Advantech, Intel, VMware Collaboration Leads the Way for Grid Modernization with Virtualized Protection Relays
Next-generation virtualization solution in substation distribution helps combat challenges of an evolving electric grid.
Cincinnati, Ohio – Jan. 26, 2022 – As electrical distribution legacy assets approach end-of-life and need replacement, the expectations and size of the U.S. electric grid continue to expand. These growing, but aging systems require improvements and modernization in order to accommodate the latest operation, service, and supply demands.
The market-ready, interoperable and open-sourced VPR solution works with numerous automation companies’ software solutions to help improve safety, security, reliability, and manageability in real-time protection and control applications.
Highlights of the VPR platform include the following:
- IEC-61850-certified, wide-operating temperature rugged server optimized for 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs, with up to 32 cores and hardware-enhanced security
- Integrated hardware network switching functions utilizing IEC-61850 protocols in High-Availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) or Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) networks
- Out-of-band management IPMI for hardware-based settings and health monitoring
- VMware vCenter for centralized single-pane management of the VPR system
- VMware Edge Compute Stack that delivers the following:
- VMware vSphere ESXi hosts running real-time VMs and Containers for performance
- Choice of VMs or Containers for easy deployment of protection and control software
- VMware vSAN for hyper-converged encrypted infrastructure
Core applications include network and security management, in addition to application life cycle management. Virtualization of functions that run on shared, open architecture adds flexibility to operations and helps overcome limitations of previous data silos. With virtualization, data is shared between applications and systems and culminates in the following benefits for utilities:
- Reduced capital expenses, as less hardware is needed
- Increased manageability of applications, reducing field maintenance costs
- Improved system security
- Overall improved operations
Designed and built specifically for substation applications, the Advantech ECU-579 power automation server is a key component of the next-generation VPR solution. With TUV IEC 61850-3 certification, the ECU-579 provides high reliability and stability for substation protection and control systems.
“The VPR solution could not have been built without close collaboration between Advantech, Intel, VMware, major protection and control OEMs, and innovative utilities,” said Cole Weber, director of energy, Advantech Industrial IoT Group. “We’re very excited to see the future convergence of the OT substation environment with the IT world to create a software-defined substation. We are continually looking for domain-focused partnerships to help customers achieve successful digital transformation—all while in a more secure environment with fewer challenges. This VPR solution collaboration highlighting the ECU-579 is a game changer for the substation and grid modernization market.”
Note: Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.
To learn more about the Advantech, Intel, and VMware VPR management solution, please contact your respective sales representative. For more information on Advantech power and energy hardware solutions, contact Cole Weber, director of energy for Advantech Industrial IoT Group, at email@example.com.
Founded in 1983, Advantech has the corporate vision to "Enable an Intelligent Planet." The company is a global leader in the fields of IoT intelligent systems and embedded platforms. To embrace the trends of IoT, big data, and artificial intelligence, Advantech promotes IoT hardware and software solutions with Edge Intelligence to assist business partners and clients in connecting industrial chains. Advantech is also dedicated to working with domain-focused partners to co-create solutions that deliver advanced solutions in Industrial IoT.
Director of Energy, Advantech North America Industrial IoT Group