OSIsoft Launches PI Connector for IEC 61850

Distribution System Operator Stedin collaborated on new software and is adopting it as part of its retrofit of 185 substations

San Leandro, CA (Dec XX, 2017) OSIsoft LLC, a leader in operational intelligence, unveiled the PI Connector for IEC 61850 this week, a software interface designed to help utilities, grid operators and large power users to pave the way for digital transformation.

The PI Connector for IEC 61850 reads and automatically contextualizes data from IEC 61850-based devices such as transformers and switchgear so that it can be quickly integrated to the enterprise-wide system of record managed by the PI System. The connector effectively simplifies the process for adding new devices and sources of data to grids and other operational networks, thereby lowering the cost and time required to implement initiatives like remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance while increasing performance and visibility. (IEC 61850 is a networking standard for substation automation equipment. The market for IEC 61850-complaint equipment grows at approximately 18% per year.)

Stedin, a distribution system operator serving approximately two million residential and commercial customers in the Netherlands, is retrofitting its 185 substations around the IEC 61850 standard. In 2011, Stedin developed a vision to digitize grid operations in order to improve efficiency and quality of grid operations as well as anticipate market trends and regulatory drivers. Today, around 60 substations are fully IEC 61850 based and each year 15 to 20 substations will be refurbished for IEC 61850. In 2017, Stedin and OSIsoft began to collaborate on the PI Connector for IEC 61850 and recently finalized the specifications after testing in Stedin facilities.

Through the high fidelity insights generated by the PI Connector for IEC 61850, the company also discovered that in some substations control devices called tap closers were switching up to 30 times a day, or nearly twice the expected rate of 16 times a day: the insight has enabled Stedin to fine-tune maintenance schedules. Stedin has also been able to the performance of our line distance rotation functions and peak currents and switching times of our circuit breakers.

Additionally, the 61850 retrofit will improve decision making around asset investment planning and life cycle management. Stedin anticipates an increase in electrical demand as more customers switch from gas to electricity to heat their homes. By 2020, Stedin aims to have 90% of its substations communicating via the standard. It’s an extensive undertaking: Stedin manages over 21,000 devices in its substation network and some of the equipment is still going strong after 40 years.

“Utilities will need greater visibility and predictability into their operations to meet the demands of their customers in the future. To make decisions adequately, you need adequate underlying data,” said Anne van der Molen, grid strategist for Stedin. “We are very excited to work with OSIsoft because they uniquely understand the challenges behind capturing real-time data and then synthesizing it so that it can be used by a broad spectrum of employees.”

 “Stedin’s strategy underscores the vital role that data plays in the electric power industry.” said Bill McEvoy, Global Industry Principal for T&D and Renewables. “By unifying its assets through a data infrastructure like the PI System and a comprehensive standard like IEC 61850, Stedin will be in a position to scale rapidly without compromising its sustainability or customer service goals.”

The PI Connector for IEC 61850 Connector is available now.

The PI System: Insight on Demand

OSIsoft’s PI System is a software fabric that captures operational data from sensors, machinery and other devices and turns it into rich, real-time insights to reduce costs, make critical business decisions and enhance products. Over 1,000 leading utilities, all of the grid operators in the U.S. and hundreds of renewable power rely on the PI System to manage their businesses. PI System technology is also increasingly deployed in conjunction with energy storage, vibration analysis systems and cloud-based analytics to help those companies include real-time visibility into their products or services. Worldwide, PI System manage over 1.5 billion sensor-based data streams.

About OSIsoft

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