MV Substation & Distribution Grid Automation

Smart com­mu­ni­ca­tions for advanced and effi­cient automa­tion sys­tems in sec­ondary grids

What is Substation Automation?

Sub­sta­tion automa­tion is the act of auto­mat­i­cal­ly mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol­ling an elec­tri­cal sub­sta­tion by inte­grat­ing sub­sta­tion equpi­ment, intel­li­gent instru­men­ta­tion and con­trol devices, to have bet­ter con­trol over the pow­er dis­tri­b­u­tion grid and reduce the num­ber and dura­tion of out­ages. Like most pow­er sys­tems, includ­ing gen­er­a­tion plants and indus­tri­al facil­i­ties, sub­sta­tions are usu­al­ly auto­mat­ed with a SCADA (Super­vi­so­ry Con­trol and Data Acqui­si­tion Sys­tem). Most com­mon­ly, RTUs (remote ter­mi­nal units) are installed on site to col­lect data from sub­sta­tion equip­ment, sen­sors and IEDs (intel­li­gent elec­tron­ic devices) and trans­fer this data to a sub­sta­tion or con­trol cen­ter SCADA, which visu­al­izes the data and reports fail­ures to the operator.

Through the SCADA sys­tem, the oper­a­tor can remote­ly mon­i­tor the entire sub­sta­tion net­work, send direct com­mands to the RTU, or define automa­tion func­tions with a PLC to enable auto­mat­ed reac­tions against sys­tem failures.

Why Automate Your MV Distribution Grid?

Advantages with iGrid T&D

Why Automate Your MV Distribution Grid?

  • Use automa­tion func­tions to react instant­ly and reduce the need human supervision
  • Use advanced pro­tec­tion schemes to improve the reli­a­bil­i­ty of your sub­sta­tion network
  • Locate fail­ures with­in your net­work, safe time and min­i­mize out­age duration
  • Send remote com­mands and react to outages
  • Pre­pare for out­ages and min­i­mize their occur­ance with redun­dant networks
  • Improve the flex­bil­i­ty of your ener­gy grid to react to fluc­tu­at­ing pow­er gen­er­a­tion and demand
  • Record events in real-time, to know exact­ly what hap­pened and when it happened
  • Improve your work­ing effi­cien­cy by facil­i­tat­ing sys­tem inter­ven­tion and maintenance
  • Con­trol the per­for­mance of your sub­sta­tion devices, pre­vent fail­ures and opti­mize your net­work design and operation


Advantages with iGrid T&D

  • Mod­bus RTU, IEC 103, IEC 104, DNP3… all pro­to­cols need­ed for an open grid
  • Superb scal­a­bil­i­ty - from a few to thou­sands of IEDs and data points
  • Con­nect to any device on the net­work using mul­ti­ple com­mu­ni­ca­tion media
  • Col­lect data from hun­dreds of devices and aux­il­iary equip­ment with direct inter­nal I/Os or dis­trib­uted exten­sion units
  • Ful­ly inter­op­er­a­ble solu­tion for sim­ple retro­fits and open net­work archi­tec­tures – all of our devices and soft­ware appli­ca­tions can com­mu­ni­cate with the iGrid pro­to­col suite
  • High­ly flex­i­ble and mod­u­lar solu­tions, adapt­able to any sys­tem requirements/ net­work topology
  • Sim­ple migra­tion to IEC 61850 –  use any of our prod­ucts as client or serv­er and map any pro­to­col onto IEC 61850, rely­ing on the iCon­fICD tool for sim­ple configurations
  • High­ly scal­able and cus­tomiz­able SCADA for sin­gle sub­sta­tions or entire grids (con­trol cen­ter edition)

MV Substation Automation, Smarter Gear for Smarter Secondary Grids

Sub­sta­tion automa­tion is a top­ic that is rarely addressed by pop­u­lar media, yet it is the back­bone of the often dis­cussed “Smart Grids”, which will play a cen­tral role in our ener­gy future. As key points to con­trol the trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­b­u­tion net­works, the world­wide devel­op­ment of sub­sta­tion automa­tion sys­tems will deter­mine our abil­i­ty to con­front future ener­gy chal­lenges and sta­bi­lize the elec­tri­cal grid.

In order to man­age the required num­ber of data points and inter­con­nect sev­er­al actors and intel­li­gent devices from dif­fer­ent ven­dors with­in one elec­tri­cal grid, substa­tions will need to be con­trolled with advanced and inter­op­er­a­ble automa­tion sys­tems that oper­ate reliably. 

It is thus no sur­prise that grid automa­tion has sign­f­i­cant­ly evolved over the last decade, from lega­cy pro­to­cols and old, cen­tral­ized RTUs with high I/O capa­bil­i­ties, all the way to the newest tech­nolo­gies based on dis­trib­uted IEC 61850 and IP technology.

The dif­fi­cul­ties lie in inte­grat­ing this new tech­nol­o­gy in old­er sub­sta­tions, where old and new devices have to coex­ist and com­mu­ni­cate with each oth­er. Exam­ples of this can be new con­trol cen­ters that have to com­mu­ni­cate with old automa­tion sys­tems or new­ly installed IEDs (intel­li­gent elec­tron­ic devices like pro­tec­tion relays, meters…), which must con­nect to old sys­tems at the sub­sta­tion or the con­trol center.

Adaptable and User-friendly Solutions for Simple Set-Ups and Retrofits

Solu­tions by iGrid T&D have been designed for exact­ly this kind of chal­lenges. Devel­oped explic­it­ly for sub­sta­tion automa­tion, all devices devices and soft­ware sys­tems, com­pris­ing RTUs, gate­ways, I/O exten­sion units and SCADA sys­tem, pro­vide a unique range of com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­cols and con­nec­tiv­i­ty options.

The devices can use almost all pro­to­cols to both col­lect and trans­fer data from and between devices and enti­ties. Thanks to its con­fig­urable inter­nal inputs and out­puts and its capa­bil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate via Eth­er­net, ser­i­al and GPRS (3G, 4G), the iRTU is thus the per­fect device for MV applications. 

It can col­lect data from a few sen­sors and switchgear con­trollers and trans­fer the data to a any con­trol cen­ter or col­lect data and con­trol thou­sands of devices accross the network.

Amongst oth­ers, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­cols include:

Master/Slave IEC 60870–5‑101 Master/Slave IEC 60870–5‑104
Master/Slave Mod­bus TCP/UDP and JBUS (mas­ter) Master/Slave Mod­bus­R­TU
Master/Slave DNP3.0 (ser­i­al, UDP, TCP) Mas­ter IEC 60870–5‑103
Mas­ter IEC 60870–5‑102 Mas­ter DLMS
Mas­ter Profibus DP Mas­ter Spabus, Mlink, Procome
Mas­ter IEC 62056–21 SNMP Agent/Manager
IEC 61850 MMS Client/Server                 IEC 61850 GOOSE Publisher/Subscriber


Our solu­tions can also com­mu­ni­cate through tech­nolo­gies from oth­er indus­tries like mySQLweb ser­vices and OPC UA.

Fully Flexible Data Collection for MV Distribution Substations

Devel­oped explic­it­ly for sub­sta­tion automa­tion, all devices and soft­ware sys­tems by iGrid T&D pro­vide an exten­sive range of func­tion­al­i­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics to over­come present and future chal­lenges in the most effi­cient ways.

Fur­ther­more, our solu­tions can col­lect data from thou­sands of devices at once, process and con­vert the data and trans­fer it to mul­ti­ple enti­ties in the net­work. 

Since we have com­mu­ni­cat­ed with equip­ment from numer­ous dif­fer­ent ven­dors in a broad vari­ety of appli­ca­tions, we have expe­ri­ence in com­mu­ni­cat­ing with and cre­at­ing a bridge between all kinds of sys­tems, includ­ing new and old relays and sub­sta­tion gear, Eth­er­net and ser­i­al, IEC 61850 and old lega­cy pro­to­cols (like SPA-bus), SCADA sys­tems and intranets, gen­er­a­tion and ener­gy market. 

Our solu­tions ensure that you no longer need to wor­ry about inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and net­work inef­fi­cien­cies. Our RTUs can com­mu­ni­cate using numer­ous pro­to­cols via GPRS, Eth­er­net or ser­i­al con­nec­tions as well as col­lect aux­il­iary sig­nals using dig­i­tal I/Os and ana­log inputs.

Not only retro­fits are facil­i­tat­ed with our prod­ucts. It also becomes easy to react to any kind of net­work change (big or small) and to set up open and scal­able net­work architectures.

Our devices are already con­fig­urable and ver­sa­tile by design, but we also pro­vide fur­ther prod­uct con­fig­u­ra­tions and tai­lored ser­vices upon request.  

Our gate­ways, SCADA sys­tems and RTUs also pro­vide real­ly pow­er­ful func­tion­al­i­ties like advanced redun­dan­cy schemes, inter­nal PLC automa­tion and high-pre­ci­sion, microsec­ond time management. 


    Time Management

    All iGrid solu­tions are capa­ble of high pre­ci­sion time-syn­chro­niza­tion (<1ms) via PTP or NTP and car­ry inter­nal Real-Time Clocks with a an accu­ra­cy of 1ppm. This allows to keep on record­ing events with a micro-sec­ond time stamp­ing accu­ra­cy, even when con­nec­tion to the time source (mas­ter­clock) is lost, per­mit­ting to trace fail­ures back meticulously.


    iConf Tool

    iConf has been specif­i­cal­ly devel­oped for elec­tri­cal appli­ca­tions, sav­ing you lots of time and mon­ey through­out the con­trol sys­tem set-up and main­te­nance tasks, whilst also min­i­miz­ing your project risks. You can use the soft­ware tool to con­fig­ure all igrid devices and soft­ware sys­tems as well as design IEC 61850 projects, to up and down­load your con­fig­u­ra­tions, and cre­ate your own tem­plates. 

    PLC Automation

    All iGrid solu­tions can exe­cute logical/mathematical func­tions and automa­tion sequences with super high speeds thanks to their PLC capabilities.

    The inte­grat­ed PLC is high­ly scal­able and has been applied in all kinds of fields to solve a broad vari­ety of challenges.

    User-friend­ly and graph­i­cal pro­gram­ming mod­ule (edi­tor) for automa­tion sequences and PLCs based on IEC 61131–3.

    Our Products for MV Substations & Secondary Grids

    Devel­oped explic­it­ly for sub­sta­tion automa­tion, all devices and soft­ware sys­tems by iGrid T&D pro­vide an exten­sive range of func­tion­al­i­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics to over­come present and future chal­lenges in the most effi­cient ways.

    Although we are hap­py to sup­port our cus­tomers, iGrid T&D is not a ser­vice-based busi­ness. Instead, we strive to pro­vide state-of-the-art tech­nol­o­gy that enables our cus­tomers to set up, oper­ate and main­tain advanced automa­tion sys­tems by themselves. 

    Substation Gateway, HMI, SCADA, Grid Control Center Software..

    • High­ly scal­able and pow­er­ful gate­way soft­ware for any serv­er run­ning on win­dows or linux.
    • Com­mu­ni­ca­tion front-end for siwtchgears, trans­form­ers and oth­er equipment
    iControl SCADA
    • Scal­able and inter­op­er­a­ble in mul­ti­ple architectures
    • For all lev­els, from Sub­sta­tion Gate­way to Con­trol Center
    • With all impor­tant fea­tures and characteristics


      Substation RTU, Gateway, Bay Controller, Distributed I/O..

      iRTU, iRTUcompact
      • Inter­nal I/O, ser­i­al, GPRS & Eth­er­net interfaces
      • All-in-one devices with advanced func­tions for SAS
      iGW, iGWlite
      • Ser­i­al, GPRS & Eth­er­net interfaces
      • Handy devices with advanced func­tions for SAS
      • Remote I/O units for advanced SAS networks
      • IEC 61850 GOOSE communication


      State-of-the-Art R&D and Advanced Engineering & Product Development

      International R&D
      • Inhouse R&D on the fore­front of smart grid tech­nol­o­gy, enriched by numer­ous inter­na­tion­al and aca­d­e­m­ic project
      Engineering & Development Services
      • Advanced and cus­tomized appli­ca­tion engi­neer­ing and prod­uct devel­op­ment for spe­cif­ic client needs. 

      World-wide Compliance and Interoperability

      Thanks to our expe­ri­ences with elec­tri­cal sys­tems and sub­sta­tions in a vari­ety of indus­tries all around the plan­et, our prod­ucts have been pre­pared for high-demand­ing require­ments and stan­dards, guar­an­tee­ing a peace­ful approval process for any project in any coun­try. Our cer­ti­fi­ca­tions range from EMC com­pat­i­bil­i­ty and com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­col stan­dards like IEC 61850 to cyber secu­ri­ty means and have been assert­ed by third par­ty cer­ti­fi­ca­tion bod­ies like DNV GL/ KEMA.

      Substation Automation System with Full Product Range

      Exam­ple schema

      Why to Opt for Substation Automation Solutions by iGrid T&D? 

      Our Data Acqui­si­tion, Con­trol and Super­vi­sion sys­tems can not only han­dle a broad vari­ety of pro­to­cols and archi­tec­tures but also pro­vide numer­ous oth­er tech­no­log­i­cal fea­tures and func­tion­al­i­ties like high pre­ci­sion time stamp­ing and PLC programming. 

      As a client you can ben­e­fit from get­ting a scal­able and inter­op­er­a­ble solu­tion that will be easy to use and tai­lored to your needs. 

      Two devices are spe­cial­ly eco­nom­i­cal for this appli­ca­tion. The iGW-VM can be used as a cen­tral data col­lec­tion, automa­tion and gate­way soft­ware cre­at­ing a pow­er­ful bridge between the grid and con­trol cen­ter and can also be inte­grat­ed as com­mu­ni­ca­tion front-end for all kinds of devices and equip­ment to pro­vide pow­er­ful automa­tion and pro­to­col con­ver­sion func­tions with “dumb” devices and gear.

      On the oth­er hand, with it’s inter­nal inputs and out­puts and con­nec­tiv­i­ty options, the iRTU is the per­fect com­pan­ion to col­lect data from devices and aux­il­iary equip­ment at thou­sands of sites. 

      Solution Benefits & Functions


      A‑Level certified IEC 61850 compliance


      Tailored solutions according to your needs


      State-of-the-art IEC 61850 technology


      Customized training & support


      Remote maintenance/ testing


      Reliable and efficient protection functions


      Improved reliability & security 


      Automatic (busbar) line coloring


      Simple connection between IED and substation HMI


      PRP network redundancy


      Simple device set-up/ deployment


      Graphical visualization of measurements & data


      Remote substation monitoring and control 


      Fault diagnostics


      Simple retrofits


      Full interoperability


      Optimized efficiency and productivity


      High-speed, intelligent interlocking with GOOSE


      Local & global alarm generation


      Minimize outages


      Role-based access control


      Complex logic schemes


      High-precision timestamping and event recording


      Fault location detection


      Automatic switching sequences


      No need for auxiliary relays and hardwired interfaces


      PLC automation with IEC 61131–3


      Engineering & maintenance cost reduction


      iControl or 3rd party SCADA


      Customized solution


      Automatic interlocking supervision


      Intelligent zoom on one-line diagram


      Automatic data storage


      Supervisory control


      Reduced space for human error


      Comissioning cost reduction


      Reduced wiring

      Our MV Solutions

      • Sub­sta­tion RTUs, BCUs (Bay Con­troller Units) and Gate­ways
      • Sub­sta­tion SCADAs
      • Con­trol Cen­ter SCADAs
      • Com­mu­ni­ca­tion front-end for switchgear and transformers
      • Remote & dis­trib­uted I/Os
      • IEDs/ Smart Relays by Thytronic

      Sleep Peacefully with Expert Cyber Security 

      iGrid T&D enforces sev­er­al lay­ers of secu­ri­ty mea­sures guid­ed by the propo­si­tions of the IEC 62531 stan­dard to pro­tect its devices from all kinds of threats.

      Our hard­ened devices fea­ture Role Based Access Con­trol (RBAC) to avoid intrin­sic risks such as secu­ri­ty holes and unau­tho­rized actions by authen­ti­cat­ed users.
      In addi­tion to end-to-end encryp­tions via TSL/SSL, HTTPS, SSH and stan­dard pro­ce­dures for VPNs (e.g. Open­VPN), its com­mu­ni­ca­tion can also be secured with net­work con­trol meth­ods such as fire­walls, IP fil­ters, ACL or TCP port blocks.

      Full Independence for an Open Architecture

      All of our prod­ucts sup­port sev­er­al types of com­mu­ni­ca­tion media, such as wire­less (GPRS/ 3g, 4g), VSAT, ana­log radio, Eth­er­net or Ser­i­al, and can com­mu­ni­cate with the entire iGrid T&D pro­to­col suite. Thanks to our expe­ri­ences with devices from almost all known ven­dors and our pledge for stan­dard pro­to­cols, we can ensure the seam­less inte­gra­tion of our prod­ucts with any third par­ty devices.

      Hot-Standby Redundancy

      All of our devices can oper­ate in hot-stand­by redun­dan­cy mode:

      • Hot-stand­by server/device is updat­ed continuously
      • Clients and IEDs auto­mat­i­cal­ly switch to the hot-stand­by server
      • Ser­i­al loop redun­dan­cy (hot stand­by gate­way acts as a (vir­tu­al) ser­i­al port to reach dis­con­nect­ed devices)

      Related Projects

      MV Grid Distribution Control Center

      In this project, iCon­trol is based on a client/server archi­tec­ture with 4 oper­a­tors con­trol­ling 4,000 mul­ti­ven­dor RTUs via IEC60870‑5–104, IEC60870‑5–101 and DNP3.0, through the pub­lic GPRS net­work, in the 25kV dis­tri­b­u­tion grid of Buenos Aires. 

      Railway MV Substation Control

      In this project the iGW con­verts from IEC 101 to IEC104 in order to com­fort­ably expand the SCADA sys­tem of the metro lines, using high tech­nol­o­gy switch­es and SDH equip­ment via Eth­er­net. The iGW con­trols the low pow­er sub­sta­tions (380 Volt­age grid) by read­ing the data from a SIEMENS PLC via IEC 101, map­ping it to IEC104, and send­ing it to the exist­ing SCADA Con­trol Center.

      MV Grid Automation with IEC 61850

      In this project iRTUe expan­sion units help the iRTU col­lect data data via IEC 61850 in order to auto­mate 9 medi­um volt­age sub­sta­tions at the Sabi­ha Gökçen Air­port (Turkey)

      MV Substation Automation Products

      iGW-VM – unlimited control

      The freely scal­able iGW-VM sup­ports all archi­tec­tures using Win­dows or Lin­ux, act­ing as a sub­sta­tion gate­way, bay con­troller, RTU or com­mu­ni­ca­tion front-end for SCADA sys­tems. The iGW-VM is thus the per­fect soft­ware choice for projects with a predetermined/preferred hard­ware or a large grid to cov­er (high num­ber of datapoints).

      iGW‑S Substation Gateway

      Pow­er­ful and reli­able sub­sta­tion gate­way, able to run either in stand­alone or redun­dant modes, with an embed­ded Eth­er­net switch (4 ports) and IEC 61850 client and serv­er capabilities.

      iControl SCADA

      High-per­for­mance SCADA for the visu­al­iza­tion and con­trol of sub­sta­tion data. It is able to run either in client/server or stand­alone modes, pro­vid­ing advanced func­tion­al­i­ties such as hot-stand­by redun­dan­cy, auto­mat­ic line col­or­ing, events noti­fi­ca­tion (via e‑mail and sms), SQL log­ging, and reports generation.

      iRTU – With I/Os for Direct Data Acquisition 

      Com­pact and scal­able bay con­troller which can act as IEC 61850 client or serv­er, fea­tur­ing con­fig­urable I/O boards for direct data acqui­si­tion, high-pre­ci­sion time­stamp­ing and an option­al Eth­er­net switch for addi­tion­al Eth­er­net ports.

      iRTUe – Remote I/O Extensions 

      iGWs, iRTUs and third par­ty mas­ter units can be freely extend­ed by con­nect­ing one or sev­er­al iRTUe.

      They are IEC 61850 (GOOSE) com­pli­ant and come in many con­fig­u­ra­tions such as 48 DI, 16 relays, 16 AI, 24 DI + 8 relays, 24 DI + 8 AI or 8 relays + 8 AI.

      iGrid Solutions and Applications

      Automation with IEC 61850 

      The IEC 61850 stan­dard is enabling new opor­tu­ni­ties for ven­dor inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and advanced sub­sta­tion automa­tion. Find out how you can take advan­tage of IEC 61850 with easy-to-use and adapt­able solu­tions for a sim­ple migra­tion or retrofit.

      HV Substation Automation

      Pow­er­ful sub­sta­tion automa­tion sys­tems often han­dle numer­ous com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­cols and media with­in one net­work, which can result in expen­sive and com­plex projects.  Avoid these prob­lems with inter­op­er­a­ble tech­nol­o­gy and smart con­fig­u­ra­tion tools.

      MV Distribution Grid Automation

      It is often dif­fi­cult to find the exact solu­tion you need in a MV appli­ca­tion, lead­ing to high­er costs than nec­es­sary. With our scal­able and adapt­able solu­tions you will be able to only pay for what you real­ly need, with­out com­prim­is­ing on qual­i­ty or security.

      Photovoltaic Power Station

      Using an open and scal­able SCADA sys­tem to mon­i­tor and con­trol a PV plant comes with many ben­e­fits on sev­er­al lev­els. Find out how advanced com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy affects PV oper­a­tion, main­te­nance, sys­tem design, invest­ment secu­ri­ty, profits…

      Do you need more information?

      We are hap­py to assist you!


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