A modern electrical power system is a complex technical facility, unique in terms of its scale and importance for human life. Given the physical characteristics of electrical energy and the typical high speed of electrical processes, controlling the operation of such a facility is a complex task from both an organizational and technical point of view – which is why devices designed for the emergency protection of power equipment and automation appeared at the same time as the power industry began.
The requirements for these devices, their design and functionality have evolved alongside the electrical power systems they protect, in response to growing consumer and operation demands. Today’s Protection, Automation and Control System (PACS) is a complex set of interrelated information systems covering all areas of electric power facility operation. The rapid development of computing and communication technologies has changed the protection and automation systems of electric power components.
In addition, new control features integrated into modern protection and automation systems change the construction principles of power supply network facilities. Improving quality of control is one of the main tasks of future electric power development and transition to Smart Grid systems. Control systems therefore play a key role in the generation, transportation and distribution of electricity. Today PACS are highly integrated and use digital communication technologies based on open international standards, such as IEC 60870, IEC 61850 and IEC 61970. The integration of separate subsystems enhanced the capabilities of protection and control systems, making them more intelligent and efficient to use. In addition, common standards significantly reduced the cost of integration and provided a higher level of functional reliability.
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