There are few low-cost technology investments available in the market today that can provide the means to reduce operational costs, improve investment decision-making at the same time providing increased distribution line reliability and safety.
Decreased revenue outcomes for many Australian utilities means both operational and capital expenditure must be reduced in real terms. This requires a radical change in emphasis in asset management and work practices and new thinking to adequately manage risks and performance.
A new technology known as Distribution Fault Anticipation, offers a means to manage this situation with significant benefits in reducing operating cost and increasing reliability and safety of distribution networks.
Source: 'Energy Source and Distribution’ magazine, Australia, Nov/Dec issue 2015
Major Enhancements to MV Lines Management Practice
In this period of financial and commercial constraint, with the associated pressure to improve distribution line reliability with less available budget and sometimes less workforce numbers, there are very few technical solutions available in the market place today to assist in Distribution line management. Distribution Fault Anticipation (DFA) is new to Australasia but is expected to have a major impact on distribution line management practices.
DFA uses continuous wave form analysis to detect the discrete signatures associated with failing line hardware, providing the user with warning that enables remedial action often before the customer has noticed a problem. The product was developed out of industry need and a desire to improve performance and safety and is backed by solid research and extensive field trials in the US. Now available in Australasia, this technology is expected to have a wide application and will assist utilities to improve efficiency and reliability providing better outcomes for customers and shareholders.
Source: Transformer & Distribution, October/November 2015
Real-time waveform analytics identify looming failures, bringing us into the realm of distribution fault anticipation technology
A thousand customers just lost power because a bush- ing failed out on a feeder. Did it just happen or were Athere early warning signs? Could the failure have been predicted in advance or, better yet, prevent- ed? Pickwick Electric Cooperative (PEC) and Arizona Public Service (APS) have been working with a new technology that enables them, for the fi rst time, to avoid faults by detecting incipient problems and responding proactively.
The new technology, known as distribution fault anticipation (DFA) technology, works by measuring high-fidelity current transformer (CT) and potential transformer (PT) waveforms, typically at the substation, and applying sophisticated analytics to those waveforms. It detects failures, incipient failures and other misoperations out on the feeder, thus providing situational intelligence and enabling feeder-level condition-based maintenance. It does so without complicated setup and without requiring communication with downstream line devices.
Waveform-based analytics represent a new paradigm in distribution system operations and health monitoring. Utilities historically have had little situational intelligence regarding the health of their distribution systems. Modern smart components such as advanced metering infrastructure and distribution automation systems may provide feeder loading levels or let the utility determine whether particular customers have service, but they do little, if anything, to detect feeder anomalies or assess line health.
Source: 'Transmission & Distribution World' March 2015
New grid intelligence applications are shifting the industry paradigm by doing things that have never been possible before. A good example is Distribution Fault Anticipation (DFA), a method for detecting incipient faults or failures in order to prevent service interruptions. Texas A&M University (TAMU:DFA) is a leader in this innovative application for improved grid analysis and operations.
Conventional grid operations are based on: (1) planning and constructing a distribution grid that is as robust as it is economically and technically feasible, (2) implementing system-wide, time-based preventative maintenance programs to minimize equipment failures, and (3) detecting, locating and eliminating causes of service outages in order to restore service as quickly as possible. DFA, on the other hand, involves sophisticated sensing and analytics to detect problems that can be corrected before they cause a service interruption.