Software defined substations – a path towards cost effective and future-proof solutions


Unlike renovating the entire secondary system of power substations, adding software defined functions save time and cost. Retrofitting the virtual Merging Unit running on a Substation Server offers an efficient future proof upgrade. Simply add a substation server, some sensors and the virtual Merging Unit application and get IEC61850 interoperability, advanced measurements, and a future proof platform for virtualized applications.


The potential of moving towards a software defined substation:

  • Due to the energy transition TSOs and DSOs move to data driven system operations
  • Based on the average age of a substation, typically over 50% of legacy substations is not supporting the digitalization
  • Renovation of a secondary system for a substation takes 6 months 
  • The upgrade of substation automation functionality can be reduced by 50-80% by introducing software defined technology


Table of contents

  • Challenges
  • Application Example
  • Virtual Merging Unit in addition to IEDs for protection
  • Advantages
  • Software Defined Substation

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