The digital transformation in the energy sector, traditionally seen as the future direction in which to aim innovation and development, is now a reality for projects seeking to include long-lasting technology.
This transformation is contributing not only towards more profitable operations but also to an increase in availability, reliability and sustainability throughout the entire energy supply. One of the main assets within the energy supply process are substations, which are critical infrastructures for the electricity grid to foster the development of our society.
Ingeteam is currently developing the DIGITAS project, co-funded by the Basque Government and the European Union using FEDER funds through the Hazitek programme. The main goal of this project is to develop a fully digitised substation automation solution ready for operations in which data access allows for services in addition to automatic plant operations to be generated.
A digital substation is one in which most of the data related to the primary process (measurements from sensors, digital inputs, etc.) are instantly digitised at the point where it is collected. From then on, this data is exchanged between the devices at the substation and the different system operators over the different communications networks, normally via Ethernet connection. Inside the substation, digitisation also simplifies the installation, as it rules out the need for a large part of the physical cables that exist in a conventional substation.
Ingeteam is developing new functions in protection and control equipment, in substation control units (SCU) and in local HMIs. It is also creating remote configuration, monitoring and access tools for easier maintenance.
One of its main goals is for the equipment configuration process deployed to be as automatic as possible in order to reduce human error and speed up the deployment processes to spend less man-hours on the engineering and commissioning stages.
The solution uses different international standards that make interoperability inside the substation and to the exterior possible, considering the cybersecurity needs of systems with remote access.
Ingeteam has supplied over 100,000 items of protection and control equipment for substations.