All projects carried out at Elewit have an ultimate goal: to improve people's daily lives; our future. And we do this through innovation. We currently face various challenges that must be solved through technology. One such challenge addresses the possibilities of integrating new algorithms and functions in automatic substation systems. The dynamics of the electricity system and the steadily growing penetration of renewable energies make new protection and control algorithms and methodologies necessary, but their development is uncertain as they are always conditioned by indivisible hardware-software elements developed by different manufacturers.
Red Eléctrica and Elewit are working on the EPICS (Edge Protection and Intelligent Control Solution) project, which aims to create a flexible, scalable, replicable, manageable, programmable, cyber-secure and adaptable hardware and software platform that can be used in many different application environments.
EPICS enables hardware to be separated from software in protection and control systems, which have traditionally been marketed as an indivisible package by the manufacturers of these systems.
EPICS defines a series of minimum scalable requirements that allow the selection of the best hardware to make up the necessary node or nodes, and which provide a solution for the proposed automatic substation system. It will determine the optimal combination of software that is run on the platform and use architectures based on micro-services.
In addition to all the necessary micro-services that make up the platform’s infrastructure, specific micro-services are being created for the implementation of the electricity system’s protective functions’ assets and the remote control of sub-stations.
- Hardware is viewed as a commodity, so the solution implemented at EPICS does not depend on a certain manufacturer's exclusive hardware or on a limited range of available products.
- Software is viewed as a service, so EPICS is a platform based on a micro-services ecosystem that is easily replicable, scalable and adaptable to different application domains.
- The platform will have orchestration layers and services which will ensure the correct performance of the micro-services. EPICS node clusters provide extremely high availability and a greater services integration capacity that is currently not possible in traditional solutions.
The EPICS platform offers a multitude of possible solutions, since the ability to adapt to different contexts by effectively separating hardware from software and by mechanising the software through interconnected micro-services makes it possible to customise it according to needs.
Combined in Artificial Intelligence environments, the EPICS platform could take on different roles:
- Acquisition and generation of data.
- Execution of AI algorithms.
- Neurones in an integrated and highly distributed AI system.
The project is currently in its pilot phase, in which a Minimum Viable Product is being developed in this case for a substation in dual-bus topology. This phase is at its developmental peak and is scheduled for completion in March 2022 The second phase consists of scaling up the PMV to a 9-position substation use case in dual-bus topology, and is scheduled for completion in June 2022.