Digitization has completely changed the landscape of substations, from essential functions to complex workflows and processes. One of the significant advantages for substation workers is the opportunity for enhanced communications – offering more effective and controlled ways to establish automation and see everything that’s going on in seconds. From interactions between machinery and technicians to security services, digital communication makes everything easier.
Here are just a few of the benefits substation communications can offer:
Improved and streamlined processes
Outdated and manual processes and checks can be a severe time-waster for many substations. With digital communications, it’s possible to maintain a higher standard of reliability, meet changing needs, and achieve tasks at a higher level of productivity. By streamlining those essential workflows, substations can expand upon existing services by improving standardization and innovating on existing approaches.
For many substations, it can feel like current standards are working to full capacity. But with substation communications and digitization in place, the door is opened to more opportunities. Reducing the amount of workload required to get specific things done and improving the speed, efficiency, and accuracy in which processes can be effectively monitored and controlled.
Enhanced response speeds
For any substation, having contingencies in place for specific issues is an absolute requirement. Ensuring proper generation, distribution, and fault-finding even under challenging circumstances, such as high-risk weather, is a must. As such, a range of different factors can affect the speed in which a non-digital substation can respond to issues or even notice problems as they arise. With substation communications, that problem is non-existent, because information about status and problems are delivered directly to the employee.
Known as GOOSE messages under IEC 61850, the goal of this communication is to improve the speed with which employees can respond to issues – as well as potentially fix issues remotely using a digital system. By offering that higher degree of insight, substations are better placed to respond quickly, preventing outages and other serious problems before they occur.
Efficient communication across the site – or across multiple sites
Especially for remote or large-scale substations, the ability to communicate swiftly and effectively peer-to-peer is a must. Using a substation communications system to manage anything from reporting to security, the passing of information to warnings and issues saves valuable time for staff. It ensures that information gets where it needs to swiftly and without fail. This is especially important for communication across multiple sites, where there can be a delay between query and response.
By automating and streamlining other parts of the substation workflows, there’s also more time for active communication. This is a significant benefit of a digital communications system, ensuring it’s effortless to stay in touch and all part of ongoing processes. With efficient and intentional communication, it’s far harder for wires to get crossed or issues to be missed. By implementing those processes, any substation can enhance the way it runs tenfold.
Digitization is a must for any company – and substations are at the forefront. By implementing powerful and effective digital communications in line with IEC 61850, achieving that higher standard of management and control is more accessible than you might think.