The Newton-Evans Research Co. has released findings from its International market study, the second of four reports collectively titled: "The World Market for Substation Automation and Integration Programs in Electric Utilities: 2017-2020." The international study compares the current round of research findings with several earlier substation modernization tracking studies conducted by the firm. A total of 90 large and mid-size electric power utilities from 22 countries actively participated in the world market study.
Substation Information Processing Task Handling
Seventy-two percent of North American respondents indicated that primary substation information processing is either currently handled by a smart RTU or will be by year end 2020. Forty-six percent indicated that a data concentrator handles this task for at least some substations, while 43% said a communications processor is responsible for this activity. Multiple approaches to performing IP tasks inside the substation fence were in use among the larger utilities having scores or hundreds of substations.
In contrast, 59% of international respondents reported use of smart RTUs for handling information processing tasks inside the substation fence. Data concentrators were cited by 47% and PCs by 35%. About one-fourth of the international survey respondents indicated they either currently distribute information processing tasks over multiple platforms or they plan to by year end 2020.
Status of Automation for Medium Voltage - Distribution Substations
While the North American survey sample indicated that 75% of their operating medium voltage (distribution) substations were partially or fully automated, the international community reported having only about 40% of their MV substations with some or full automation as of late 2017. However, both the North American and International groups plan to implement full or partial automation in almost all new substations to be constructed by year-end 2020.
Additional topics being covered in the four-volume series of substation automation studies include in-depth coverage of several communications topics, vendor security certification requirements, external systems linkages to the substation, preferred equipment suppliers, and substation modernization market outlook by world region and by major country.