Grid Optimization recently discussed the staggering magnitude of power system losses on the U.S. grid and asked the question: Why aren’t we doing more to address this issue? Well, many utilities are already employing one of the more cost-effective loss reduction strategies and that is volt/VAR optimization (VVO). With the advent of digital technology, VVO can be achieved as part of a distribution automation system (DAS) consisting of software and digital components that more precisely control distribution capacitors, load tap changers and voltage regulators. A DAS can be configured to reduce VAR losses, improve power factors, flatten and maintain voltage profiles and reduce demand via conservation voltage reduction. These systems collect voltage and load (PF and VAR) information, operate the appropriate control device, record data and provide feedback in a continuous loop to improve circuit efficiency. Two way capacitor controllers and VAR loss performance tools are among the advantages seen with modern volt /VAR management systems. Extensive optimization capabilities also necessitate comprehensive feeder monitoring for optimum performance results.
In sum, VVO and updated feeder monitoring hold significant potential benefits in efficiency, dollar savings and deferred or avoided capacity buildout. Find out more by viewing this great video tutorial on VVO presented by ABB at Automation and Power World: