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Virtual Protection, Automation, and Control for Substation Modernization

31.01.2023
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Virtual protection, automation, and control (vPAC) applications offer a compelling solution for management of increasingly complex power distribution substations. Advantech has partnered with ABB and VMWare to provide an exceptional, vertically-integrated virtualization solution. Each partner brings best-in-class products, services, and expertise to the solution, which will deliver transformative business value to substation operators.


Business Drivers

  • Increasing substation power flow complexity due to DERs, microgrids, renewable energy, and storage 
  • Climate change driving rapid regulatory changes and technological performance improvements 
  • Increasing risk of system misconfiguration and cyberattacks against grid infrastructure.

Centralized Substation Architecture



vPAC Solution Benefits

  • Reduce CAPEX costs by centralizing control and minimizing control room space 
  • Reduce maintenance costs through automation & remote updates
  • Reduce outage time with rapid deployment 
  • Increase agility, performance, and flexibility with digitalization

Key vPAC Requirements

  • A scalable, centralized system 
  • Real-time, low-latency communication, & deterministic operations Industrial-grade IEC 61850-3 certified servers 
  • High availability with cost-effective redundancy 
  • Multi-layer hardware and software security 
  • Open ecosystem for best-in-class protection 
  • Standards: IEC61850-8-1 MMS, IEC 60870-5-104, IEC61850-9-2LE, time synchronization IEEE1588v2, IEC61850 GOOSE type 1A, class P1 (<3ms), redundant communication IEC61850 PRP

vPAC for Substation Protection


Vertically-integrated vPAC solutions from industry leaders:

ABB Protection & Control Applications

VMWare Edge Compute Stack (ECS)

  • Single platform for running VMs & Containers 
  • Support real-time workloads (5G, IED) 
  • Centralized lifecycle management 
  • Enhanced reliability, safety, & security

Advantech Industrial Servers

  • Secure IEC-61850-3 & PRP 
  • Redundant power 
  • Redundant solid state storage 
  • Hardware security

The Solution

This three-layer vPAC solution combines two software layers and one hardware layer. Leveraging grid infrastructure expertise, ABB offers Ability™ Smart Substation Control and Protection SSC600 software, which is designed for protection, control, measurement and supervision of utility substations. 

VMWare, trusted digital foundation to accelerate innovation, provides a purpose-built platform that meets security, performance, and manageability requirements for substation workloads. 

Finally, Advantech substation industrial servers provide high reliability in a hardware platform purpose-built by the leader in industrial PCs.


ECU-579 Virtual Substation Server

Learn more

ECU-4784 IEC-61850-3 Certified Power Automation Computer

Learn more


For more information contact:

Energy@Advantech.com