With the advances in communication and digital technologies, the widespread deployment of field devices and automation components, along with the increasing demand for a higher degree of automation, has indicated that more diverse computer capabilities are desired by the electric power industry. In most substation applications, a multitude of computers are employed to serve different purposes and requirements.
As an instance, the hardware compatible with stringent safety requirements for operation in substations is a hard requirement for communication components, operator terminals (HMIs), as well as SCADA systems. Other cases are that a compact embedded gateway computer can bring different levels of connectivity to a confined space in the site, or a 19” rack mount station/server computer can guarantee high intensive-compute power for a data center. This, inevitably, results in colossal equipment costs and maintenance expenses to grid owners/operators.
Thanks to the digital revolution, virtualization has made it possible for multiple systems to be accommodated on a single platform, which also facilitates the construction of redundant systems. Moreover, it significantly reduces capital, labor, and maintenance costs. Virtualization, a process stemming from large IT data centers, can effectively leverage IT resources. A virtualization layer (also abstraction layer) is inserted between the application layer and the hardware (e.g., storage, computing, or network) to emulate both services and operating systems on a common hardware device. Providing a number of virtual services on a hardware base, virtualization can achieve what dedicated hardware or software can do.
In the meantime, through virtualization, the information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) are moving toward each other, unlocking new benefits and possibilities that both entities couldn’t have imagined.
Lanner’s rugged substation server (LEC-3340) and rugged substation gateway (LEC-6041) are IEC 61850 and IEEE 1613 certified. Both substation automation computers are ideal for digital substations and OT network security. Designed to implement modern substation structures and to carry out the most advantages of virtualization, LEC-3340 and LEC-6041 are sure to reduce hardware costs and increase system availability.
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