4 must-haves within the New Digital Substation


All through electrical substations change continues to surge.

For many years, utilities routed energy from centralized sources. Now they’re orchestrating energy technology throughout numerous and distributed sources, together with renewables like wind and photo voltaic. Substations are also navigating extra complicated calls for as we electrify transportation resembling EV–with a rising phase of shoppers consuming and producing electrical energy.

What’s going to it take to evolve substations to handle operational, customer support, price effectivity, and environmental targets?

The reply is sustained funding in substation automation and digitization to create an clever and safe electrical supply system that depends on communications and data know-how. Cisco calls this the New Digital Substation. Not like conventional operations, the New Digital Substation handles extra sustainable, distributed, and variable power provides in addition to fluctuating demand all in actual time.

Constructing on greater than a decade of expertise supporting substation automation, Cisco just lately printed the Substation Automation 3.0 Design Information. This Cisco Validated Design (CVD) builds on earlier options supporting SCADA operational techniques – and it stands out for 4 new and differentiated capabilities. Within the quest for better flexibility, effectivity, and safety, these have develop into must-haves within the New Digital Substation.

Should-have #1: Resilient, Digital Operations

The trade is transferring to attach extra tools utilizing normal, open communications which are designed to digitally function substation tools. These purposes require rather more from the community than the everyday SCADA based mostly purposes: low-latency, extremely resilient and synchronization companies.

We designed the Cisco Catalyst IE3x00 and IE9300 Rugged Sequence Switches and the Cisco Catalyst IR1100 and IR8340 Rugged Sequence Routers to assist substation automation purposes based mostly on IEC 61850 – the worldwide normal that defines communication protocols for clever digital gadgets inside substations. These gadgets additionally assist different substation communication protocols and may combine with a bunch of legacy {hardware}.

Should-have #2: Huge bandwidth, small footprint

Cisco’s newest substation structure options upgraded routing and switching options. The IR8340 {hardware} and IE9300 switches present better bandwidth together with extra options in smaller bodily footprints. As such, they’ll assist a better amount of related gadgets and purposes whereas addressing targets for operational effectivity and operational price containment.

The IR8340 is a router, change, firewall, and exact timing module. The stackable IE9300 helps high-density fiber ports to resiliently join numerous substation tools whereas offering visibility of the substation gadgets and communication. Each additionally act as cyber safety brokers for the substation and have edge compute functionality.

Should-have #3: Simplified community administration

Traditionally, grid operations groups haven’t wanted IT or community administration expertise as they depend on “one and accomplished” deployments. As operations develop into more and more digital, utilities have to handle and monitor the networks to take care of uptime.

The Substation Automation 3.0 structure reduces the necessity for community experience. It incorporates Cisco DNA Middle and Cisco Software program-Outlined WAN (SD-WAN) applied sciences – which centralizes, simplifies, and automates community deployment and administration. Utilizing these instruments, a smaller group can handle gadgets with zero-touch configuration and upkeep.

Should-have #4: Cyber safety; visibility, safety and compliance

As a part of any neighborhood’s crucial infrastructure, substations have to be hardened in opposition to cyber-security threats. Cisco’s Substation Automation 3.0 structure upgrades cyber safety capabilities together with Cisco Cyber Imaginative and prescient to offer better visibility and safety throughout the total ecosystem of related gadgets.

This visibility and safety make it doable to flag suspicious communications and shield the tools earlier than they compromise grid safety. Enhanced safety and administration additionally assist tackle rising necessities for cyber certification (e.g. NERC/CIP), together with the necessity to show that important operational processes and procedures are in place.

The brand new power ecosystem is quickly taking form and electrical substations should hold tempo. Contemplate how the Substation Automation 3.0 Design may also help.

As with each Cisco Validated Design, we’ve assembled and examined all of the elements of the structure. We’ve validated that they tackle resilience and interoperability targets and we’ve examined their capacity to assist core use instances, together with integrating with key vendor gadgets and purposes.

Be taught extra

Get an introduction to the brand new Digital Substation in our Substation Automation Resolution Transient.  For particulars on designing and implementing the Digital Substation, see our Substation Automation Design and Implementation Guides.





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