Final Thoughts

Miracles do happen. In the movies. In our PAC world - unfortunately - ypu have to design them.

We started this issue of the magazine with 3Q. It is appropriate to finish in the same way, but focusing mostly on the answer of the last question - How are we going to do the maintenance?
From everything in the different articles it is clear that modern multifunctional protection IEDs and the communications interfaces between them allow us to monitor a significant number of the components of PAC systems.
The transition from conventional to digital substations further expands the coverage of the monitoring functions, but this means that such monitoring system needs to be designed and implemented. And the design should take advantage of the latest technology that will help us achieve a high level of efficiency.
The criteria for efficiency in this case should be that the number of maintenance (if possible) are eliminated.
I am sure that many people will say that this is impossible. It will be a miracle. But let me give you an example.
If we design our substation as a digital substation using IEC 61850, with GOOSE, sampled values and Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) based interfaces, we can monitor everything except the hardwired interfaces to the breakers, switches and other mechanical components of the system. But how do we eliminate the testing of the relay outputs of the devices that operate the breakers or switches?
If we design the system to give the operator an option to trip or close the breakers thru the same outputs that are used by the protection functions, every time that they do so can be recorded as a maintenance test.
And this is it.
No more maintenance tests and outages. Mission accomplished.

 

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