Electric power utilities rely on substation automation to manage the distribution of power from the substation using Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) and Remote Terminal Units (RTUs). Substation automation provides multiple capabilities including: prognostic health management, fault detection and analysis, and rapid load restoration. Balancing the various requirements and demands of stakeholders can be a tricky process. A very promising approach to this problem is to build a multi-agent system that can balance the various priorities through an automated process of inter-agent negotiation.
KTH, Sweden, is currently investigating the control of substation automation systems using JACK. The JACK agents currently interface to the IEDs and RTUs via OPC client/server technology.
The KTH researchers "... found JACK to be exceptionally useful for quickly developing prototypes and having now refined our OPC interface somewhat are looking into using it for self-configuration of automation systems."
They will soon be migrating from OPC to the IEC 61850 standard for substation communication and automation, using the MMS and GOOSE protocols.