Complete Guide to Substation Automation System (SAS)

SAS, or Substation Automation Systems, ensures that our electrical infrastructure remains safe and reliable by using modern technology like web services to collect and store data.

What is an Substation Automation System (SAS)?  

In a nutshell, an SAS is a computer system that controls and monitors substations. A SAS allows utilities to monitor substation equipment and collect data. Additionally, it can also be used to control substation equipment. 

Substation Automation Systems (SAS) are used in power substations to control and monitor equipment, thus reducing the time needed for manual operations. 

The three types of substation automation are: 

  • Substation controllers or Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) – These devices provide remote monitoring and control of substation equipment. They can also be used to manage the power distribution network with the help of SCADA systems.
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) – SAS systems that collect data from RTUs and other sources, analyze it and send commands back to the RTUs. Utility systems often use SCADA systems to manage their distribution grids.
  • Substation Automation System (SAS) – This is a system that integrates SCADA and RTU functions to provide centralized control of substations. A SAS can be used to monitor power distribution networks, manage the operation of substation equipment remotely, and communicate with other systems in the utility network.

In some cases, an SAS may be directly connected to utility customer premises equipment (CPE), like smart meters or load control devices. This means you can use the SAS remotely through your CPE to access information about the customer's energy usage, or schedule automated shut offs if there are any issues with their service. 

What does an SAS do? 

A substation automation system (SAS) is a type of substation control system (SCS) that manages power flow by automatically switching circuit breakers and switches within a substation. SASs are used in power distribution systems to increase the efficiency and reliability of power transmission and distribution. 

Coordinate multiple stations 

An SAS can be used to coordinate multiple stations, as well as to provide better operational control over the station’s equipment. It also allows for better monitoring of the station’s condition and performance. 

The SAS will typically include sensors, controllers, computers and software that monitor and control equipment such as transformers, circuit breakers and switches. The controller uses this information to determine which equipment needs to be activated or deactivated for optimal performance. 

Monitoring & Controlling Power Systems 

An SAS can be used to monitor and control an entire power system or a specific part of it. This allows operators to remotely control equipment within the facility as well as outside it (via SCADA systems). This gives them greater flexibility in managing their facilities while also reducing operational costs by eliminating the need for manual labor at remote locations. 

Monitor, store, and control access to data. 

A substation automation system (SAS) enables the operation and control of electrical substations using computers and their networks. The SAS can be used to monitor many meters within the substation, store data, remotely access information from different locations, and provide alarm notifications if something is wrong. 

The SAS can also be used to control access to the substation by identifying and authenticating individuals authorized to enter. This ensures that only authorized personnel can enter, which helps prevent unauthorized tampering with equipment and data. 

Generate reports on energy usage and production 

Generating reports on energy usage and production is another important feature of the SAS. This allows utility companies to analyze their energy consumption, which helps them determine which areas need more attention or investment. The SAS can also be used to generate reports on other aspects of substation operation, such as voltage levels and load conditions. 

What are the benefits of having a Substation Automation System? 

A Substation Automation System (SAS) can help you: 

  • Increase reliability – Your system can communicate with the grid and respond to problems before they occur. This means you’ll have fewer service interruptions for customers, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Increase efficiency – With a SAS, your substation equipment can be configured so that it only works when needed. This reduces energy consumption and helps save money on operations costs.
  • Reduce stress on the grid – A SAS enables you to use renewable energy sources more effectively by reducing demand during peak hours, shifting load from peak times (when there are often shortages) into off-peak times when there may be excess power available on the grid.* Improve power loss during an outage – Because different parts of your system are monitored automatically, without human intervention or supervision required to work correctly, any problems will get resolved quickly while generating minimum downtime.* Shift load from peak times into off-peak ones

What are the three main levels of a Substation Automation System? 

Substation Automation System (SAS) is a system that coordinates and controls substation equipment, such as switches, breakers, transformers, and circuit breakers. The main purpose of this system is to monitor and control the performance of substation equipment from a central location. SAS can be used to monitor and control the performance of substation equipment from a remote location. 

It is an important component of modern power grids that can increase the efficiency, reliability, and security of grid operation. SAS uses various sensors and communication technologies to monitor the status of equipment at substations. It also uses computer software for analyzing data from these sensors in order to make decisions about how substation equipment should be controlled. 

 The three main levels of Substation Automation System are: 

  • Level 1 Field Devices - A control system that manages the operations of a power plant or substation. This can include managing processes like power generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption.
  • Level 2 Substation Data Concentrator - A computerized system that monitors and controls the flow of electricity in a circuit or network. This can be used to monitor and manage the amount of electricity consumed or produced by a consumer and other factors like voltage levels and circuit conditions.
  • Level 3 SCADA System/Data Warehouse - An integrated hardware/software system that uses SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) technology to manage all aspects of power distribution within a substation, including voltage levels, load management, and circuit conditions

Automation is essential for the future of the power industry. Software and hardware must be capable of communicating within itself, but also with the outside world. With a robust Substation Automation System (SAS), the process of modernization changes from an operation and maintenance problem, to one of asset management.