RuggedCom Inc. and Siemens Energy, Inc. have announced the availability of a wireless integrated distribution feeder automation solution using RuggedCom’s RuggedMAX broadband wireless solutions and Siemens SIPROTEC Compact line/feeder protection. The combined Smart Grid DFA solution allows for optimized fault detection, isolation and restoration to minimize the extent of power outages by quickly isolating affected areas.

Siemens’ distribution feeder automation solution, SDFA, provides fault detection, isolation and restoration.

“The Siemens SIPROTEC Compact 7SJ80 relays detect faults and quickly determine the faulted segment through the use of IEC 61850 generic object-oriented substation event (GOOSE) peer-to-peer communication over the RuggedMAX wireless network” said Andre Smit, marketing manager, Protection & Substation Automation, Siemens Energy Inc. “The faulted segment is quickly isolated by the 7SJ80 relay(s) and where possible, segments at the end of a feeder have service restored through the tie-point switch. The 7SJ80 relays are 'self-aware' and operate based on real-time information they have about the network, so no master is required. Once a fault has been repaired, the system can return to a normal state through a single command from the system operator or by the field crew."

Once a wide-area wireless infrastructure is in place for the distribution automation solution, the same wireless coverage footprint can be leveraged to deliver other applications such as mobile workforce to field crews, or security solutions like video surveillance, through the use of IP video cameras. Future generations of the integrated distribution automation solution will allow for advanced feeder automation applications such as Volt/VAR, distributed generation and distributed storage control, all integral functions of a smart grid.

RuggedMAX is a high-performance family of utility-grade wireless devices fully compliant with the WiMAX 802.16e Wave 2 (MIMO) mobile broadband wireless standard and IEEE 1613 requirements for communications networking devices in electric power substations. RuggedMAX is designed to extend IP networks via wireless, securely over long distances to fixed and mobile users. The product family includes a variety of base stations and subscriber stations with differing output power, form factors and frequency options for use in licensed or license exempt bands. The RuggedMAX product family has gone through extensive end-to-end network interoperability testing to support multiple different ASN gateway platforms and third-party subscriber devices in order to give customers flexibility by leveraging the full WiMAX ecosystem. RuggedMAX with its compact form factor and flexible configuration is ideal for use in mission critical private networks.

The SIPROTEC Compact 7SJ80 relays can be used for line/feeder protection of high- and medium-voltage networks with grounded, low-resistance grounded, isolated or a compensated neutral point. The relays have all the required functions to be applied as a backup relay to a transformer differential relay.