T&D World Magazine

Oncor Installs First Intelligent, Pulse-Closing Switch in Dallas/Fort Worth as Part of Smart Grid Strategy

Oncor installed the first IntelliRupter PulseCloser switch in the United States at a location in the Dallas/Fort Worth area last week. The new, groundbreaking technology is another step in the development of Oncor's smart grid, a technologically advanced electric delivery system.

This intelligent switch designed and built by S&C Electric Co. with utility partner input has cutting edge PulseClosing™ Technology that is designed to know when a line is clear and can restore electric service. Multiple, non-disruptive pulses are periodically injected to check the line for short circuits and to quickly restore electric service if the fault is brief. This new design is expected to extend the life of lines, transformers and circuit breakers.

“The IntelliRupter switch will communicate with other technology on Oncor's system and will coordinate with Oncor's automated power restoration systems,” said Jim Greer, senior vice president of asset management and engineering at Oncor. “The first IntelliRupter installed at Oncor bears a memorial plate commemorating the work of Doug Staszesky, an engineer for S&C who did much of the development. He died before he could see his work put into operation. Oncor is honored to be the utility that installs IntelliRupter No.1.”

IntelliRupter significantly advances the science of fault testing on overhead lines. It was designed from the ground up to accommodate advanced feeder automation functions such as S&C’s IntelliTEAM IIÒ Automatic Restoration System, as well as SCADA. IntelliRupter features a base-integrated control that’s accessed for configuration and operation via a secure WiFi link. This innovative approach improves reliability, operator safety, and convenience, and significantly enhances security compared to “lock-and-key” approaches.

Oncor is introducing new devices, such as the IntelliRupter, as part of an initiative to develop an electric grid that will monitor, think, act, repair and prepare itself to respond quickly to consumer needs. Smart grid refers to a number of advanced technologies on the electric delivery system with the goal of improving electric service to the homes and businesses served by Oncor. Ultimately a smart grid is intended to expand automatic service restoration, sense outages as they occur, monitor equipment performance, report back on needed maintenance and more. “The goal of introducing new technology such as the IntelliRupter is to achieve higher reliability for the communities Oncor serves,” Greer said.

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