Digital Systems Technology for Next Generation Grid Automation
Project Description
Project Objectives
Events & Publications
Project Description
Within the scope of smarter transmission and distribution networks, DSGrid generates new knowledge, new products and new skills, for the establishment of a third generation of substation automation systems and similar infrastructures.
This type of systems, totally digital, is characterized by the integration of networks and replacement of analogue signaling subsystems by real time and electronic communications, turning the substation into an advanced integrated platform for automation, control, protection, monitoring and information, from the process to the supervision and maintenance/ managing remote interfaces. Advantages include simplification of installations and processes, flexibility and expandability, interoperability, operation performance, reliability and safety.
In the context of a growth and international affirmation strategy from Efacec Automation, as a player of reference in the technology and product development in the automation and energy systems domain, DSGrid contributes to answer to the global challenges related to energy efficiency, energy supply quality and network and systems operational optimization. The results from this project also apply to domains such as “cyberphisycal” critical infrastructures cybersecurity and other functional groups from the Smart Grid (GMS, WAMS, WAMPAC, Feeders Automation, Energy Quality, DER).
The Digital Substation
Digital Grid Operation
  • Hard assets will no longer be the main pivot of grid operation
  • Smart Technologies are bridging assets, people, services and information 


Substation Automation Challenges for Our Customers

More complexity and change of both the T&D infrastructure and the business models

Increasing demand on refurbishment of substations (developed countries)
paired with risk reduction of new builds (developing countries)

Optimized asset use (profiting from existing resources and assets)

Increased requirements on T&D availability and QoS

Sustainability for O&M: people, skills and supply during the lifecycle
(lifecycle length mismatch between primary and secondary technology)

Increased focus on TCO optimization versus conventional utility investment policies

Project execution with increasing time pressure (lead times)

Digital Substation Benefits

Transmission Substation Cost

Up to 10% less for new substation
Up to 20% less in upgrades

Substation Control House

Up to 50% space reduction
Up to 60% less cabinets

Copper Cable

Up to 70% cabling reduction

Physical Complexity

Up to 80% I/O point count reduction

Other TCO Cost Factors

Lead times (engineering savings)
Operational efficiency (OPEX savings)
Outage times (planned and unplanned)

Increase of software and communications from the process to operation level
will drive total lifecycle cost reduction


What added value can upcoming Digital Solutions entail?

Improved Protection and Control

Better QoS
Reduced System Downtime
Enhanced Safety


Ensure continuity of supply
Improve asset management

New System Architectures

Optimize value-chain
TOTEX perspective

Asset Condition Management

Optimize Asset Maintenance with CBM
Securely Extend Asset Life
Failure Prevention
Dynamic Asset Ratings

Next generation systems will increase
safety, performance, reliability, security, prevent and reduce impact of outages,
and support the digital utility
with smart asset information


Substation systems and technologies will expand to the whole grid to drive higher levels of QoS, DER integration, resilience and optimization

The DSGrid project has received grants from the COMPETE program,
within the national “Portugal 2020 framework”, supported by the European Union.