Industrial development has increased digitalization in many sectors. Innovation in the digitization market is not only related to the invention of new products, but also upgrades of the available products and technologies. One such innovation is digital substations. Substations are the part of electrical generation, distribution, and transmission systems. They transform current from high voltage to low voltage and low voltage to high with the help of transformers. Digital substations comprises the introduction of intelligence into the substation systems. The transformation of the power generation from a wired to an optical network is the reason for the evolution of digital substations. Also, it is a stable supply system for power generation. Digital substations are governed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) code IEC 61850. Process level, bay level, and station level are the three major functional levels of digital substations. Signals are transmitted from the process work station. The system protection and control processes are performed in the bay level work station. At the station level, the engineering and report activities are performed. An optical coherence tomography (OCT) is used to build the digital substations, which requires a lot less space than the analogue substations. Digital substations provide enhanced measurement accuracy and recording of the generated information. With the installation of digital substations, a substantial amount of material cost reduction can occur as fewer cables and less space are required. The maintenance of digital substations is easier than that of traditional substations due to the integrated standardized interface. The integration of advanced technology and innovative practices such as the use of Ethernet in digital substations has increased the security system of digital substations.
Intelligent electronic devices (IED), generic object-oriented substation event (GOOSE), station and process bus, global positioning system (GPS), time clock, merging units, electronic fiber optic coherence tomography (CT), and voltage transformers (VT) are the key components of digital substations. Growing emphasis on the replacement and redevelopment of aging infrastructure is one of the primary drivers of the digital substation market. Grid transition in communication and energy is also driving the market. The increasing demand for reliable power supply system is another reason for the growth of the digital substation market. The installation of digital substation requires high initial investment, which might restrain its expansion. Many companies have adapted the phase-wise installation of digital substations to tackle the budget constraints of installation. Also, in the long run digital substations could reduce cost and increase efficiency. Rapid industrialization in many emerging countries is one of the investment opportunities seen in the digital substation market.
The digital substation market can be divided into two types: transmission substations and distribution substations. Voltage segments of the digital substation market are 66kV, 66kV to 220kV, 220Kv to 550kV, and 550kV and above. Digital substations use different types of modules, such as hardware (transformers, condition monitoring system, protection device, bus bars and others), fiber optics communication, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). Utilities, metals, and mining are the major end-use industries of the digital substation market.
Leading players present in the digital substation market are ABB Ltd., Honeywell International Inc., Emerson Electric, Siemens AG, Larsen & Toubro Limited, NR Electric Co., Eaton Corp., Schneider Electric SE, Cisco systems, Inc., and General Electric Company.
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