Power-system automation is the act of automatically controlling the power system via instrumentation and control devices. Substation automation refers to using data from Intelligent electronic devices (IED), control and automation capabilities within the substation, and control commands from remote users to control power-system devices.
Since full substation automation relies on substation integration, the terms are often used interchangeably. Power-system automation includes processes associated with generation and delivery of power. Monitoring and control of power delivery systems in the substation and on the pole reduce the occurrence of outages and shorten the duration of outages that do occur. The IEDs, communications protocols, and communications methods, work together as a system to perform power-system automation. The term “power system” describes the collection of devices that make up the physical systems that generate, transmit, and distribute power. The term “instrumentation and control (I&C) system” refers to the collection of devices that monitor, control, and protect the power system.