ABB Distribution Automation has introduced a new solution for more efficient distribution management. A GPRS -based Arctic IEC-104 Gateway adds efficiency to fault restoration and maintenance at utilities. The product is jointly specified with Viola Systems, a provider of industrial-grade wireless M2M (Machine-to-Machine) connectivity solutions.
Koillis-Satakunta Power Utility in Finland needed to remotely control a large number of disconnector stations scattered over a wide and challenging geographical area. The GSM data delivered poor usability with high price tag. "Viola and ABB offered us a total end-to-end solution that is both secure and always-on yet easy to use," said IT Manager Jari Hakala from Koillis-Satakunta Power Utility.
Remote controlled disconnector stations divide the network into smaller,
more manageable sections. They disconnect faults, re-route the power supply, and perform scheduled outages controlled by a network control
system, i.e. ABB MicroSCADA Pro system. In case of a network failure,
the fault is first located by the ABB Open++ Opera DMS 600, a
high-level distribution management software that runs on top of
"Also a section subject to scheduled maintenance and repair can now be
separated from the distribution network at minimum effort, thanks to the
disconnector stations remotely controlled via the Arctic IEC-104
Gateway," said Aimo Rinta-Opas, operations manager of Koillis-Satakunta
The Arctic IEC-104 Gateway is an industrial-grade serial-to-GPRS gateway
featuring IEC-101 to IEC-104 protocol conversion, a built-in firewall
and VPN technology for secure communications. The Arctic IEC-104 Gateways can be delivered preconfigured to make the installation and deployment a lot easier.
The on-site installation at a disconnector station takes less than 30
minutes. "First, a SIM card is inserted into an appropriate SIM slot,
then an external antenna is attached, and finally 12 V power cables are
connected. And that's all," explained Hakala. The ABB DTU Control Cubicle holds all the required equipment for retrofitting remote control
capability to the installed disconnectors. This includes ABB's REC523
Unit that actually controls and monitors the disconnectors. After the
installation has been completed the Arctic IEC-104 Gateway automatically
creates a secure VPN tunnel to the Viola M2M Gateway located at the
Network Control Center.
The distribution network of Koillis-Satakunta Power Utility covers a
large area, over 100 km in diameter, in a hilly terrain with numerous
lakes and rivers. Substations, disconnectors and transformers are
scattered over the area and are often located in difficult to reach