Norwegian Transmission System Operator (TSO) Statnett has adopted Synaptec’s unique distributed sensor technology to improve busbar protection in an industry first which will see both mechanical and electrical monitoring functions combined in a single, completely passive IEC 61850-compliant system for the first time.

The collaboration between Statnett and Synaptec is the first of its kind and will push technology innovation in a rapidly evolving area, as Transmission and Distribution System Operators seek the most cost-effective ways to manage the renewable energy transition and embrace digitalisation across their networks.

A bespoke version of Synaptec’s Refase™ system will be installed in a major substation in Oslo, Norway, initially as a shadow system; this will allow comparisons of performance against traditional instrumentation technologies through Norway’s extreme seasonal temperature changes and ultimately quantify how much planned outage time, space (and therefore cost) can be saved. With one system able to instrument 50 locations synchronously, 6 busbar feeders will be independently and simultaneously protected by one system, with capacity to spare for novel temperature and vibration monitoring of nearby HV assets, such as transformers.

Synaptec and Statnett expect to reduce planned outage times, lower the capital cost of busbar protection schemes, but also to improve operations and maintenance processes by adding remote mechanical monitoring of critical HV assets through one IEC 61850 stream.

Saul Matthews head of business development at Synaptec said:

“Replacing and updating substation hardware and software is traditionally a huge task – both in terms of time and cost. Through this partnership with Statnett we’re exploring viable alternatives that dramatically lower cost, do not compromise on quality or accuracy and yet are robust enough to handle anything the most extreme weather can throw at us. In Refase™, we think we’ve achieved this, and working with Statnett gives us both the opportunity to prove-out new protection, monitoring and control technologies which truly take the pain out of renewables integration and digitalisation.’’

Rannveig Løken from Statnett added:

“This technology from Synaptec is promising and we have had a good cooperation in this project. The aim has been to explore how this technology can be used for busbar protection technology for IEC 61850 based substations with process bus.”

Featured image courtesy of Statnett.