Substation Automation


Lisa Blomqvist

Substation automation is the configuration, control and supervision of an electrical substation. To fullfill substation automation requirements you may need (among other tools) a SCADA system. Typically process displays showing process status (circuit breaker positions, bus bar energization, voltage levels etc) will be built in a SCADA system. The system will also allow operator requests to be sent to the underlaying terminals.

Substation automation is much more than just a SCADA system.

Hope to help!


Ranjeet Vaishnav

The difference is mainly the geographical area covered by the systems. With this, the functions performed by the systems also differ.

SA systems cover a substation locally. A SCADA would cover several such substations and monitor them from one central place. It can cover the
transmission / distribution networks of a city, state or the entire nation.

Best regards,

Senior Application Engineer - Advant EMS
Utility Automation

Address: Contact:
Asea Brown Boveri Limited Tel: +91 - 80 - 309 92 12

Plot Nr. 5 & 6 Fax: +91 - 80 - 839 61 21
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Karnataka, INDIA

Jose Dieter Montanez

I like the "geographical" issue :) I would see the SCADA more to integrate and concentrate control, as well information flow into a single point at the substation. This concentration point will also also offer to other components outside the actual substation like dispatch centers or generating facilities. Whilst SCADA will concentrate mainly in coordinative "vizualization" tasks the other local tasks maybe performed by DCS based components. This localized control components will do the job at equipment itself (breakers, transformers, switchgear, protection). I just finished the design for a 220, 138, 66, 13.8 (kV) substation following the principle. We sectioned the Substation by "cells" each one with an independen and individual control equipment based plenty on "Universal Relays", "intelligent meters", Control PLC (DCS) for actuation, OPC based HMI for local HMI/Panel. All this cells integrate are interconnected with "ethernet" based networks and consolidate at a substation level. Though the substation itself is now unmanned the "concentrator" at the substation "ex" control room serves as the "information and control" system providing a integrated interface as well as access to external system components like dispatch center and generating plant. All thos are interconnected via WAN based ethernet networks. Interesting is that we do only have PLC's at the "cell" level the rest is accomplished by Windows NT based Servers and Workstation. Also the whole network is based on ethernet. The system is simple and very reliable and also very cheap since we do use lot of "office grade" hardware instead of the "industrial". Anyway the SS is a clean and quite place ...
Substation Automation is a specific system to monitor the power distribution in a substation, and SCADA is the Control Center side that can monitor overall the system.