Hitachi ABB Power Grids launches new Smart Digital Substation

Image Hitachi ABB Smart Digital Substation 1Hitachi ABB Power Grids has announced the launch of its Smart Digital Substation, which brings together the latest in digital substation technology, combined with the predictive and prescriptive capabilities of Hitachi’s Lumada Asset Performance Management (APM) solution

The Smart Digital Substation is a part of a new wave of innovation that began with the integration of Hitachi ABB Power GridsDigital Enterprise software, with Hitachi’s Lumada ecosystem.

The Smart Digital Substation replaces copper wires with fibre optic cables for a smaller site, and enables companies to reduce their carbon footprint. It also helps to plan the next steps in the digital journey, by employing digital technology, and analytics in their operations. 

Operators are now empowered with more data on every aspect of their facility; from the composition of a circuit breaker’s insulation, (a red flag for potential catastrophic failure), to using unstructured video footage, to determining the probability of unplanned downtime for primary equipment throughout the substation.  

The Smart Digital Substation also makes it possible to increase reliability, integrate new forms of clean energy, and deliver energy services in smarter and safer ways; which are necessities for navigating the shift towards more distributed and less predictable renewable power generation.

Substations help transform voltage levels, from high to low, or vice versa, and secure and dispatch power flow. They play a vital role in transmitting and distributing electricity safely across the grid from the point of  generation, to the end-consumer. The digital substation market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% over  the next five years, from US$6.4bn in 2020, to US$9.1bn by 2025.

Actionable insights and 24/7 expert support

By harnessing data generated by devices and sensors, the Smart Digital Substation provides owners and  operators with next-level capabilities, including actionable insights and a complete view of their operations. 

The integration of Lumada APM adds a layer of analytics and simulations, enabling decision-makers to  address issues on an asset, before any disruption to operations. These analytics can be extended beyond the substation, to assess risk and probability of substation, or asset failure throughout a company’s fleet. 

In addition, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has a global network of digitally connected Collaborative Operations Centers (COCs), to ensure prompt customer service from experts, whenever needed. Rapid-response services, backed up by the COC network, are core to all customer service agreements. This also provides the foundation for a range of new digital service offerings, including the customer asset base lifecycle management programme. 

Defense-in-depth cybersecurity

The industrial sector is now more prone to the risks of cyber attacks. Security is an integral part of the Smart Digital Substation, as it provides integrated control, communications and software solutions, purpose-built to  balance resources, conserve cash, and increase reliability and security. 

Highly secure communication using quantum-safe encryption enables real-time connectivity, and the modular software suite, seamlessly combines visibility into asset performance, maintenance history, workforce and  resource location. This enables customers to improve productivity and ensure worker safety. 

The digital solution uses a defense-in-depth cyber security architecture, based on industry standards and best practices; which improves security posture, and permits network security management as well as  maintenance throughout the substation lifecycle. 

“Maintaining productivity in the face of asset portfolio shifts and the uncertainty of electricity loads and  revenues requires sophisticated tools that allow for holistic decision making – optimising both financial  performance and grid operations,” said Massimo Danieli, managing director, Grid Automation business unit, Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “The Smart Digital Substation offering is aimed at enabling digital transformation  and supporting our customers’ journey towards a more decentralised and distributed energy landscape, and  a more sustainable future.”

"Substations remain critical for grid reliability and resilience. Today's digital substations bring both to new  levels, while typically introducing new automation and asset management capabilities," said Rick Rys, senior consultant at ARC Advisory Group. "With the launch of its new Smart Digital Substation offering, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has enhanced its asset performance management prognostics that use models of key grid assets  such as transformers, wires, insulators, and other substation equipment. This offers the potential to further  improve substation productivity, sustainability, and reliability."

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