The IUP Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Soft Data Bus Framework for Distribution Substations

Article Details
Pub. Date : Oct, 2018
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJEEE51810
Author Name : N V P R Durga Prasad and C Radhakrishna
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 10



Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems have proved to be one of the important ingredients for substation automation. Legacy SCADA architectures are based on proprietary hardware and software-based Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) with little scope for modifications and expansions. Current SCADA architectures are based on distributed systems with Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) based on IEC 61850. These SCADA systems are implemented with a centralized server located at control centers for performing various substation automation functions. With this kind of architecture, a local Human Machine Interface (HMI) is normally implemented to have access to the operational data at the substation level. Certain specific software applications catering to asset management functions, which are useful for the local operators, are also implemented at the substation level. All such local applications have to access data from IEDs, legacy RTUs, etc., called hardware nodes. Since these hardware nodes follow different communication interface methods, the software applications running in the desktop computers also have to adopt hardware-specific communication interface routines. Fast and reliable data transfer among these heterogeneous systems coupled with seamless integration to host applications is a technical challenge. The paper presents a generic Soft Data Bus (SDB), a communication interface framework between hardware nodes and software applications. SDB provides a common interface method on both sides which enables seamless access of data from RTUs which can easily be integrated with the local HMI and other asset management applications. It can be scaled up for a number of hardware nodes and data points without sacrificing much of performance.


Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) application for the distribution utilities over the years has undergone many changes due to technological advancements in the field of computers (hardware and software) and embedded systems. Traditional SCADA systems, which are based on standalone Remote Terminal Units (RTUs), are no more in practice. With the advent of advanced microprocessor technology, a new embedded device called Intelligent Electronic Device (IED) has been introduced. IED can perform multiple operations like control, data acquisition and protection functions (Craig et al., 2015). With the introduction of IEDs, the next issue that cropped up is the integration of data from various IEDs supplied by different vendors into the higher level applications. For the interoperability and ease of systems and subsystems integration, IEC 61850 communication standard for substations has been introduced for seamless exchange of data (Roostaee et al., 2011). Green substations have implemented substation automation functions using IEDs and IEC 61850-based communication infrastructure. Old substations have migrated to IEC 61850 either by replacing existing legacy RTUs with IEDs or interfacing RTUs to IEDs (Craig et al., 2015).


Communication, Data bases, Embedded systems, Ethernet, Firmware, Real-time applications, Power system utilities management

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