Measurement and Pricing of Reactive Power Emerge

Recent research supported by Second Wind Inc., the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has produced a new approach to precise measurement and full valuation of reactive power and harmonic distortion.

The approach shows that by using a vector representation, both reactive power and harmonics are accounted for in a definition that obeys conservation. The result is a method to measure total "inactive" power that will add up correctly all the consumption and generation of VARs.

Second Wind has designed a three-phase power transducer named PhaserT that identifies the 60 Hz signal and makes measurements that are more accurate than normal measurements. Phaser provides measures of real power, reactive power and phase angle/power factor at the line frequency and at the range of measured frequencies.

Phaser can be programmed for 2, 2 1/2 or 3-phase wiring. The transformer ratios can be entered into the unit, allowing the user to adjust the Phaser to actual conditions found in the field. This same software capability allows transformer loss calculations.

System Combines Facilities Information Public Service Co. of North Carolina (PSNC) has installed a new system that will put all of its facilities information into one database. Cook-Hurlbert's CH-Analysis product, customized by PSNC and Cook-Hurlbert's technical engineers, has brought together PSNC's Smallworld geographic information system (GIS) with Gregg Engineering's WinFlow network analysis product.

The integration of the two systems allows the Gregg Engineering product to access data from Smallworld GIS. Data is exported from Smallworld into a formatted file that the Gregg Engineering system can read. This allows de-signers working in WinFlow to use the body of facilities data housed in Smallworld.

PSNC expects that the integration of the two systems will increase productivity in the years ahead, according to Rodney Myers, PSNC's director of system planning and GIS.

Much of the programming code used in this integration effort is core to Cook-Hurlbert's CH-Analysis (Gas) product. That off-the-shelf program analyzes pipe networks within the GIS, allowing "what if" scenarios and providing analysis results within the GIS.

Puerto Rico Plans Island-wide Installation As part of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) island-wide implementation of automatic meter reading (AMR), PREPA has contracted with Distribution Control System, Inc. (DCSI) to provide DCSI's TWACSr power line communications system, according to ESCO Electronics Corp. DCSI is an ESCO subsidiary.

With this US$50 million contract, PREPA's total order of DCSI equipment increases to 700,000 AMR transponders plus communication infrastructure and other services with deliveries over a three-year period. PREPA is looking at subsequently expanding the system to include all PREPA customers (approximately 1.3 million sites). The US$130 million island-wide implementation is scheduled for completion over five to eight years.

Con Edison of New York Selects TPN Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) has selected the GE Trading Process Network (TPN) to streamline its procurement processes, according to GE Information Services.

GE TPN provides users such as Con Edison with a secure, Internet commerce environment that supports business-to-business buying and selling of industrial goods and services, enabling them to streamline the procurement process.

Current users of the TPN service have experienced up to 50 percent reduction in cycle times, 30 percent reduction in procurement costs and 20 percent reduction in material costs, according to GE. Con Edison's buyers and its supplier base will be electronically linked through the Internet, allowing them to access specific content, share common information databases, and make applications available to support the procurement process.

Companies Team on SCADA Suite Simpact Inc. and BOW Software Inc. have agreed to add a suite of SCADA protocols to Simpact's protocol library. The protocols run on Simpact's FreewayT communications server and boards, allowing SCADA WANs to be connected to TCP/IP LANs. The suite covers protocols from some of the most widely used SCADA families including IEC, DNP, ABB, Siemens, Harris, Conitel and other SCADA protocols.

New Business Option for Utilities SAP AG and Andersen Consulting have formed a strategic alliance to create new business systems that address challenges in the utilities and energy services market. One of those systems is the SAPT Utilities system, which includes industry-specific elements including personnel safety, maintenance and construction, IS-U/customer care and service (IS-U/CCS) and a regulatory reporting system. IS-U/CCS provides a customer information and billing system and functionality for customer services, marketing and sales support, consolidated billing, mass billing and metering.

Turnkey Services Offered Through Alliance Volt VIEWtech and eT Communications have formed a strategic business alliance offering turnkey customer services to utilities nationwide.

A new eT product, the SLX301, combines with VIEWtech's software background to allow both companies to provide broader, more meaningful customer services. For example, the alliance will provide a turnkey system that includes automated meter reading, energy usage analysis, Internet information services, field installation capabilities, a customer billing procedure, and low-interest customer loans funded by Fannie Mae for energy-saving home improvements.

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