. and supply them to SCS through this informative interface. different configuration techniques and numerous hardware interfaces. 5. Boolean algebra drives the interlocking rules. don’t provide any added functionality in the substation. these devices.0 Protocols On-line self-checks and diagnostics are available inherently in all the components of SCS equipment. SPA BUS. and includes the diverse suite of hardware. are hardwired to the respective BCUs. To build a resilient interlocking system. In Abu Dhabi installations. excessive data flow. with BCUs maintaining direct communications to one another without the support and intervention of DBCs. In the event of failure of the software interlock. interface device. monitoring. This serial relay interface is very helpful to engineers for understanding what led to trip or non-trip decisions made by relays in response to system disturbances and faults. etc. the relays must be designed with an internal built-in transceiver and protocol profile compatible with the field LAN. MODBUS. A non-interlocked operation is not permitted from either SCS workstation at substation level or remote workstation at LDC. trip and status conditions. The most popular protocols are LON Bus. The coverage of this function is widespread. If SCS and protective relays are derived from a single manufacturer. 7. Each protocol has its own idiosyncratic feature and flavour. short circuits. LON Bus. the installation will not be need-based and cost-effective. The loss of communication in the LAN. The possibility of performing remote troubleshooting of relays and making modifications of relay settings from engineer workstation through this interface also has value to protection engineers. MODBUS. In the event of status information missing from a circuit.0 Serial Relay Interface Power utilities operate and maintain a diverse range of equipment from different manufacturers. database amendment and maintenance. 6. supervision and self-test software. In this situation. Fieldnet. The communication with protective relaying has its own suite of protocols. If a substation is in service with systems and products designed with different classes of protocols. and diagnostic analyses. and are treated in the system as events and alarms in the station. The SCS installation is no exception to this practice. Any failure is signalled to the DBC as an alarm to assist in the timely detection and management of equipment faults and failures. non-numeric data. program execution.0. in the buffer memory. power supply. etc. On I/O modules plausibility procedures are applied to check their state of health in respect of broken wires. which verifies the plant states all the time with information exchanged by the various BCUs. it is a practice in Abu Dhabi to use both software interlock and hardwired interlock engineered in a “two-out-of –two” mode for 400 and 220 kV substations.
and includes design. BCUs enable redundant hardware to be eliminated. but also the system cost. 9. At the same time. and control. it was the time that the industry was in an early stage of the SCS revolution. This results in an increased maintenance burden on personnel.0 Economic Comparison References [7. it is perceived that this technology allows for a shorter commissioning time on-site because of comprehensive testing and quality checks on the full suite of equipment at the manufacturer’s works. Further. configuring. Third. additional hardware and wiring is needed with high cost. digital meters and mimic panels mounted on different sections of the control panels. operation and maintenance of a system should be aimed at achieving cost reductions. like SCS or SCADA. the menu-driven user-friendly software provides valuable guidance for fault finding and trouble shooting. The design and engineering of SCS for Abu Dhabi substations is characterized by a rich blend of functionality and redundancy.0. with a sufficient degree of redundancy in design. extension and repair of the traditional system is rather difficult and tedious. there is an increased level of on-line monitoring and diagnostics facilitating fast detection of any abnormality or defect in the system. In the entire complement of SCS equipment. Fifth. the cost benefit of using multi-function hardware is minimal for transmission substations. with a combination of solutions based on both numerical and conventional approaches. signal lamps. the cost of SCS has been steadily decreasing. But there was an uprising in the management to experiment with the use of computers in substations. For distribution systems. no redundancy is provided for the individual subfunction. In this control. varies from country to country. Information is displayed locally on analog meters. 9. performance and redundancy. From a host of technical and performance perspectives. From both technical and commercial perspectives. On the contrary. The difference in cost would be higher if a similar redundancy were to be provided for conventional control. however. handling simultaneously protection. Overall cost in SCS installation includes three different parts. Over time.5 times higher than that of the conventional system. First. All design. Fourth.0. in SCS all system software is modular facilitating modification of any of its parts without unduly affecting existing functions. It is also very expensive to add new hardware indicators and controls. The first part is the capital cost. doesn’t result in a big cost saving. there is a reduction in a number of separate subsystems and associated “legacy” devices used in the traditional method. With none of the circuits monitored. But this functionality cannot be achieved in the conventional system because of the limitation of the technology . For every new function. moving coil meters. contactors. 8.requirements increase not only the design complexity. delivery.1. with every manufacturer recovering R&D costs in the sales. The consequent benefits are a smaller number of panels. as multiple functions are integrated into a single box. installation. maintenance of a given function can be accomplished on-line in the event of component or device failure.0 Cost Validation Technical Comparison First and foremost. And sixth. the use of an open system protocol is an evolutionary means to base a control system working on non-proprietary and standard software and hardware devices. the design of an SCS system is an interactive process. operational and cost advantages resulting from the application of SCSs. switches. in utility applications cost is a very decisive factor. it should be born in mind that in power utility businesses. the cost of high-tech products or systems. region to region and place to place. the cost/benefit ratio of an SCS installation is still low. but its up front cost is 1.0 9. sudden failures present a difficult task in fault tracing and putting the equipment back into service. Over time. Since redundant high performance protection is applied outside the BCUs for high voltage systems. The SCS technology runs with on-line supervision and self-diagnostic facilities. such as relays. this is usually significant. This has resulted in 25-30 percent cost saving. It is therefore vital to determine an optimum balance between cost. the cost was very high to make any economic sense.0 Advantages of SCS itself. etc. The amount of wiring used between devices and in the panels is excessive. Second. When SCS technology was introduced in the mid-90s in Abu Dhabi. For a substation with 10 transmission circuits and 40 distribution circuits the installation cost was thrice as much as the price now quoted by various The conventional control is built on a suite of control panels or desks fitted with discrete electromechanical components. testing and commissioning. The SCS technology allows a scalable redundancy of all the secondary system functions at all levels of the hierarchy within the substation. this. Also. engineering. metering. there is a potential for reducing the operating and maintenance costs due to the automation and on-line monitoring functions.2. reduced floor space requirement and minimized copper wiring runs in the substation. Each incremental increase in the system capability leads to a corresponding but nonlinear increase in cost. 8] highlight numerous technological. in particular. It also requires larger spare part inventories because of too many system and hardware devices.
In Abu Dhabi. and no drift being expected from software or algorithms over time. This entails the initial size of the substation to be built to accommodate the primary and secondary equipment required for the final phase of substation operations. on the other hand. This. the software system goes through expensive testing procedures at factory to ensure that the design meets performance. One of the perceived benefits of SCS in the industry is the space saving and associated reduction in building costs. This is because Factory Acceptance Tests (FATs) are handicapped by the lack of resources to test every function of the control system. historic and maintenance data. Second is the training cost incurred to impart adequate and comprehensive first-time training to all personnel in the operation and maintenance of a diverse range of installed systems from a multitude of vendors. The reason is twofold. As a result. are also multiplexed on to this data highway. and durability requirements. Further. Assuming the technical life of the control system is about 15 years. hardware maintenance and database management. The SCS is designed to be a true automatic system. With hardware reliability being less of a problem today. sometimes the public telephone networks lack the capability to provide a sufficient geographic coverage to reach out all utility substations. Because many user services. such as tele-protection signalling. the market prices are reduced because of the intense global competition. This benefit accrues as a result of SCS providing a central control point. Most utilities. reliability and security. first. and dependability of the system. safety. a smaller building now will add an exorbitant cost increase for completing extension facilities later. The cost of on-site testing and commissioning is estimated to be around 8 percent of SCS overall cost. reliability and durability requirements. the proposed merger of IEC 61850 and UCA 2 protocols hopes to dawn on utilities applying high performance and cost effective SCS implementations. The best way to conduct full tests is with final hardware and software devices fully installed and integrated into a system onsite. During the engineering and configuration phase. The stay of a commissioning engineer on-site for more than 2-3 months is commonplace in Abu Dhabi. An important segment of the capital cost is the cost for testing and commissioning. operate and maintain their own telecommunication systems. The basic designs must provide a backbone access to control and monitoring information at both ends of the control systems. But in power systems characterized by a steady growth of load and utility infrastructure. Advanced fiber-optic communication systems are required between SCS substations and LDC facilitating remote operation of substations. there is a large cost saving resulting from the substations being unmanned. The training is designed to focus on operator familiarization. This may account up to 20 percent of the communication system costs. security. eliminating or minimizing the need for rigorous periodic testing and maintenance. Third and last is the operating and maintenance cost. most of the maintenance on SCS will be limited to the repair and replacement of the . don’t lease these facilities from tele-communication providers for fear of losing control. only a proportionate segment of the total cost of the communication systems should be taken into account when making an economic evaluation of SCS installations. To be unmanned results in the elimination of operating staff in the substation. some extra space is included in the conceptual building design to cover in the future some unforeseen eventualities in the system planning. building cost benefits are not realized in SCS implementation in a significant way. etc. most utilities install. eliminating a large suite of remote control panels and excessive runs of copper wiring in the substation. In SCS installations in Abu Dhabi system. The high cost of SCS installation is also attributed to the present use of hardware and networking devices with a multitude of protocols and maintenance software tools. Commissioning tests and associated costs follow once the system is fully deployed on-site. safety. testing and commissioning seems a more expensive and timeconsuming activity. increases the initial cost of the substation. like Abu Dhabi. Because of these limitations. speed and memory at a cheaper cost. Training costs are estimated to the extent of 2 percent of SCS overall cost. The intent of FATs is to verify whether or not the critical. Some factories lack facilities to simulate all process conditions to ensure that the design meets performance. It is perceived that self-check and diagnostic facilities are intended to improve availability. The cost of manpower in the form of operations staff is the largest non-maintenance cost. high-risk and complex capabilities of the applications or systems are working. the size and capacity of a substation is conditioned by a series of evolving planning procedures. The percentage of saving in the building’s cost is an issue of choices and philosophies of individual utilities determined by their growth path.manufacturers for very similar installations. and second. and in normal operation it enables all the remote outlying substations to be monitored and controlled from LDC. in addition to diagnostics. The station final configuration will be reached in incremental steps over a period of years. Implementing data highway architectures has an implication on the SCS installation costs. With no standard LAN protocol being in existence now for substation automation. the availability of computer and communication system equipment with high processing power. administrative data. reliability. of course. voice.
Another factor that adds up to the cost is the direct result of specifying. etal. It is stressed that the SCS installation must be based on an optimum blend of performance. the capital cost of the SCS equipment is higher than that of the traditional system. Humphreys S. pp 52-56. enabling all SCS substations being monitored and controlled from remote through a backbone telecommunication system. 1997. 6. Book “Computer Communications – Principles And Business Applications” by Andy Sloane.05. This is due to tendency of adding a significant amount of backup functions and redundancy equipment. and performs a broad range of substation functions with a multilevel architecture. pp 123. The paper illustrates that. It is built on a hierarchical structure.0. Remote operation of an SCS substation. Graine L. coupled with minimal maintenance burden. and gives improved asset performance. hardwired control systems. suitability of communication LANs.1997. “ Control. Protection & Monitoring of High Voltage Substations: An Update On Concept. 2. etc. service reliability and security. the computer control will work in unison with LDC. and perceived cost benefits available with this technology. References This paper provides details about the application of SCS in Abu Dhabi substations. the paper first sets out to make a comparison on performance criteria and design parameters such as quality. 1994 Book “ LONworks Technology Device Data”. No.workstation HMI screens. etal. and this will certainly lead to the achievement of strategic benefits from reduced operating and maintenance costs. enhanced operational flexibility and efficiency. Subramanian R. With a centralized Load Dispatch Centre (LDC) in place on Abu Dhabi power system. They are the source of some maintenance costs. functions. DL159/D. Along with capital costs. rev 4. 6. and keeping them unused. due to SCS providing significant operational and maintenance benefits.0 1. Inc. “ Communication Requirements For Remote Operation Of A Computer controlled Substation” Cigre. however. all with a view to achieving economies of scale in the implementation. the other costs that arise from operation and maintenance of substations during their technical life are also considered in this paper.. John Wiley & Son. has the potential to offer larger economies of scale as SCS installation is amortized well before it reaches the end of its technical life. Dec. 34-103. justifies that. “Aspects of Substation Control System Selection” Cigre WG23. in the contract. 11. Emerging Standards” by Thomas W Madron.0. the investment is amortized before the computer control system reaches the end of its technical life. 4. 1994. The advantages of SCS applications compensate the initial price disadvantages. Book “ Local Area Networks: New Technologies. Paris session. IEEE. redundancy. 10. The paper. and design and engineering principles applied to achieve high performance from SCS applications. Electra # 175. due to a multitude of technical advantages. E A Udren “ Design Criteria For An Integrated Microprocessor-Based Substation Protection and control System”.0 Conclusion The paper concludes that in Abu Dhabi installations. June 1982. In the technical comparison. the SCS is now offering a ubiquitous service in Abu Dhabi substations. IEEE CAP. “ Substation Automation Systems in Review”. 7. need for open system protocol and so on. more functionality than is really needed for the present substation and network conditions.S. Deliyannides J. functionality and cost. type of architecture and level of redundancy. Particular emphases have been placed on the number of standard substation functions. EB148. etal.1999. The McGraw-Hill Companies. 3rd Edition. Design & Engineering” Cigre study committee 34 Colloquium and Meeting. April 1998. a distributed intelligence and a duplication of major hardware and software devices. wire terminations and fiberoptic connectors. pp Al 27-31. 3. 5. PAS-101. 8 . Details include all the elements of underlying concepts. minimal outage time and increased customer satisfaction. Subramanian R. minimal running costs and outage times. The paper also provides a subtle technical comparison and economic evaluation with traditional. Motorola. 2000. Florence Oct.
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