100 Years of Doble: Meeting the Industry’s Protection Needs Today and Tomorrow
Protection system testing has evolved from manual test gear and paper-based test practices to interconnected, computer-assisted workflows demanding nothing less than precision. Indeed, modern protection systems are a nexus of computer engineering and cybersecurity that prevent catastrophes while enabling an ever-greater understanding of system events from an abundance of data.
The origins of the relay testing solutions Doble provides today began in the 1970s with test gear that was ahead of its time. In the decades since, Doble power system simulators have become ubiquitous in the North American market and relied on throughout the world.
A quick look: Investments in protection offerings and roadmap
Doble’s acquisitions of Xtensible (2010), ENOSERV (2015) and Manta (2018) all bolstered the company’s position in data intelligence, automated testing and test instrument engineering. The world-class team Doble has assembled works in strategic partnerships with customers and key industry players to continually refine solutions that innovate how modern professionals do their jobs, including:
1. F-series instruments
Doble F-series power system simulators and accessories keep pace with the latest advances in protection automation. Doble has created devices that stream, record and analyze digital network communications so customers can efficiently commission and maintain IED-based protection schemes. Doble’s investments in digital testing are delivering value on investments customers are making in modernizing their protection systems. With conventional testing, F-series instruments have modern componentry and will continue to provide the wide-range VA, configurability and ease-of-use customers expect from Doble.
2. Protection Suite
The full spectrum of F-series test performance is driven by the powerful software toolset available in Protection Suite. Customers have flexibility when configuring and executing tests and can maintain control and organization of records driven by backend database functionality. Advanced settings tools and visual protection characteristics enhance the user experience when performing element verifications, state simulations and end-to-end system tests. Protection Suite also works with 61850 TesT to convert F6150sv power system simulator I/O channels to digital format for testing IEDs in networks based on the IEC 61850 standard.
3. Doble RTS™
The work of relay testing isn’t just about the relays themselves — it’s about assurance. RTS software provides assurance by enabling administrators to model all-inclusive, beginning-to-end processes into standardized routines. As technicians use RTS, they’re consistent with one another and their records easily merge so supervisors have central control and reporting. Doble investments in modernizing RTS source code mean customers will gain more value from expanded test options and additional automation tools, not to mention additional capabilities with the spectrum of relay test instruments RTS supports.
4. Doble PowerBase™
Information about the protection system is mission-critical to stakeholders across the organization. PowerBase aggregates test data from Protection Suite and RTS along with settings data from the entire protection system to provide meaningful information in real time, and enable efficient, accurate NERC compliance reporting. The robust database management capabilities of PowerBase are central to investments Doble is making in areas of data management, systems integrations and cybersecurity. Combined with investments in support of common information model (CIM) services from Xtensible, Doble is uniquely positioned to help customers overcome any data-related challenge they face.
5. Manta MTS-5100
The value of the MTS-5100 resonates with relay test professionals that prefer having an all-in-one test set equally suited to manual and automated testing. The MTS-5100 has an onboard computer with embedded test software and an array of front panel controls that give the user a full range of test capabilities that don’t require the use of a PC. Investments Doble is making in software and hardware engineering are delivering compatibilities shared between the MTS-5100 and other Doble protection solutions while also enhancing the toolset customers are provided with this easy-to-use and popular instrument.
Ensuring resiliency and security of critical infrastructure
Cybersecurity is an essential element of a safe and reliable grid, and modern protection systems are core to staying diligent.
All new Doble products ensure security by design, through compliance with NERC and IEC cybersecurity standards. Doble’s PatchAssureTM helps teams quickly apply security updates on field devices, such as protective relays and laptops, and streamlines reporting to regulatory agencies.
The Doble Transient Cyber Asset (TCA) program assures that critical substation devices are protected from security risks posed by portable field devices. This holistic approach consists of multiple, configurable security controls for laptops used by field crews. TCA may also be tailored to a utility’s needs in order to deliver compliance with regulations and significant work efficiency improvements. Customers may choose to incorporate the Doble Universal Controller (DUC), designed to minimize cybersecurity risks and protect data on transient cyber assets, into their TCA programs. We’ll continue to build out offerings and services to best assist clients in ensuring the overall security and resiliency of the grid.
Doble also supports opportunities for customers to engage with colleagues and peers, and share protection testing knowledge that strengthens the grid. The Doble Protection Seminar is a great example, providing product training, best practice presentations, user group sessions, and more. We’re also proud of our partnerships with academic institutions, including Richmond Community College and Lake-Sumter State College, that ensure the industry has the skilled workforce it needs for the future.
As we look ahead to the next 100 years, we see new challenges affecting the power industry, as renewable energy sources and grid automation increase the complexity of protection testing. Doble has proceeded into the unknown previously and recognizes its success today as having come from solid, collaborative relationships forged by problem-solving. The spirit of innovation and problem-solving mindset Doble has developed over the past 100 years continues to drive us forward as we produce protection testing and data management solutions in, and for, a whole new era.
- Further Reading: 100 Years of Doble: Celebrating a Century of Innovation
- Learn More: Client services
- Attend: Training and events