Siemens expands IoT based energy automation offerings


Siemens is presenting for the first time its new Grid Diagnostic Suite at the European Utility Week in Paris.

The Grid Diagnostic Suite initially includes four cloud-based applications which collect data from new or existing field devices for protection, distribution automation and power quality. These data are stored and analyzed in the cloud. This requires almost no additional engineering effort. Distribution grid operators and operators of electricity grids in industrial parks can quickly tap into useful information from devices installed anywhere in the smart grid. This will enable grid faults, for example, to be detected at an early stage and quickly rectified. After information is collected, vulnerabilities can be identified, and necessary measures can be implemented before any damage occurs. In this way, Internet of Things (IoT) applications in the Grid Diagnostic Suite enhance the availability of power grids while enabling them to be operated cost-efficiently.

Siprotec and Sicam devices with IoT interfaces are connected via the open standard OPC UA PubSub protocol with the cloud-based, open IoT operating system MindSphere from Siemens. Data transmission satisfies the most stringent cyber security requirements, allowing end-to-end authentication and encryption based on certificates. With Sicam GridPass, Siemens offers a product that securely creates and automatically manages certificates.

The Siprotec Dashboard displays data from the Siprotec 5 series of protection relays, which was previously difficult to access, quickly and clearly in a map view or as a diagram on a mobile device. For the first time, data from the entire grid is available in the cloud without any additional engineering effort. Intuitive navigation eliminates the need for extra training.

The Sicam Navigator enables comprehensive monitoring of medium- and low-voltage grids as well as secondary distribution substations. The app provides detailed information about messages, alarms and specific grid parameters. This makes it possible, for example, to present the performance of power grids in a transparent manner, allowing operators to estimate where new charging points for electric vehicles should be set up, for instance. In addition, in the event of a fault, the exact grid section affected can be pinpointed.

Siemens has now developed the cloud-based application Sicam Localizer for distribution grids with overhead lines. Detailed information about the status of individual grid segments, such as faults, is displayed clearly and concisely. Individual operating values such as phase currents can also be displayed. For example, in the event of fallen trees or branches in forest areas, a service team can be deployed exactly where the problem occurs and restore grid stability quickly. In this way, the Sicam Navigator and the Sicam Localizer help reduce and even prevent power outages, better plan service calls and enhance the availability of power supply.

For operators of industrial parks and data centers, power quality (PQ) is of great importance for the quality of supply. The app PQ Advisor Premium can record and display grid parameters such as electrical voltage and frequency, minute by minute and without any gaps from an entire fleet of PQ devices. The collected information is displayed in a clearly laid-out format on a dashboard. A traffic light-style display signals violations of tolerability limits, allowing users to take necessary action early on when anomalies occur.

New challenges for electricity grids are posed in particular by the expansion of e-mobility along with increasing infeed of volatile generating capacity. The cloud-based applications of the Grid Diagnostic Suite will help operators of power grids to operate their grids and systems more cost-effectively with the aid of previously unused data, leading to even smarter grids.