Also known as power system automation, substation automation is the act of using instruments and control devices to automatically control the power system. Іt involves controlling devices in power system by using data derived from an intelligent electronic device (IED), automation and control capabilities within the substation, and commands from remote users. A substation is the collection of all devices that are part of the physical systems associated with generation, transmission and distribution of power.
Substation automation usually includes all processes that are involved in power generation and delivery. Іn addition, it consists of controlling and monitoring of the power delivery systems within the substation as well as on the pole in order to prevent occurrence of power outages and also shorten duration of outages when they occur. All the devices, communications methods and communications protocols work as a system to perform the process of automation.
Substation automation usually follows three main steps; data acquisition (collection of data by a device), supervision (using acquired data to monitor the condition of the power system) and controlling (sending of a command message to a given device to operate power system devices).