The challenge

Transformer stations are critical nodes in the power system, and consist of wires, transformers, compensation equipment, switchgear and instrument transformers, in addition to protection and control equipment. The term digital station describes a technology in which a network-based process bus replaces the traditional wired connection between instrument transformers and high-switchgear in high-voltage installations with protection and control equipment in the control room.

Digital stations result in a reduced footprint, reduced documentation, improved security and a more flexible extension of transformer station functions. The challenge is primarily related to the fact that this new technology places new demands on expertise. In addition, it is important to test the technology in digital stations to gain knowledge of how the technology works in practice.

The goal

ProDig aims to build knowledge of digital stations with process buses based on IEC 61850, and is a collaboration between research institutions, grid operators and suppliers. Four PhD students will collaborate on this interdisciplinary project to gain a common understanding and build new knowledge about digital stations with process buses based on IEC 61850, which is applicable to both the power system and the communications sector.

The project

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is leading the project, which will mainly take place at the university’s relay protection laboratory, which is equipped with real-time simulators, modern protection with process buses, digital converters (MU), time synchronisation equipment, switchers, relay testers and other equipment for laboratory models of digital stations with process buses based on the IEC 61850 standard. The project includes real-time simulations, analysis of data communication and full-scale testing in a high-voltage laboratory.

Project team members

  • The Research Council of Norway (RCN)
  • Statnett SF
  • ABB
  • Siemens
  • Agder Energi Nett
  • Eidsiva Nett
  • Hafslund Nett
  • Skagerak Nett
  • Jacobsen Elektro
  • NorTroll
  • NTNU Electrical Power Engineering
  • NTNU Information Security and Communication Technology
  • UiO Technology Systems
  • SINTEF Energy Research
  • Michigan Tech
  • The Norwegian Smartgrid Centre


  • The Research Council of Norway (RCN) – KPN project, ENERGIX