Horizon pilots network fault detection system
Kate Barker, Energy News Wed, 11 Jun 2014
Horizon Energy is testing a system for detecting and isolating faults on its network to help increase reliability.
The fault detection isolation and restoration system (FDIR) was developed by Christchurch-based firm Quasar, which supplies and integrates Survalent Technology smart grid solutions.
Horizon asset manager Derek Caudwell says implementing the technology will reduce the impact of faults on customers. It will also position the company for possible regulatory changes around network performance.
“The regulator’s indicated in the next period that quality and incentive schemes are likely to come to the fore so it’s one of a number of things we’re doing to be in a position to respond to that, improve our customer responsiveness and also reliability of the network.”
Quasar project engineer Eric Tjiptadjaja says FDIR will be able to locate and isolate a fault immediately, and then either advise restoration steps to the operator or implement the restoration automatically.
It follows the same logic as an operator but can take in more information at once and process it more quickly, Caudwell says.
Horizon’s network spans around 8,400 square-kilometres and provides electricity to more than 24,000 consumers in the eastern Bay of Plenty.
Caudwell says the firm recently ran a three-year reliability programme and installed more than 50 automated switches on parts of the network were performance historically has been poor.
Once FDIR is fully implemented it will communicate with parts of the network that have the automated switches installed and gather information from there.
Caudwell says once the system has isolated a fault, it will look at other areas to determine whether they are faulted or not and restore on that basis.
It can also read how recently other devices have communicated, how reliable the information coming in from the field is, and quickly calculate load flows to find the optimal part of the network to restore from.
“You’ve still got to respond to the actual fault,” Caudwell says, “but it means those areas that can be restored quickly are, so less people are affected by the outage.”
The system is currently being tested on about 10 per cent of the network in a monitoring capacity. The pilot began in April and will likely run for 12 months, Caudwell says.
“When it sees a fault it will go through its routine and work how it would have responded to that particular fault, but it won’t actually undertake any switching at this stage,” he says. “We’re still gaining operational experience with the system.”
The FDIR is supported by Survalent Technology's open-architecture system, which includes several of the firm's open system applications.
He would not say how much has been spent on implementing the new system as it’s still in the pilot stage.
Caudwell says technology take-up by distributors has been on the slow side compared with other industries, but that is changing.
“Process industries have been automating systems since the introduction of SCADA systems and computers.”
Implementing the FDIR system is part of a long-term plan Horizon has to better serve its consumers and take advantage of developments in technology.
Caudwell says the firm is in the process of developing an outages management system to better understand where faults occur on the network.
“Ultimately we’d like to have smart meters as part of that - telling us where customers are without supply - but because the of the nature of New Zealand’s regulatory environment and the fact that the meters are typically owned by the retailers it really requires some willpower and cooperation to make that happen.”
Horizon also recently deployed Smartrak – a system for monitoring and managing the dispatch of its staff in the field. Caudwell says the technology shows where field workers are in relation to the firm’s assets.
One of the newer applications from Survalent is SurvCentral which is designed for Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) database access from your mobile device.
The mobile devices can run Apple iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry operating systems. You can visualize your data points, lists and other tabular information, as well as your graphic displays on smartphones or tablets using any of the above OS platforms. SurvCentral provides users a great way to “see” the data of your ADMS applications while you are traveling.
Other Key Features of SurvCentral include:
Read more about Survalents ADMS solutions from Quasar
Survalent Technology Corporation, the most trusted provider of smart grid solutions, announced today that its Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) Software is now IEC 61850 Certified. Survalent's software portfolio is wide ranging, including solutions for utilities control room operation, substation automation, and distribution automation. IEC 61850 certification for Survalent's integrated software platform provides key benefit of protocol conformance and standardization across all applications for its utility customers.
The certification testing was performed by KEMA Nederland, in their independent testing laboratory located in Arnhem. KEMA is the leading certification organization for IEC protocols, and is authorized by UCA (Utility Communications Architecture) to perform the official 61850 conformance tests and issue certificates.
According to Young Ngo, Vice President of Survalent, "The IEC 61850 protocol is the international standard for communication in substation automation. Survalent has been investing and delivering quality utility automation software solutions for many years. With this successful 61850 certification, we are confident in the standardization of our products to meet future interoperability requirements by our utility customers for their system automation needs."
About Survalent Technology
Survalent Technology is the oldest and most experienced independent supplier of Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS) for Electric, Transit, Renewable and Water/Wastewater utilities in North America. For over five decades, we have helped more than 500 utilities use operational data to increase reliability, efficiency and customer service. With our proven and reliable SCADA, integrated Outage Management System (OMS), integrated Distribution Management (DMS), utilities transform data into actionable intelligence. We partner with utilities across the globe to create mission critical solutions that will achieve the promise of the Smart Grid. Learn more at www.survalent.com.
Found this cool video explaining how the Smart Grid is viewed in Ontario, Canada featuring the Survalent SCADA.