Industrial Electronics

How Chile's leading supplier of high-voltage systems strengthened its electrical system

11 March 2022

With almost 10,000 km of lines and more than 60 substations, from the Arica y Parinacota Region to the Los Lagos Region, Transelec is the main supplier of high voltage systems in Chile. The company selected SCADATECH to engineer a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for its the Alto Jahuel substation, which has the largest capacity — 2,554 mega-Volt-amp (MVA) — in the National Electric System.

Initially, Transelec did not have local human-machine interfaces (HMIs) to monitor its seven yards from the control rooms associated with each, so the operations had to be performed directly on the control equipment. Due to this, SCADATECH proposed PcVue's SCADA solution to provide a scalable and multifunctional platform that would allow the integration of future requirements and reduce the risk for operators when executing maneuvers by transferring operations to the control rooms of each power yard.

The application allows direct integration in MMS protocol standard 61850, in addition to the DNP 3.0 protocol, which was chosen as the basis for the project, as well as the use of existing adaptable programming within the PcVue platform. It provides the flexibility to display the dynamic coloration of the voltage levels in the substation's single-line diagrams according to the standard used by Transelec, in which different types of alarms are indicated according to the aforementioned coloration.

Likewise, the HMI stations allow the visualization in real time of status and measurements of the electricalThe Alto Jahuel substation. Source: TranselecThe Alto Jahuel substation. Source: Transelec system. It also carries out the remote control or operation toward the intelligent electronic device field equipment, having total control and supervision of the existing electrical system. For the control and supervision of the different displays — general unilinear, alarms and events panel, communications diagram and other areas — a menu was configured on the right side of the screen that facilitates navigation between the different areas, allowing the operator to execute tasks locally.

The DNP 3.0 and MMS under the IEC 61850 standard protocols were used and touch screens were placed in each of the yards to allow deployment of the applications built in the PcVue software. The application collects data from NTX-U57 equipment used for the retrofit of the TELEGYR remote terminal units (RTUs), enabling transmission of the RTU database in DNP 3.0 protocol to each of the associated displays.

A star connection architecture was chosen, where the displays have an independent connection per yard. This arrangement avoids dependence on the fiber optic links to the substation server room to collect data, allowing the displays to function as stand-alone equipment within each yard. Among the equipment integrated into the local HMIs are GE D25 bay controllers, protections (ABB-Siemens-General Electric, MICOM), CISCO communication switches and Schneider Electric ION meters. One of the great benefits of PcVue is that it is a multi-brand platform and easily adapts to equipment from any manufacturer.

For Transelec, the commitment to the operational excellence of the electric transmission system and mainly the safety of collaborators and contractors of the company was a priority and PcVue has important elements to guarantee computer security. The project has increased the security level for the operators and enhanced telecontrol for all the voltage yards.

SCADATECH is currently developing an application with PcVue to extend local control to general monitoring of the entire substation from a centralized SCADA in Alto Jahuel, which will allow operators to make control decisions in the event of failure of Transelec's main SCADA. The application has a general display of the substation, including the seven voltage yards, local monitoring of the networks through SNMP protocol, monitoring of all control equipment associated with the system (temperature and status of each of the more than 90 NTXU57 cards installed between all voltage yards) and general status of communications between the substation Gateway and the voltage yards.

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