February 2017 – ABB India will deliver a 110 kilovolt (kV) digital substation to Technopark, the largest Information Technology (IT) park in India, based on built-up area, located in the southern state of Kerala and spanning an area of 930,000 square meters. Due to the nature of the industry, the campus is highly dependent on reliable, round the clock power to serve the 350 companies employing more than 50,000 people.
Technopark is currently in an expansion mode and is envisioned to become a self-contained township with potential to employ a hundred thousand people working in the fields of IT, biotechnology and nanotechnology, increasing the need for reliable power supplies for commercial and residential consumers.
"This will be among the first digital substations in India and supports the country's vision of smarter grids and cities" said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB Group's Power Grids division.
"India is today a global hub for digital services and transitioning from conventional to the digital power grid is the need of the hour. Digital substations are more dependable and flexible while reducing life-cycle cost and physical footprint," said Pitamber Shivnani, President, Power Grids Division, ABB India. "ABB continues to pioneer technologies that supports the future for India's digital power grid and the vision of India's National Smart Grid Mission."
A digital substation is more compact, flexible, reliable, safer, cost effective over the lifecycle and simpler to maintain and extend than a conventional one. It is another example highlighting the integration of information and operational technologies (IT and OT) and will leverage digital communications via fiber optic cables that will replace traditional copper connections using analog signals. This will improve flexibility, availability, reliability and safety, while reducing installation costs and environmental impact. The digital substation will also enable the drive for power management efficiencies by turning real time data into actionable intelligence and bringing cost efficiencies. It will be IEC 61850 compliant, ensuring an open communication architecture.
Using fiber optic cabling instead of copper enables reduced cost through the direct savings on copper, optimized panel design and less civil work required to lay the cables. Thousands of traditional analog copper signaling wires between the High Voltage equipment and the control room are also substituted with a few fiber optic digital communication buses (process bus).
Digitising signals at their source reduces the risk of electrical hazards to operators, creating a safer work environment. The substation equipment is also enabled for digital communication, which allows Technopark to monitor and maintain the equipment in an easier manner through real time data.
A key component of the digital substation is ABB's Standalone Merging Unit (SAM600), built to withstand the harshest environments. It fits alongside primary equipment, collecting information close to the source in the field, and converting it into IEC 61850 digital format for control, monitoring and protection applications.