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The Fusion of Internet and Ethernet Technologies Ushers in a New Era in Substation Automation (Dave Banham, Kevin Hill, Alstom)

Abstract

Substation communications have largely concentrated on the needs of data gathering and telecontrol systems. This has typically led to a pyramidal client-server architecture, which, because of the multitude of device protocols employed, has various limitations.
Dedicated application protocols that share the same network infrastructure, can provide for client-server data gathering and telecontrol, inter-device peer-to-peer communication, and remote user access. In fact, the latter functionality can be provided by the Internet's Hypertext technologies, whilst the former items are catered for by UCA2 technology.
Together, these two technologies are complementary and form an important synergy. This paper examines how simple yet flexible substation communications systems can be built with standardised technologies, such as those employed by the Internet. It also describes how the traditional pyramidal architectures can be flattened, performance bottlenecks removed, and functional constraints, brought about by the use of a myriad of communications systems, eliminated. Moreover, such systems will inherently facilitate 'plug and play' like integration of a multivendor system.

Key Words

Substation automation, Ethernet, Internet, protocols, networking, protective relay, UCA2 and MMS, hypertext, HTML, HTTP, email, peer-to-peer, plug and play, wireless scheme logic.
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