A new era of digital substations is on the horizon thanks to digitally connected plant components.
From 80% to 100% green electricity
Austria’s electricity mix is dominated by renewables. Today, around 80% of all electricity already comes from green energy, and the goal is to cover 100% of total electricity consumption (national energy balance) from renewables by 2030. As a result, the power grid is becoming increasingly complex and will have to keep evolving in order to handle the added complexity in combination with growing energy consumption. In addition to conventional grid expansion, which Austria is carrying out at full speed, additional innovative solutions are needed to enable fast, reliable decision making in this dynamic environment as well as real-time implementation of the necessary measures. Using digital infrastructure solutions to connect current-conducting systems at our substations will play a key role in this context.
Digital sensors for intelligent substation control
The main objective of our Digital Substation project is to generate additional status reports on the equipment used at our substations and to make intelligent use of that data. Sensors and modern communication protocols make it possible to record more information than ever on the current status of equipment. This enables early detection of critical statuses (e.g. of transformers), avoidance of costly shut-downs and optimum use of equipment. The data collected is subsequently used as the basis for predictive maintenance. Sensors are attached to transformers (the most operationally relevant substation components), and they are also used in cable terminations, circuit breakers, disconnectors and instrument transformers to produce a comprehensive digital image of the substation. With this project, we are ensuring that our existing energy infrastructure can be used as efficiently as possible.