Volume One of this 2016 study of protection and control is based on a sample of North American investor-owned, public and cooperative electric power utilities.
The data provides information on a segmented basis by type of utility and by number of customers served. These tables help illustrate occasional important differences in the findings based on the type and size of utility.
The findings in this report are based on survey responses received from 79 electric utilities that include 16 investor-owned, 28 public power, 26 cooperatives, 4 electric power consulting groups, and 5 Canadian electric utilities. This survey was conducted between April and May of 2016. Initial phone calls were placed to utility officials and relay engineers to invite them to complete the survey either as a Microsoft Word attachment via email, or completing an online survey on www.surveymonkey.com. Reminders were sent via email every 2 weeks until the last call deadline was issued.
The 79 utilities participating in this year’s study represent 31 million electricity end users/customers, having 3,340 transmission substations and 7.841 distribution substations covering over 800,000 total T&D line miles. This sample is about 20% of the North American customer base and approximately 15.7% of utility-operated transmission and distribution substations. Newton-Evans has previously estimated that direct shipments to utilities account for about 40% of the overall North American market for protective relays.
Each question in this report contains:
- A pie chart or bar chart summarizing how all of the survey participants responded to the question
- A table (or series of tables) showing the data by:
- Summary: all survey respondents
- Investor Owned: investor owned utilities
- Public Power: publically owned utilities (municipals, public utility districts, state or federal government)
- Cooperative: member owned electric utility cooperatives
- Canada: electric companies in Canada
- Other/Consultant: respondents representing power technology companies, industrial facilities
- <100,000: electric utilities serving fewer than 100,000 customers
- 100,000 to 499,999: between 100,000 and 499,999 customers
- >=500,000: 500,000 or more customers (either directly via distribution, or indirectly via generation and transmission.)
- Some written analysis and observations based on the tables and charts
What approaches are you using to operate a WAN for remote access to relays?
While 24% of the respondents said they don’t operate a WAN for remote relay access, almost half said they connect via serial port terminal servers or data concentrators. Forty percent use firewalls in conjunction with the WAN, while just over one-third said they use routers with encryption or VPN capabilities to access relays over a WAN. Other mentions included “gateways”.
Does your utility’s control system use protocol IEC 61850 for Substation Automation, Protection, Control, or SCADA?
Seventeen respondents said they use IEC 61850 in at least one of the four areas. Thirteen percent said they use 61850 within the substation, and another 6% said they plan to use it in the substation by 2018. About 80% of the respondents have no use or plans for IEC 61850 in any area, and 89% said they don’t use or plan to use IEC 61850 for SCADA.
What % of your relays have been in service for more than 15 years?
Overall, 55% of survey respondents reported that more than one-half of their protective relays have been in service for more than 15 years. Out of all 76 respondents to this question, twelve said that less than 20% of their installed base is older than 15 years. However, in some cases the useful lifespan of a protective relay is stated as nearly 30 years. There are installations of electro-mechanical relays that have been in operation since the 1960’s according to some utility officials. According to the observations reported in Table 23, two-thirds of relays installed at surveyed IOUs (and nearly two-thirds among Canadian respondents) have been installed for more than 15 years.
To order Volume 1 of The Worldwide Study of the Protective Relay Marketplace in Electric Utilities: 2016-2018 visit our reports page or fax an order form to 1 410 750 7429: www.newton-evans.com/relaymarketplacestudy2016-2018