Hybrid automation: How to marry new gear with legacy equipment


Quick Take: We often talk and write about the smart grid as if it is a wholesale transformation. In reality, it is a gradual migration. We will gradually swap out old equipment in favor of new gear. During that 20-30 year process we will be living in a hybrid world where new and old sit side-by-side.


 GE's John McDonald is in Electric Light & Power with a useful piece on how to get more value from this situation. The crux of his argument is to use the data from new gear for both operational and nonoperational purposes. By creating additional value streams -- by making data available beyond just the operations group -- you can much more easily cost justify new equipment. A brief abstract is below, or jump to the full article. - By Jesse Berst


Utilities are refreshing and updating their substations. In particular, they are adding intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) to the existing remote terminal units (RTUs), both in the substations and downstream on distribution feeders. This provides an opportunity to capture value from the resulting data.


IEDs not only provide rich data, they also help break down the boundaries between operations technology and information technology (OT and IT).


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