T&D World Magazine

SEL Solutions Provide Communications and Control for the Xcel Energy Smart Substation

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.'s Substation of the Future Solutions are part of the communications and control infrastructure of Xcel Energy's Smart Substation Project. SEL is contributing to Xcel Energy's commitment to improved power reliability and efficiency by simplifying and standardizing substation communications and control elements.

"One of the benefits that SEL brings to the project is the reduction of ac and dc control cables around the substation," said SEL Engineering Supervisor Dennis Haes. "We are mounting the relays in cabinets near the circuit breakers and using fiber optics for control circuits, an approach that minimizes cost and reduces cable runs in the station.” All of the intelligent devices are rated for direct mounting in cabinets in the station yard or in an SEL drop-in control enclosure.

Another advantage is that the SEL relays include IEC 61850 GOOSE message capability. Controls can be sent between any relay conforming to the standard, now and in the future, without having to change wiring when logic is changed. The SEL integration system applies GOOSE messaging to send all of the controls to the remote cabinets over a standard multimode fiber Ethernet network. SEL-3351 rugged computers collect IEC 61850 logical node information for display and SCADA interface.

SEL will also gather data from the substation for analysis. Reports sent to Xcel Energy will provide notice of maintenance issues (like wear on a breaker), transformer monitoring, and station monitoring. Maintenance performed based on this information will be considerably less expensive than more traditional scheduled maintenance.

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