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Pickwick Electric Cooperative Uses DFA to Avoid PQ Problems and Catastrophic Switch Failure

Pickwick Electric Cooperative (PEC) used Distribution Fault Anticipation (DFA) technology to perform conditionbased maintenance on a capacitor bank with a failing vacuum switch, thereby avoiding power quality problems and potentially catastrophic switch failure. No conventional technology, including a remote communications system PEC uses to manage their capacitor banks, alerted PEC to the problem.

Like many utility companies, PEC applies switched and fixed capacitor banks on its distribution circuits. PEC’s remote capacitor communications capabilities enable them to detect problems such as blown phase fuses. Such systems cannot, however, detect latent or incipient problems such as switch bounce or symptoms of partial loss of vacuum in a switch.

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