Transmission & HV Substation Automation

Smart grids will depend on inter­op­er­a­ble and advanced SAS for a reli­able and secure ener­gy sup­ply in the future.

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.

Since full sub­sta­tion automa­tion requires IEDs, com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­to­cols, and oth­er devices and tech­nolo­gies to work togeth­er, it is also often referred to as sub­sta­tion inte­gra­tion. The term “instru­men­ta­tion and con­trol (I&C) sys­tem” on the oth­er hand, exclu­sive­ly com­pris­es devices that mon­i­tor, con­trol, and pro­tect the pow­er system.

Why Automate Your HV Substation?

Advantages with iGrid T&D

Why Automate Your HV Substation?

  • 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 and min­i­mize out­ages and min­i­mize 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

  • iGrid Pro­to­col Suite: Mod­bus, IEC61850, IEC60870-5- 101/102/103/104, DNP3, OPC, DLMS and many more
  • Ful­ly inter­op­er­a­ble solu­tion for sim­ple retro­fits and open net­work archi­tec­tures – all of our devices and soft­ware appli­ca­tions can com­mu­ni­cate with the iGrid pro­to­col suite, allow­ing you to con­nect to any device on the net­work using mul­ti­ple com­mu­ni­ca­tion media
  • High­ly flex­i­ble, secure and scal­able 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 and SCL file imports
  • Inter­nal PLC based on IEC 61131–3 for advanced automa­tion func­tions and log­i­cal schemes, pro­gram­ma­ble with our free iConf tool
  • Advanced net­work redun­dan­cy based on RSTP, HSR and PRP (IEC 61850)
  • High­ly scal­able and cus­tomiz­able SCADA for sin­gle sub­sta­tions or entire grids (con­trol cen­ter edition),
  • High pre­ci­sion time man­age­ment based on PTP or NTP to pre­vent any data losses

Substation Automation, the Key to Smarter 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.

Con­sid­er­ing the ongo­ing dig­i­ti­za­tion and recent trends, a future in which every piece of elec­tric equip­ment will be car­ry­ing some type of set­ting and require remote con­trol might be a lot clos­er than we may expect. In order to man­age such a large 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 such as pro­tec­tion relays, meters…), which must con­nect to old sys­tems at the sub­sta­tion or the con­trol center.


Adptable and User-friendly Solutions for Flexible Designs and Simple 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.

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 Spabus, Mlink, Procome Mas­ter IEC 62056–21
SNMP Agent/Manager IEC 61850 MMS Client/Server                
IEC 61850 GOOSE Publisher/Subscriber OPC UA


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

Fur­ther­more, the devices have com­mu­ni­cat­ed with equip­ment from numer­ous dif­fer­ent ven­dors in a broad vari­ety of appli­ca­tions. We have con­nect­ed it all: new and old sys­tems, Eth­er­net and ser­i­al, IEC 61850 and old lega­cy pro­to­cols (like SPA-bus), SCADA sys­tems and intranets, gen­er­a­tion and ener­gy market. 

It is our pri­or­i­ty at iGrid T&D to sup­port the devel­op­ment of your sub­sta­tion automa­tion sys­tems and pre­pare your staff in a sim­ple yet tech­no­log­i­cal­ly sound way. For this rea­son, we used our know-how to design hard­ware that can be eas­i­ly adjust­ed to your needs with our free iConf tool. iConf now also includes the pow­er­ful iCon­fICD tool, which has been par­tic­u­lary designed to facil­i­tate the con­fig­u­ra­tion of IEC 61850 devices. 

With our state-of-the-art prod­ucts we want to make the tran­si­tion to advanced automa­tion sys­tems as smooth as pos­si­ble. Our solu­tions ensure that you no longer need to wor­ry about inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and net­work inef­fi­cien­cies. Our RTUs and gate­ways can com­mu­ni­cate using numer­ous pro­to­cols via Eth­er­net or ser­i­al con­nec­tions and inte­grate seam­less­ly with our intu­itive soft­ware solu­tions, which come with all func­tion­al­i­ties you need. 

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.

    Network Redundancy

    All iGrid solu­tions can pro­vide advanced redun­dan­cy net­works like RSTP, HSR & PRP (IEC 62439–3) to min­i­mize net­work down­time and max­i­mize reli­a­bil­i­ty and availability:

    • Mod­ern sub­sta­tion automa­tion with­out pack­et loss­es and latencies
    • Invis­i­ble to the appli­ca­tion and usable by most indus­tri­al Eth­er­net protocols
    • For appli­ca­tions requir­ing high avail­abil­i­ty and quick switchovers

    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.

    Secure Products for Transmission & HV Distribution Substations

    Thanks to our com­mit­ment to advanced 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..

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


    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.

    HV Substation Automation System Architecture

    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. Rest assured that you will ben­e­fit from its flex­i­bil­i­ty and cost sav­ings through­out the entire project.

    Solution Benefits & Functions


    A‑Level certified IEC 61850 compliance


    Data Collection and Supervision


    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 611313


    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 SAS Solutions

    • Sub­sta­tion RTUs
    • BCUs (Bay Con­troller Units)
    • Sub­sta­tion Gate­ways
    • Sub­sta­tion SCADAs
    • Con­trol Cen­ter SCADAs
    • 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 62351 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.

    Hot-Standby Redundancy

    All of our prod­ucts 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 arrive to dis­con­nect­ed devices)

    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. 

    Full Independence for an Open Architecture

    All iGrid 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.

    Related Projects

    HV Substation Automation SCADA

    In this project, the iCon­trol SCADA and iRTUs com­mu­ni­cate with numer­ous meters and pro­tec­tion relays from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers using a vari­ety of pro­to­cols such as Mod­bus, IEC60870‑5–103 or IEC 61850. iCon­trol reports to the exist­ing con­trol cen­ters via IEC 104 and DNP3.

    HV Substation Automation SCADA

    In this project iRTU units and iCon­trol SCADA are used to auto­mate a HV sub­sta­tion which sup­plies elec­tri­cal ener­gy sev­er­al pump­ing sta­tions at 20 KV. The project involved data col­lec­tion from smart meters via Mod­bus RTU and pro­to­col con­ver­sion from IEC 60870–104 to IEC 60870–101.

    HV Substation Automation Products

    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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