T&D World Magazine

PPL Electricity Deploys Wireless Remote Telemetry Modules

PPL Electric Utilities (Allentown, Pennsylvania) has deployed a system for monitoring and control of distribution reclosers based on Telemetric’s intelligent wireless Remote Telemetry Modules (RTMs) and supporting software applications. This end-end solution allows PPL Electric Utilities operations personnel to receive near real time status information from mid-point and tie-point reclosers installed on distribution feeders. In addition, Telemetric worked with PPL Electric Utilities operating center personnel to provide integration of the recloser status/control functions into PPL Electric Utilities’ operations center (SCADA).

PPL Electric Utilities has used electronic controlled reclosers for several years to improve system reliability and minimize customer interruptions. Line and tie-point recloser installations have grown steadily at PPL Electric Utilities. The company has deployed Cooper Form 4C and the newer Cooper Form 6 recloser controls. Some of the Cooper Form 4C controls had analog wireless modems, which were becoming obsolete and expensive to maintain. PPL Electric Utilities sought a two-way communications solution that would be reliable, cost effective and work throughout its service territory. PPL Electric Utilities investigated several options before selecting a solution from Telemetric Corporation. PPL Electric Utilities deployed Telemetric Remote Telemetry Modules (RTMs) on Cooper Form 4C and Form 6 recloser controls installed at mid and tie-points along distribution feeders.

The Telemetric Remote Telemetry Module(RTM) is an intelligent wireless communication solution for remote monitoring and control of electronic controls (IEDs). In addition to support of standard polling, the RTM’s processor monitors the recloser’s status and provides report-by-exception or time-scheduled reports of any analog or digital points in the Cooper recloser control. This allowed PPL Electric Utilities’ engineers to create a powerful, yet efficient monitoring and control solution.

The RTM includes an integrated digital cellular radio that communicates using the GSM cellular data network, with extensive coverage throughout North America. Since the RTM uses the digital GSM cellular network, no additional wireless infrastructure is required. PPL Electric Utilities’ technicians can install the RTM in the recloser control and be communicating in minutes. The Telemetric RTM is available with native support for either DNP3.0 or Cooper 2179 (also known as PG&E) protocols. In both cases, the RTM acts as an intelligent mini-master, looking for alarms or exception reports based upon customer-defined rules, and reporting these events via the digital network.

PPL Electric Utilities’ engineering and operations personnel use Telemetric’s suite of Web-based applications to setup and manage the RTM devices. Engineers and operations personnel use the Telemetric applications to view both current and historical recloser operations data, as well as setup automated alarm condition reports that are sent via e-mail, pager or text message. With automated reporting of recloser operations or alarm conditions – PPL Electric Utilities’ personnel get near real-time information on distribution feeder problems and can quickly operate the reclosers, or dispatch crews to needed locations.

PPL Electric Utilities also implemented Telemetric’s SCADA-Xchange software to integrate status and control of the Cooper reclosers into its SCADA system via a standard DNP3.0 interface. This integration gives PPL Electric Utilities’ operators the ability to see feeder level recloser status and operate the reclosers from the SCADA system. In addition, load data from the line reclosers will be provided to operators to give them a better picture of feeder loads.

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