Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hydro-Québec’s Vision in their Distribution System Automation Roadmap from 2005 becomes True

Hydro-Québec published an interesting Vision in the “Distribution System Automation Roadmap – 2005–2020” already in 2005. Now, 2013 (some eight years later) we can say that their expectation was quite written.

For the period 2015 – 2020 they expected (in 2005!) that the “Equipment interoperability standards should be completed. The controlled island and energy exchange network possibilities will be better known following the developments from 2010 to 2015, and more specific projects will be started up.” The overall communication system they expected after 2015 is IEC 61850! See figure from the Report:

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Their estimation is still valid and applicable to many other utilities, countries and regions. I wish more utilities in 2013 will develop their detailed Roadmap how to get prepared for the future energy systems control and automation – if they take IEC 61850 into account or not! Installing huge amounts of IEDs and collecting 100.000’s of data points is an issue that has to be considered carefully.

Hydro-Québec implemented a huge network to “manage the 450,000 data points generated from the first phase of the project, 5 regional control centers front end systems were setup to receive the information. … more than 2000 persons are involved with the project, directly or indirectly. The sheer quantity of data produced by the pole-top devices makes it attractive and useful to a wide range of groups. … We had planned the technology side in detail and very carefully, we also had planned the human factor (we thought). Today, looking back, we realize the technology aspects have been easy to handle and work with when required, but the sheer number of people involved has created an environment which is currently slow to react. …”

Download the Case Study “Utility Automated and Integrated Data & Control for 4000 Pole-Top Switches and Protection Relays” to read more about the project” [pdf, 68 KB]

As noted several times it is crucial to understand that IEC 61850 (when it’s applied in the near future more often in the distribution world) is a solution that is intended to provide long-term unification – and that will require a “sheer number of people” that need education in how to use IEC 61850 based systems.

Haste makes Waste!!

Download the complete Roadmap dated 2005 [pdf, 1.6 MB].

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