In modern substation and power generation environments, protection devices, operator interface terminals, controllers, I/O devices, UPS, battery chargers, battery monitoring systems can be connected to the substation network controller using RTU (remote terminal units) or Ethernet switches. Data is transmitted to dispatch/control centers via SCADA systems (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) to help the utility monitor the substation operation and match generation with demand. In addition, regulators and government agencies such as NERC (North American Electrical Reliability Corporation) oversee the grid reliability and enforce compliance with specific standards to reduce system disturbances and prevent undesirable blackout events.
AC and DC backup systems including chargers, inverters, UPS and batteries are considered critical part of the system. Modern backup systems can be easily equipped with monitoring and communication devices compatible with the substation communication networks. MODBUS TCP/IP, DNP3, IEC61850 are among the standard communication protocols used in the industry.
Also, servicing these backup systems require intensive labor-hours and cost large amount of money. This investment can greatly be reduced through data acquisition and analysis which can monitor the conditions of critical backup system operations
In addition to the above, automated testing such as automated battery testing and battery continuity monitoring can contribute in your predictive maintenance scheduling instead of the traditional preventive maintenance scheduling. The big difference is that with the latter one, backup systems will diagnostic the problem and proactively send messages to deploy maintenance technicians: your unplanned downtime is hence reduced by a large factor and you know exactly what’s happening, why and where.
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