Substation automation simply refers to the usage of data acquired from intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), as well as control commands from remote users and automation and control capabilities within the substation so as to control power system devices. Substation automation is very beneficial in creating a trustworthy self-healing power system that can respond to real time events such as lightning strikes and equipment failures. This will ensure that end users receive uninterrupted power services from their chosen electric utilities, promoting business and economic development.
Substation automation has benefitted greatly from developments in communication technologies, which have promoted the usage of cost effective and trustworthy remote control systems to monitor the performance and conditions of substations. A good communication technology for use in substation automation must be secure, robust, cost effective, scalable and reliable.
This will ensure that the process of data acquisition, controlling the output devices as well as using the various communication devices such as the internet is trustworthy, fast, effective, affordable and efficient.
With great strides in the telecommunication sector, there is no doubt that the field of substation automation is set for exciting and drastic transformation in the short and medium term future. This is also likely to promote the use of this power automation more in the developing countries.