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Newton-Evans Study Finds Heavy Use of IP/MPLS and Continued Reliance on Utility-Operated Telecommunications Networks for EMS/SCADA and DMS Systems

The latest findings from the Newton-Evans Research Company study of control systems used in the electric power industry point to heavy reliance on IP/MPLS networks for wide area communications from substations and other field locations to central site control systems.

Reliance on IP/MPLS Networks
Sixty-seven percent of international respondents use Internet Protocol/Multi-Protocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) technology for communication from the substation to the external host/network. Thirty percent use a mix of T1/E1 and/or SONET/SDH and packet networks. It is likely that MPLS-TP (Transport Profile) will see increased use in the next Newton-Evans control systems study scheduled for 2019.

Forty-nine percent of North American respondents use IP/MPLS network technology for communication from the substation to the external host/network. Thirty-seven percent use T1/E1 and 33% use SONET/SDH, followed by 27% who use Carrier Ethernet. Often, more than one type of network is used. Half of North America’s investor owned utilities in the survey continue to use T1/E1, and over half of them use IP/MPLS as well.

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Newton-Evans Study Indicates Similarities in Plans for Full Digital Substations and Differences for Condition-Based Maintenance Programs Among Electric Utilities

Newton-Evans Research Company continues to assess findings from its six-month research study and survey of protective relay usage patterns in the world community of electric power utilities. Insights received from 114 large and mid-sized utilities in 28 countries point to some interesting differences in plans for implementation of the “full digital substation” concept and to increased use of condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies for protective relays.

Implementation of the “Full Digital Substation” Concept:
Thirty-four percent of the survey respondents from the U.S. and Canada agreed with the statement, “By year end 2018, we will be well on our way toward implementing the full digital substation concept.” Thirty-seven percent disagreed with the statement. Forty percent of small North American utilities (fewer than 100,000 customers) agreed with the statement, but only 18% of large utilities (more than 500,000 customers) concurred.

Forty-three percent of the international respondents agreed with the same statement, which is slightly more than what was observed in North America (34%). Twenty-five percent had no opinion, and another 25% disagreed. Importantly, the typical international utility respondent was somewhat larger (in terms of customers served) than their North American counterpart.

“By year end 2018, we will be well on our way toward implementing the full digital substation concept”

Continue reading Newton-Evans Study Indicates Similarities in Plans for Full Digital Substations and Differences for Condition-Based Maintenance Programs Among Electric Utilities

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Newton-Evans Study Finds Differences in Spending Plans for Electric Utility Control Systems Over the 2017-2019 Years

Nearly half of North American electric utilities participating in the 2017-2019 Newton-Evans Research study plan to upgrade or retrofit their SCADA system by 2019. Twenty-two percent plan to upgrade or retrofit their energy management system (EMS), and twenty-five percent will upgrade or retrofit their outage management system (OMS). Twenty-six percent of North American utilities in the survey sample are adding a new or replacement distribution management system (DMS) or advanced DMS by 2019.

In comparison to the North America survey sample, a greater percentage of international utilities surveyed plan to install new or replacement systems for EMS, SCADA and OMS. A greater percentage also plan to upgrade and/or retrofit systems across the board. Twenty-nine percent of international survey respondents plan to replace or install new EMS or OMS systems by the end of 2019. Sixty-four percent will upgrade or retrofit their existing SCADA systems, and 36% will upgrade or retrofit their DMS or OMS systems by year end 2019.

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Findings from International Study of EMS, SCADA, DMS, and OMS Indicate Differences in Usage Patterns and Development Priorities When Compared to North American Companies

The Newton-Evans Research Company has published report findings from the company’s recently completed study of EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS usage patterns in international electric power utilities. This is the second of four volumes of its 14th global market assessment of operational control systems – a survey-based study conducted by Newton-Evans since 1984.

Here are some observations gleaned from interviews and surveys with 31 utility participants from 25 countries:

Systems in Use
All utilities that participated in the survey are operating SCADA systems, and 74% also have an energy management (EMS) installation. Fifty-two percent use a distribution management systems (DMS) and 61% use an outage management system (OMS).

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Research Findings Point to Upgrade of EMS, SCADA and DMS Capabilities during 2017-2019 among North American Electric Power Utilities to Accommodate Renewables Integration and Demand Response

Emphasis Placed on Extending Applications and Expanding Roles of Distribution Management Systems and Outage Management Systems

Here are some observations based on interviews and surveys with 69 utilities from North America participating in our survey:

Almost one-half of all North America survey respondents (47%) plan to upgrade or retrofit their SCADA installations by 2019. Most respondents with such plans were mid-size and larger cooperatives and public power utilities.

Twenty-six percent of respondents plan to purchase a new or replacement DMS by 2019. Only six (major) utilities reported that they currently have an Advanced DMS, but 24 others will have an ADMS in the near future. Importantly, of the 30 respondents using or planning to use an ADMS, none indicated that their SCADA functionality and network modeling presently include distributed energy resources (DERs). However, most of this sub-group (82%) plans to include DERs in their ADMS functionality in the future.

Real-time network analysis and fault location were the prevalent applications being used as part of current DMS or ADMS installations. Plans are centered on supplementing these (where not yet implemented) and adding network optimization and distributed energy resource management capabilities. (See Fig. 1)

Figure 1. Applications used as a part of DMS/ADMS

Real-time linkages between SCADA and GIS or OMS were found in 44% of the utility sites. Forty-one percent reported having no real-time linkages among these systems.

Almost half of the survey respondents indicated that the operational systems support group is managed by the line of business, while 31% stated that such support is now part of corporate IT. (See Fig. 2)

Figure 2. How is OS Support Managed?

Third party services are being used and relied upon to assist with NERC CIP compliance issues and for the conduct of vulnerability assessments.

DNP3 continues to be the most prevalent operational data communications protocol throughout North American electric power utilities. Plans call for continuing the use of DNP3 for the foreseeable future among most of these utilities. Some planning for IEC 61850 is underway, but remains at a low level among these respondents.

More than a score of additional topics were surveyed in this new study including the impact of NERC CIP compliance on budgets and workloads; cyber security issues; telecommunications strategies and methodologies; distribution network model maintenance; changing organizational responsibilities for control systems; budget outlooks; and applications usage patterns.

Further information on this new series, “The World Market Study of SCADA, Energy Management Systems and Distribution Management Systems in Electric Utilities: 2017-2019” is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone: 410-465-7316 Email: info@newton-evans.com or visit us at www.newton-evans.com or to order any of more than 100 related reports. For readers interested in purchasing this new series please call or email the company for special introductory pricing.

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Newton-Evans Study Finds Market for Relay-Centric Devices and Controls Expanding with Emergence and Growth of Newer Industry Segments

Newton-Evans Research Company continues to assess the results of its six-month research study of protective relay usage patterns in the world community of electric power utilities. Findings from 114 large and mid-size utilities in 28 countries point to some newer trends in adoption and use of protection and control technology.

Importance of Purchasing “Known” Relays: Sixty-five percent of the North American respondents strongly agreed with the statement, “It is important that we purchase known relays (a proven product with which we have had prior experience).” Overall, 97% of North American respondents strongly agreed (65%) or agreed (32%). Three people were neutral about this statement. None of the respondents expressed any level of disagreement. Eighty-two percent of North American utilities serving more than 500,000 electricity end users strongly agreed with this statement.

Fifty-three percent of international respondents strongly agreed with this statement. Forty-one percent agreed only somewhat. One person disagreed and one person was neutral about this statement.

Agree or Disagree: “It is important that we purchase known relays (a proven product with which we have had prior experience.)”

Impact:
The role of “purchasing known relays” makes it very difficult for new market entrants to gain a share of this multi-billion-dollar global protective relay market. Similarly, it has become equally difficult for existing relay suppliers to gain new customers unless the relays are components of larger electrical equipment (motors, transformers, switchgear, et al). Despite these market constraints, caused in large part by a steep learning curve in programming and protection settings, some relay manufacturers have increased their market presence through specialization in the design and supply of protective relays for one or more product segments (protection of motors, transformers, generators, switchgear and the like). Other manufacturers have continued to offer a wide range of protection solutions, but address specific world regions or specific types of electric utilities or industries.

Examples of such specialized expertise can be found in many of the companies engaged in the manufacture of protective relays. Witness the success of Beckwith Electric, a market leader in generator protection and now actively engaged in distributed generation protection as well. Basler Electric’s microprocessor-based relays combine multifunction protection with control, metering, data acquisition and network communications. RFL and ERLPhase are two additional specialist participants in the North American and international markets. The global electrical equipment manufacturers with a wide array of protective device offerings include ABB, Eaton, GE, Siemens and Toshiba. Relay-centric manufacturing leaders include the multi-hundred million dollar businesses of the USA’s Schweitzer Engineering Labs (SEL) and the China’s NARI.

So the question now is – how do relay manufacturers grow in a “mature” market for protective devices? The response is this: While the traditional utility and industrial markets for device protection are indeed mature in many countries- there are a host of new relay-centric applications for protective devices that include significant relay-like functions and control-monitoring capabilities and require less complex programming and relay setting procedures. The market requirement to protect distributed energy devices including wind turbines and solar panels continues to grow. The expanding market for distribution automation device controls (capacitor banks, reclosers, line monitors, fault sensors, etc.) provides additional new opportunities for participation by relay manufacturers.

DA: Distribution Automation – Capacitor bank relays, Recloser controls, Fault current limiters
DER: Distributed Energy Resources – Wind turbine relays, Photovoltaic panel relays
ES: Energy Storage – Storage battery relay, AC/DC converter controls
DR: Demand Response – Load control switch relay

For further information on the research series or to order The World Market for Protective Relays in Electric Utilities: 2016-2018 visit our reports page.

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Early Survey Findings Point to Continuing Development of EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS Capabilities during 2017-2019 among North American Electric Power Utilities

The Newton-Evans Research Company has released preliminary findings from its current study of EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS usage patterns in North American electric power utilities, one of four component reports of the company’s global market assessment series on operational control systems.

Among the initial observations gleaned from interviews and surveys with over 60 officials from a broad range of U.S. electric utilities:

  • Plans call for upgrades or retrofits to SCADA and OMS systems among a large percentage of these utilities
  • 20% of utilities sampled plan to purchase a new or replacement DMS. 30% indicated that they have or plan on having an Advanced DMS by year-end 2019.
  • Nearly one-half of the respondents reported having real-time linkages in place between SCADA and outage management systems.
  • Third party services are being used and relied upon to assist with NERC CIP compliance issues and for the conduct of vulnerability assessments.
  • DNP 3 continues to be the most prevalent operational data communications protocol throughout North American electric power utilities. Plans call for continuing the use of DNP 3 for the foreseeable future among most of these utilities.
  • The major use of analytics tools is in outage management activities such as fault location determination.
  • More topics surveyed in this new study include: the impact of NERC CIP compliance on budgets and workloads; cyber security issues; telecommunications strategies and methodologies; distribution network model maintenance; changing organizational responsibilities for control systems; budget outlooks; and, DMS applications usage patterns.

    There have been some changes over the last few years in utility organizations with respect to control system support staff. IT departments are now the principal support group in nearly one-third of utilities sampled so far, while 47% report the “OT” organization continuing as the primary support unit. Eighteen percent indicated that both IT and OT staff share responsibility for supporting control systems. See Figure 1.

    The types of networks used for data communications from the substation to the control system vary widely, with most utilities reporting use of multiple networks for the mix of data acquisition requirements. See Figure 2.

    The North American market report is one of four volumes being produced for the company’s fifteenth series of EMS, SCADA and DMS studies published by Newton-Evans Research since 1984. Work on the other three volumes is underway; the entire series will be published during the first quarter of 2017.

    Further information on this new series The World Market Study of SCADA, Energy Management Systems, Distribution Management Systems and Outage Management Systems in Electric Utilities: 2017-2019 is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone: 410-465-7316. For readers interested in purchasing this new series please call or email info@newton-evans.com for special introductory pricing.

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Findings from Newton-Evans 2016 Study of Protective Relay Trends in the World’s Electric Power Utilities Depict a Receptive Market for Incorporating Advanced Technological Capabilities

Global Study Finds Continuing Moderate Growth in Protective Relay Market with Commitment to Improving Protection Coordination and Grid Security Practices

Role of Synchrophasors and Teleprotection Continues to Expand; Provides Better Situational Awareness and Visualization for Control System Operators

Newton-Evans Research Company has completed a six-month research study and survey of protective relay usage patterns in the world community of electric power utilities. Findings from 114 large and md-size utilities in 28 countries point to some newer trends in adoption and use of protection and control technology.

Among the key findings reported in the four-volume study are these:

  • Most new and retrofit relay units being purchased are digital relays, but in some of the protection applications studied, such as motor protection and large generator applications, and in installations where electrical interference is strong, electromechanical and older solid state relays continue to have a niche market position.
  • The annual world market for protective relays and related power systems protection devices continues to grow at a moderate pace that exceeds many other categories of electric utility investments for grid modernization.
  • Manufacturers of protective relays continue to expand their market coverage, with more than 20 firms each enjoying at least some share of the global market.
  • Real-time analysis of synchrophasor data is becoming a major application for the emerging field of operational analytics.
  • Communications protocol usage patterns continue to serve as a key differentiator between large and mid-size North American electric utilities and their international counterparts, as shown in the accompanying chart.

The 2016 Newton-Evans survey of electric utilities includes more than 20 detailed product functionality topics, related technical questions, and market-related issues, together incorporating more than 250 data points of information from each of the participating utilities.

Further information on the research series The World Market for Protective Relays in Electric Utilities: 2016-2018 is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone: 410-465-7316 Email: info@newton-evans.com or visit our website for additional information:
http://www.newton-evans.com/relaymarketplacestudy2016-2018

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North American Study Finds Continuing Moderate Growth in Protective Relay Market with Commitment to Increasing Protection Coordination and Grid Security Practices

Role of Synchrophasors and Teleprotection Continues to Grow, Providing Better Situational Awareness and Visualization to Help Prevent Outages

Newton-Evans Research Company has prepared an interim news release based on preliminary findings from 59 large and mid-size North American electric utilities.

Among the early trends reported in this first of a four volume set of reports are these:

  1. The percentage of microprocessor relays in the mix of all protective relays used by utilities continues to increase with each passing year.
  2. The vast majority of new and retrofit units being planned for purchased are also digital relays, but in some of the protection applications studied, such as motor protection and large generator applications, and in installations where electrical interference is strong, electromechanical and older solid state relays continue to have a niche market position.
  3. Real-time analysis of synchrophasor data has become a key application for the emerging field of operational analytics for transmission operators.

MicroprocessorRelaysInstalledBasePct
Communications protocol usage patterns in North American utilities of all sizes continue to rely on DNP3, the dominant protocol in use in the North American region. IEC 61850 is found in some of the TOP 100 utilities, but is by no means prevalent as of mid-2016.

Relay redundancy being used for microprocessor-based relaying terminals varies by application as seen in the chart below.

RedundantRelaySchemes2016
The 2016 Newton-Evans survey of electric utilities includes more than 20 detailed product functionality topics, related technical questions, and market-related issues, together incorporating more than 250 items of information from each of the participating utilities.

This year’s study will result in a series of four reports published during June and July. These reports are geared to the planning needs of protective relay suppliers, power industry consultants, and utility protection and control departments. The four volumes include the North American Market Study, the International Market Study, Supplier Profiles, and Global Market Assessment and Outlook.

Further information on the research series The World Market for Protective Relays in Electric Utilities: 2016-2018 is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone: 410-465-7316 or visit www.newton-evans.com for additional information or to order the report series online.

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Utility Plans Call for Continuation of Substantial Investment in North American Distribution Grid Automation Programs

Findings Corroborate Earlier Newton-Evans Studies Regarding “Mixed” Placement of Controls of Field Devices

The Newton-Evans Research Company today released key findings from its newly published study of electric utility plans for distribution automation. Entitled “North American Distribution Automation Market Assessment and Outlook: 2015-2017” the 89-page report includes coverage of more than 35 DA-related issues.

Progress Being Made with Distribution Automation Programs:
North American utilities are making good progress in developing and implementing new DA applications and telecommunications network upgrades. The overall DA market among North American utilities is approaching one billion dollars and will continue to grow each year for the foreseeable future.

DA Controls Placement:
The placement of DA controls for field devices remains mixed. While some see controls being distributed to field locations, others are placing controls on substation automation platforms, while an even larger group is using control center systems-based approaches (centered on SCADA-DMS systems).

The outlook for controls placement in the future shows that utilities are bringing more controls for fault detection, isolation and service restoration (FDIR/FLISR) and for volt/var control (VVC) into the control center as shown in these charts.

FLISRcontrols VVCcontrols

Automatic Fault Sensing:
Devices providing information such as hot line status and fault indications are becoming a mainstay in many utility DA programs. IOUs and Canadian utilities were more likely to be using automatic fault sensing devices than were their counterparts at electric cooperatives or public power utilities. Usage patterns and plans for AFS devices were strongest among the respondent subgroup of very large utilities (those serving more than 500,000 customers). Of the subgroup using AFS devices, about one-third actively utilize the status of such devices in their DA schemes.

Integration of Communications and Controls for Distributed Generation into DA System Architecture:
By year-end 2014, only about 16% of utilities indicated some use of DA-related communications/controls while another 14% plan to integrate these for DG purposes by year-end 2017. In a related question, well over one third of the respondents indicated that they have a trial deployment to manage distributed energy resources within the DA system either underway or planned.

More than 30 additional topics are covered in the 2015-2017 Newton-Evans DA report. Seventy five major and mid-size utilities were surveyed and interviewed to gather the information for the report. This group provides a substantial sample, accounting for 20% of served customers and 19% of primary feeders across North America.

A supplemental North American DA market outlook synopsis for the years 2015 through 2020 will be released in March. The outlook supplement will provide DA market outlook information based on type, size and regional location of utilities.

Additional information on the North American Distribution Automation Market Assessment and Outlook: 2015-2017 report is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone 1-410-465-7316 or write to info@newton-evans.com