AES Eletropaulo is responsible for serving 24 municipalities in the state of São Paulo, which represents 10.3% of the electric power consumed in Brazil. In all, 5.8 million customers are served. Locating faults in network system feeders has always been a goal pursued by the utility. After the introduction of SEL fault indicators, fault location times have fallen by as much as 40%. Data gathered by the utility shows that this saves seven hours of work in locating and repairing faults.
AES also observed a reduction of 60% in Inspection Points – IPs needed to be opened when searching for the faults. “The reduction in fault location time as well as in the number of IPs to be opened resulted in a tremendous optimization of labor, making it possible to concentrate efforts only on sections where the fault indicator was tripped, which avoids unnecessary inspections of IPs and underground transformer vaults,” explains Ricardo de Oliveira Brandão, an engineer of the Underground System Management Administration – PGDCG (North Regional Board).
These percentages translate into considerable cost reductions in the process of locating faults. According to Charles Rodrigues, an engineer with the Distribution Engineering Administration, the reduction in costs is the result of a reduction in the electricity left unsold, since the consumer would not be able to use his electric equipment.
Charles Rodrigues believes the SEL fault indicators help significantly in reducing fault location times, in addition to providing line crews with the reliability and safety they need. AES Eletropaulo could count on the latest technology of SEL equipment; besides, SEL also customized the solution to fit the specific needs of the utility. “This was fundamental for the success of the project, in addition to the training and availability of the SEL team which provided support and clarifications on issues that arose after the implementation,” emphasizes Ricardo de Oliveira.