Digital substations are a reality now. From petrochemical substations networked by fiber-optic for safer operation, through to utility substations ensuring optimized integration and transit of renewable energy across the grid, the technology is delivering results. Using enhanced visualization tools, the inherent software functions extract the highest performance from assets, within and beyond the substation’s boundary. In a connected substation, we understand technical and physical measures are needed to minimize the risks imposed by cyber-security threats. GE continues to work with standards organizations and regulators to ensure we implement standards-based, proven solutions to mitigate these risks.
For each substation project, the capital expenditure is on par with that of conventional solutions, but is able to deliver much, much more. The investment is re-paid rapidly, and many times over as operational expenditure in maintenance is significantly optimized and ultimately reduced. The augmented reality views of the substation and all of its components, supplemented by condition monitoring algorithms digitally “twinning” exactly what the real primary apparatus is doing, instill the confidence to adopt more effective and efficient maintenance policies through actionable intelligence and condition based asset health analytics.
Moreover, the technology is very appealing to our next generation of power engineers, at a critical time when attracting fresh talent is proving to be difficult. What was once the future, is now a reality today, and offers exciting possibilities for our industry well into the future.
With the field data we need available through intuitive dashboards, a safer working environment, and a value proposition that appeals to regulators and investors alike, there’s no question that substation digitization unlocks benefits. It’s this very digitization that provides the primary building blocks required to integrate assets and operations across a power system.