Written by Johan van der Veen on 05 February 2019

Datawatt supplies Distribution automation (DA) stations

With remote control, power failures can be solved more quickly. Previously, in the event of a power failure, a technician was sent out to the transformer MV stations in the affected area to find the problem. A time-consuming job. Moreover, in the case of such failures many households are affected, while the problem is only at one or two MV transformer stations.

Distribution Automation

DA-stations make it possible to remotely monitor and control the MV distribution network. DA- stations are used for the automation, data communication and auxiliary voltage of the MV (medium voltage) distribution energy network.

G. Geist, Senior Asset Management Advisor at Coteq Netbeheer explains: “we apply DA-stations at strategic locations, to tell us at distance where the short circuit is and it makes remote control possible to switch in the distribution network”. As a result, the technician is faster at the location and the power outage is solved quicker. This means that connections suffer less from the power failure because the faults are solved more quickly.

Energy transition

The network operators are facing the challenge to make the medium voltage network suitable for the energy transition. This transition represents the transit from fossil fuels to sustainable or renewable energy, such as sun, wind or biogas. As a result, there are more and more fluctuations in the grid and in the quality of the supplied electricity. Because of this the installation and equipment is becoming increasingly important and must be used in the most optimal way.

Smart grids

Because of the transition the distribution network is made smart. A so-called smart grid distribution network can be remotely monitored and switched. Coteq Netbeheer makes their MV grid smart in phases. Geist: “we install and engineer new DA-stations in combination with other activities to limit inconvenience and save costs”. Smart grids support maintenance and management of the energy distribution network. A modern network operator, has to keep grip on the stability and reliability of the MV network.

Upgrade MV distribution stations

Coteq Netbeheer already upgraded a number of MV main distribution stations for remote control. Besides they started upgrading MV transformer stations for remote control with DA-Lite stations. In the future, DA-lite stations will be available at all critical switching points. A MV transformer station is an important hub in the distribution network and accommodates one or more transformers to convert 10 kV to low voltage (400/230 V) for the energy supply to households and companies.


The DA-station is a telemetry cabinet with a built in Datawatt Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) connected to sensors in the network. The RTU processes the signals, measurements and data and takes care of the telemetry connection with the central scada system. I/O signals relate to basic functions such as the detection of short-circuit and earth leakage, currents, failures, remote configurations, process information and time synchronization.

In co-operation with Coteq Netbeheer a standard cabinet unit is designed, which is used in both the large and smaller MV stations. The cabinet is EMC-proof and built according to the NEN1010 requirements.

Datawatt also delivered the scada system, which provides a number of “mimics” that have been designed in close consultation with Coteq Netbeheer. This solution ensures a reliable communication of all data to the central scada (EMS) Energy Management System.

Security measurements

The physical distribution network can be separated from the scada system in case of a cyber security attack. This ensures a continues operation of the system, so the supply is guaranteed at all times. Reliable grid data is necessary for a safe, affordable and sustainable implementation of grid management. The data is used for optimizing maintenance, finding short circuits and earth leakage and for management purposes such as a replacement policy. Finally, the data is also used to make accurate investment decisions to make the energy transition possible.

Remote management

A well-functioning network is vitally important for the grid operator. The mutual integration of the system is to ensure the correct functioning of all components in the delivered stations. Furthermore, security, reliability, maintenance and longevity are important aspects. Just as the integration with the scada system, the design of the configuration and the installation. The solution not only provides for remote management but supports and optimizes also the maintenance and management of the grid, resulting in significant cost savings.


Coteq Netbeheer will continue to invest in smart grids and remote control. Geist: “The most important reasons for investing in DA-stations are that we want less off time in the power supply for our customers and we want to be ready for the energy transition. The system is developed in collaboration with Cogas Duurzaam, Cogas Infra, Datawatt and Eaton. ”

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