Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Growth of Substation Automation with IEC 61850

There seems to be an ongoing interest in doing market studies in order to figure out what will be the technologies applied in power system automation in the next years or decades. One of the latest is the following report:

"The World Market for Substation Automation and Integration Programs in Electric Utilities: 2011-2013." by Newton-Evans Research Company

Click HERE for a brief news information found on the Newton-Evans website.
Click HERE for some details from the report from Business Wire.

The number of systems installed in the electrical power delivery systems is much bigger than what these kind of studies show. The news reports: "Respondents indicated a total of 1,567 transmission substations and 5,154 distribution substations in operation as of the 4th quarter of 2010. These represent a 9% sample of U.S. and Canadian combined totals of transmission voltage substations and nearly 10% of all distribution voltage substations."

The power market is a global market - the potential market for IEC 61850 is global as well! The numbers of applications is in the Millions! Check what Enel reported during the recent first European IEEE Smart Grid conference in Gothenburg (Sweden): Enel owns over 0.4 MILLION MV/LV Substations! HV and MV network are remotely operated, more than 0.1 MILLION MV substations remote controlled ... There is a potential of 0.3 MILLION LV substations where IEC 61850 one way or the other may be used in the next decade.

One of Enel's project deals with even more potential use cases of IEC 61850:

Active Control of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) connected to the Medium Voltage network: The project will deal with:

  • Realizing an advanced control system
  • Implementing an “always on” and standard-based communication solution connecting all the relevant nodes in the network, including DER locations.
  • Implementing Voltage Control (at all nodes) and Power Flow Control in the MV network.

Click HERE for the complete presentation by Enel.

Take, for example, the number of PV inverter manufactured monthly by one vendor: SMA (Germany):

"On the reporting date, SMA had a maximum annual production capacity of approx. 11 GW worldwide. This corresponds to a doubling in annual production capacity in comparison to the end of 2009. Owing to the better availability of electronic components, SMA was able to utilize almost fully its existing production capacities in the third quarter of 2010 with an inverter output sold of nearly 2.6 GW. In the first nine months, SMA sold inverter output of 5,738 MW in total" ... I guess this means some 500.000 PV Inverters from one manufacturer (assuming average inverter of 20 kW) !!

Click HERE for the SMA news report.

Taking the monitoring, control and automation needs reported by Enel (above) into account means: there is a potential global market of MILLIONS of devices per year that need "standard-based communication". IEC 61850 has almost everything needed.

In this light we have to look at what Newton-Evans figured out:

"Of 5,154 distribution substations in operation at participating utilities, nearly 36% were reported to be without any automation. Just over one-half (52%) of these distribution substations were classified as Stage 1 sites (having some IEDs, RTUs, and two-way communications). About 12% were reported to be “fully automated.”"

When we talk about "standard-based communication", we have to use a wide-angle lens - not a zoom lens to focus on some substations in the U.S. There are definitely a lot more of opportunities globally!

There is a bright future for IEC 61850!

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