Five Reasons Remote Technology Makes Sense

Remote-Control-SCADA-Automation

PowerMag – The case for advanced analytics and remote diagnostics: During the last 25 years significant advancements have been made in remote monitoring capabilities for power plants. A number of operations and maintenance (O&M) functions can routinely be managed remotely, and it is also becoming more common for peaking and renewable energy plants to be remotely operated reliably and safely.

Operating and maintaining a full-scale power plant remotely presents challenges that require sophisticated systems, reliable sensor and diagnostic equipment, stable high-bandwidth communication, and advanced security protocols. Even with progress made in each of these areas, some plant managers don’t foresee a scenario where remote operations will become the norm. But even in cases where there are no plans to run a generating station from a remote location, there is still a solid case for adopting remote technology.

Here are five reasons why the case for remote technology is stronger today than ever before.

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Major Advances with Motor Control Centers (MCCs)

Motor Control Center
MCCs are most widely used in the utilities, manufacturing, industrial, and large commercial industries that operate machinery and motors. MCCs offer enormous flexibility across differing industries and are suitable for many applications, such as: utilities, communications, oil, gas, chemical, pulp, paper, water, waste, mining, metals, industrial production, and mass-production manufacturing. MCCs are used to house various power distribution equipment and controls such as: main distribution panels (MDPs), main circuit breakers (MCBs), protective relaying, transformers, load centers, panelboards, etc. 
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The Importance of Protection & Controls (P&C) and IEDs

Power-Substation-P&C-IEDs
Protection and Controls (P&C) engineering and design is extremely important in power grid protection and coordination especially with the use of intelligent electronic devices (IEDs). Proper P&C designs and coordination with protective relaying and IEDs is an essential part of electrical power engineering for protecting large expensive power equipment such as: generators, transformers, transmission lines (TLs), power circuit breakers, electrical bus, etc.
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Basic of Designing Power Substations

Substation-Bus
Power substations are the most integral part of a power utilities’ electric system. Substations make up the various electric systems – power generation, transmission, and distribution systems. Power substations consist of power transformers, voltage/potential transformers, current transformers, electrical bus, foundations/structures, circuit breakers, switches, outdoor cabinets, control house, fencing, etc.
Many design aspects and processes go into engineering and designing a power substation from the ground up. This discusses the basic steps performed in planning and implementing a new substation.
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Cybersecurity Considerations for Power Substation SCADA Systems Using IEC-61850 Communications

Electrical-Substation
When including security controls into a SCADA system design, it is sometimes difficult to separate design
goals from security requirements. The foremost goal for a SCADA system is to provide protection,
automation, and data acquisition. This paper discusses major
vulnerabilities and cybersecurity considerations that require proper analysis when designing and
implementing a secure IEC-61850 standard-based SCADA system within a power substation. 
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Securing Legacy SCADA Systems Against Cyber Threats

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There are numerous cyber threats and vulnerabilities announced almost daily with warnings across this country directed at our energy and critical infrastructure sectors from various organizations, such as: FBI, DHS, NSA, DOD, DOE, FERC, NERC, CISA, USCYBERCOM, and many more… These warnings have been directed specifically towards the power utility sector as being very vulnerable towards future cyber threats.

For the electric power industry and other service sectors, Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) has performed a crucial role by allowing better decision making through operating, controlling, monitoring and maintaining critical control systems.
With Smart Grid (SG) and Distributed Generation (DG) gaining more popularity results in more 3rd party stakeholders demanding access to utilities’ SCADA system. Some utility SCADA systems are older legacy systems that are in dire need of replacing in order to have:  a more secure system, access to the latest vendor security patch updates, and to allow for better functionality, etc.
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