Part 3: Applications of VPR solutions | Substation Virtualization to Modernize the Grid (ft. Intel, VMware & ABB) | InnoTalks

Utilities can combat emerging cyber threats with virtualization and consolidation of separate grid monitoring and control systems by utilizing Intel®-based industrial computers and servers, such as the Advantech ECU-579, combining ABB’s SSC600 software and VMware software platforms.
Industry: Energy & Environment
Audience Type: General
Created Date: 2023/07/11
Speaker
Matt Dentino
Matt Dentino
InnoTalks Host,
Prithpal Khajuria
Prithpal Khajuria
Director, Power Sector & Sustainability, Intel
Dinesh Baradi
Dinesh Baradi
Product Specialist, ABB
Anthony Sivesind
Anthony Sivesind
Edge Solution Architect, VMWare
Ken Dennen
Ken Dennen
Product Sales Manager, Advantech
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Let me do a quick recap where we are. We talked about the grid modernization and the benefits of substation virtualization. We've we just finished a little bit of a conversation about the the VP alliance and how it's helping with the acceleration of that virtualization in in substations to meet the the evolving needs of utilities at at the edge. And so In this final section, we'll look into how the the partnership amongst these technology leaders is offering varying substation digitization solutions to meet specific customer needs. I wanna come back to Denesh. What we speak to the the protection, control, measurement, and supervision of of grid utilities. How does ABB help with the substation management? Thank you, Matt. As mentioned by our channel partners, ABB has also been very closely working with Intel and VMware and everyone else including Advantech. ABP has launched the the first virtualized protection and control solution with the smart substation control and protection SSC six hundred software. The software enables customers to use open architecture hardware of their choice and gain access to the same proven protection control functionality. As with ABBs, turnkey solutions which are available today. However, the inherent separation of functionality from the hardware by means of virtualization allows integrated system wide upgrade its wherein additional functionalities can be brought on without introducing the necessity to have newer hardware in the system. Now I'll take an example and explain this better. Customers can install single instance of the SCC six hundred software for protection, control, measurement, and supervision of up to thirty electrical circuits in a substation. For larger number of circuits, they can install multiple instances on the same computing platform. With many systems being accommodated into one single platform, they can reduce the number and type of devices and the hardware in substations. Like Pripal mentioned earlier, they can reduce the number of devices by up to fifty percent or so. Leveraging the high computing bandwidth offered by Intel processors and virtualization technology offered by VMware Now several applications can be developed, including machine learning, which can then be utilized for predictive maintenance of the electrical grids, and also detecting any type of anomalies in the system, which get a lead to a power system disturbance. Thanks, Danish. I appreciate that. I've seen a number of these predictive maintenance and anomaly detection systems at work in my days, which which are I've had a lot of days behind me, but that seems like another extremely useful application and perfectly suited to the technology. So let's focus on the virtual machine and and cloud integration for the next question here. Anthony, I'm gonna come back to you. How does VMware reliably support workloads across the grid? Yeah. I'm glad you asked that, Matt, turning back to virtualization. So You know, if we look at other industries and utilities themselves, VMware's and and other types of virtualization technology is already at the heart of a lot of those companies. For instance, you'll find VMware core products like each year there. The the benefits that come from the the software defining of infrastructure has led IT teams to transition their previous hardware based systems into the abstracted flexible independent layers you'll find. So that includes compute, storage, and networking. And each of those components can be administered from within a single suite of management tools then So just as VMware infrastructure allows for simple and pliable expansion within the IT central locations, You know, we are continuing to expand to the edge, and that's what we've been talking about today, utility substations. Right? That edge includes distribution, transmission, and generation facilities where you'll find OT applications, like critical protection relays, which we've touched on here, And and those have to run-in hard real time and find automation and control functions that facilitate operational data acquisition and analysis. And it will also find, you know, cybersecurity and management of those local resources there. So those workloads as they're removed from any existing hardware dependencies are well served together by VMware's, for instance, edge compute stack, and that features full support for both containers or VMs. And the key takeaway, you know, for for this is that across the power system, you know, VMware can offer a grid wide open of all those previously disparate workloads from within a single platform, and we plan to securely see that through the entire life cycle. At one that VMware is uniquely qualified to handle. Let let me move back to Prithpal for the for the next question here. Scalable computing power with really strong virtualization support plays an important role in the whole system. So how does Intel help the ecosystem in that area? Well, thank you, Matt. So, you know, Matt, as you said, the word runs on x86 architecture invented by Intel. So that's key. But in in order to drive the whole ecosystem, and we work at multiple layers. In one of the key partnership between intern and event tech, that we work together to build a multiple servers or multiple class of computing devices to meet the needs of the end customers, but it does not end there, where we work with VMware, we work with ABB, so that those compute devices are fully bait, tested, validated, verified, end to end before they land in the hand of the end customer in this case utility because we'll be running very critical infrast infrastructure on it. Now on the top of that, Intel provides a backward compatibility. So if the software runs on x eighty six today, And then the next device comes from Intel and Advent Tech tomorrow, the software will run on it. That's another thing, beauty will provide it. But on the top of it, what we call it is that extended life support, we know the utility's environment needs that extended life support. And Intel and ecosystem work together, make sure that extended life support is available because grid the devices which go in the grid, they cannot be replaced at the same rate. We're doing IT side the refresh. Because a lot more complex requires a lot more effort. So that is why we are focused on the extended life support So in that nutshell, we provide the whole set of technologies from compute to networking to meet the end to end requirements of the end customers, or, in this case, the utility sector. Excellent. Thank you, Pritha. I appreciate the future proofing. Look, in there. That's extremely important, obviously, in this arena. Yeah. Let's finish up with one one final question. I'll pose this one to Ken. To provide that that high reliability and stability for the substation protection and control system. How does advantech help with that virtualization solution. Yeah. So Advantech has purpose built two server families for this market, for the subs for substation applications. And The purpose built aspect of that is that they're environmentally ruggedized, certifiable for use in substations. And as Paul mentioned, are built to have extended life cycles to meet the requirements of the application. However, those are all built on an open architecture. It is built on All of them are built on multi core Intel processors, and we offer the two product families offer a choice between fanless which is our ECU four seven eight four line, and scalable servers, which is our ECU five seven nine line. Fanless servers are great because it eliminates not having a fan, eliminates the last moving part in a modern day server. The so keeping the system cool is no longer requires moving components, increases overall system reliability and reduces maintenance. But if you really wanna handle very intense virtualized workloads, we have a scalable system, which can scale to many more cores, up to twenty four cores today. To handle much higher workloads, were support multiple virtualization layers, obviously, including VMware, out of the gate. And in that case, you can run multiple applications. Denesh mentioned running multiple instances of the AB protection application, you certainly need more cores to scale than that level of processing capability. On top of that, it's important to address the overall system, not just the server, But the networks that reach out to the sensors what are called merging units in a substation. And there, we try to run on very open architectures as well. With standard Ethernet switches. But on top of that, we we use the protocols that provide zero loss. Which are HSR and PRP, zero loss networking, to provide that level of robustness and real time control demanded by these applications. So we're a piece of the solution all three of our partners here today. We enjoy working with them, and we're thrilled to keep moving forward. Both in terms of our partnership and working together on the Deepak alliance. Excellent. With that, we've come to the end of our discussion. I mean, in in summary, let me just recap. We started out by covering the needs and challenges that substation virtualization solves for grid operators. We introduce the VPAC alliance and industry group focused on accelerating the adoption of that virtualization by grid operators. And and then as an early example substation virtualization. We discussed how this group of industry leaders has collaborated to deliver both the hardware and software solution addressing the major substation challenge that being protection. So I'd like to thank all my all my panelists for their insights today. It has been great speaking to each and every one of you. You guys have provided excellent in-depth information for us today. I'm I'm excited about it. I also wanna thank you our audience for your time and your attention. As always, if you have questions or would like more information about this topic of substation virtualization. You can reach us at w w w dot advantech dot com, as well as I I o t dot tech at advantech dot com. And for more information about contributing to or or just following, the progress of the v pack alliance, you can go to v pack alliance dot com. Alright? Well, we look forward as always to seeing you online and answering any questions that today's electrifying discussion might have stirred up. For EventTek, I'm Matt Adino, and I hope to see you here again on the next end of talk. Until then? So long.