T&D World Magazine
Simplified Optical Fiber Topology
Simplified Optical Fiber Topology

Integrated SCADA Solution for Substation Using Optical Fiber

The optical fiber and wireless connections used to integrate all RC10 controllers guarantee high communication speed, reliability, secure configuration and operation to the AMPLA technical team

NOJA Power has completed a successful project to provide Ampla (Enel Group) with an integration solution using optical fiber connections and Wi-Fi system.

This application provided full remote access via SCADA software and also local access using the CMS Software and Recloser App through local network with wireless connection.

Ampla Electricity Utility contacted NOJA Power to develop an efficient and reliable integration solution involving OSM15 Automatic Circuit Reclosers (reclosers or ACRs) with RC10 controls to address the protection and automation of different feeders. NOJA Power and Ampla have a long term partnership for the supply of ACRs which were deployed in this project. The focus of the project was to determine the correct topology and communication equipment for the supervisory, control and data acquisition system.

Although the DNP3 communication protocol is widely used by all electricity utilities in Brazil, including AMPLA, the communication protocol of choice in this case was the IEC-60870-5-104 for testing purposes in this specific substation. The means of communication between the ACRs and Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) was optical fiber. A media converter (Ethernet x Optical Fiber) was fitted in each one of the RC10 control cubicles, connected to their respective RJ-45 ports. Such converters were easily accommodated in the dedicated internal communication space in the RC10 and could also be powered by the existing 12VDC external load supply of the controller.

An industrial optical switch was installed in the substation control room and was responsible to receive all fibers from all ACRs and finally connect them to the LAN. All network information travelled over TCP/IP protocol through the router and all information from all devices was available in the "cloud" to the users over a secure connection. Finishing the topology an Access Point with high encryption security was installed in the optical switch thus allowing the customer to wirelessly access all devices installed in the substation.

The optical fiber connection enables clean and fast communication ensuring electromagnetic immunity in the event of surges. In addition, the users are able to connect (via cable or Wi-Fi) to the local area network to configure, download events and command the ACRs through an IP address configured in each device.

Another great advantage of Wi-Fi is the possibility of using the Recloser App, available for Android and Apple devices, allowing technicians to easily connect to the substation’s wireless network and, after login details authentication, be able to control and monitor the devices from a smartphone and/or tablet in a practical, fast and reliable fashion.

"The designed topology allows the customer to have remote control and monitor the reclosers through a quick and reliable network because the optical fiber ensures these attributes" says Tarcísio Santos, Service and Support Manager at NOJA Power Brazil. "In addition, the wireless connection of CMS and the Recloser App to the substation’s reclosers from laptops, smartphones and/or tablets provides a whole new level of safety and convenience to fieldsman."

"This implementation was very interesting because we dealt with the IEC-60870-5-104 communication protocol which is not widespread in Brazil, although is fully supported by our RC10 and RC15 controllers" says Felipe Mori, Service and Support Technician at NOJA Power Brazil. "This case demonstrated the ability of NOJA Power to engage with electricity utility engineers to design and provide customised solutions and support".

NOJA Power’s OSM ACRs and RC10 /RC15 control cubicles are key building blocks of Smart Grids and provide an extensive range of protection, communication and automation features. The OSM series has been fully type-tested by the independent laboratory KEMA in the Netherlands to ensure long life and reliability under the harshest environmental conditions. Since their introduction, the OSM series ACRs have been installed by utilities in over 90 countries around the world.

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