Utilities Implementing Distribution Automation Control Logic In SCADA Control Center Or Field Devices

May 1, 2018
North American electric utilities developing Distribution Automation applications are implementing control logic for FLISR (fault location, isolation, and

Initial findings from a current Newton-Evans tracking study indicate that more North American electric utilities developing distribution automation applications are implementing control logic for FLISR (fault location, isolation, and service restoration) and Volt-VAR in the SCADA control center. This study follows up on a 2014 survey-based study of DA that gathered responses from 75 electric utilities in the U.S. and Canada. Here are some highlights from the first 30 survey participants so far:

FDIR/FLISR Control Logic

In 2014, 25% of utility personnel surveyed said the control logic for their distribution system's FLISR was located in the control center (SCADA), while 58% said they did not have any feeder automation at that time (i.e. no FLISR). Among the first 30 respondents to the 2018 survey, 34% indicated that FLISR logic resides in the control center, and 55% of respondents will implement it in the control center in the near future. Forty-five percent of respondents to the 2018 survey said they do not yet have feeder automation implemented, and 31% said they don't plan to implement feeder automation in the future.

Volt/VAR Control Logic

For Volt/VAR control logic, there was a similar trend in placing logic at the control center and additional utilities have plans to automate distribution feeders. In 2014, 41% of responding utilities with a Volt/VAR implementation had placed control logic in the control center, but by April 2018, almost half of the survey respondents have now implemented device control logic in the control center, and two-thirds plan to implement Volt/VAR logic in the control center in the future.

A few of the respondents possibly did not believe that these two applications (FLISR and VVC) meet the requirements for full feeder automation.

Feeder Main Fault Notification

All survey respondents so far have indicated that they are notified of a feeder main fault via SCADA. Outage Management Systems (OMS) are also used by a large percentage (41%) while DA devices communicating back to a DMS platform are being used by 28% of this group.

This 2018 DA Market Study will be sold individually and also as part of a report bundle on DA that includes: 1) the "Overview of the 2017-2020 U.S. Transmission and Distribution Equipment Market: Distribution Automation Series (Complete Set of 9 top-line reports)" and 2) a 40-slide Power Point deck developed by Chuck Newton titled, "The Role of Advanced DMS/SCADA Software and Systems in Building a Resilient and Reliable Power Distribution Grid."

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