The rapid expansion of the electric power industry has created a worldwide need to reinforce existing transmission and distribution networks and to construct new substations. Advances in microprocessor technology and the increasing cost of support staff are key drivers for power companies to design new automated high-voltage substations using high-accuracy integrated automation systems.

Substations can be classified into two categories, according to voltage level: high-voltage includes 500-kV, 330-kV, and some 220-kV substations, while 220-kV terminal substations, 110-kV, and 35’kV substations are considered medium- or low-voltage. High-voltage (transmission) substations are large outdoor sites. Low-voltage (distribution) substations are indoor systems located in urban areas to handle high load density.

Improved signal processing technologies make it possible to achieve better than 0.1% accuracy in next-generation systems, as compared to present systems’ typical 0.5% accuracy levels—an improvement mainly achieved with the use of high-performance simultaneous-sampling ADCs (analog-to-digital converters); they provide the resolution and performance that will be needed for future systems.

Reproduced with the permission of Analog Devices, Inc.