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Potential of Massively Deployed Sensors Applications in Substation Engineering

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  • Create Date April 30, 2020
  • Last Updated August 4, 2021

Potential of Massively Deployed Sensors Applications in Substation Engineering

Massively deployed sensors and sensor technology have traditionally had a very limited application in substations engineering.  With the advent of the modern communications systems, SCADA1 systems have the potential of transmitting more data.  Enormous potential exists to deliver more real time information and data that may increase the security of substations and of the power grid, and give advance warning of incipient problems which may be developing in substation equipment.  This paper surveys the major types of available sensors and possible applications on how these may be utilized in the modern, SCADA monitored substations.

Massively deployed sensors are devices which converts a physical phenomenon into an electrical signal.  The reasons sensors are deployed in substation are primarily to warn operators of developing equipment problems, detect any security infringements, and monitor equipment status.  In the last few years, as communications techniques have matured, the capability to bring more information back to central monitoring stations has increased.  This would also make adding more and different types of sensors to substations to monitor equipment, operation, and security an interesting challenge in the future.

Also, it is quite common to install sensors which relay circuit breaker, switch, or recloser position status to a central monitoring location.

Since the beginning of the recent war on terrorism some utilities have begun installing security systems in substations and monitoring these systems via the SCADA systems.  These may be used to monitor intrusion through fences, or entry into control buildings.  Cameras are also being installed.  These can be used to monitor the substation area in real time or they may only be used to only when intrusion alarms are activated.

Digital protective relays, metering, CTs and PTs are commonly used in substations and their monitoring by SCADA systems is widely used and well understood.  This paper will examine other types of sensors which are less commonly if every used in substations and will discuss ways they may be of value in a substation.

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Potential of Massively Deployed Sensors Applications in Substation Engineering