S&C Electric
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WPD Becomes First in U.K. to Install Outage-Mitigation Device

Oct. 28, 2020
By responding to temporary faults quickly, the TripSaver II recloser prevents temporary faults from becoming permanent outages.

S&C Electric Co. and Western Power Distribution (WPD) recently completed the installation of the first S&C TripSaver II Cutout-Mounted Recloser in the United Kingdom.

Designed to improve the way utilities respond to faults on power lines, the TripSaver II Cutout-Mounted Recloser is an advanced lateral, or spur, protection device. Used in place of conventional single-use fuses, TripSaver II reclosers can test whether faults are temporary and quickly restore power on those faults. With 80% of faults on overhead lines being temporary in nature, these devices are expected to mitigate a significant number of customer power outages.

"It's great to be working with S&C on this innovative pilot," said Paul Jewell, the WPD's DSO development manager. "At a time when a lot more people are working from home, it's more important than ever to ensure supply reliability and to keep the electricity flowing to enable them to work and stay connected to loved ones. For rural customers who are supplied by overhead lines, we hope to continue to improve network resilience and our customers' experience with the help of technology such as the TripSaver II recloser. Those customers can experience short interruptions as a result of temporary faults and this solution helps reduce the impact of this on our wider network."

The WPD's service territory experiences various environmental challenges throughout the year that can commonly cause temporary faults, including heavy winds and rain. By responding to temporary faults quickly, the TripSaver II recloser prevents temporary faults from becoming permanent outages. This is expected to significantly improve power reliability and customer satisfaction by reducing the duration and frequency of power interruptions.

"The United Kingdom is leading the way in restructuring electric utility regulatory models and customer satisfaction has become a critical measure of utilities' performance," said Mike Edmonds, S&C's chief commercial officer. "The WPD has embraced these regulatory changes by leveraging TripSaver II reclosers not only to improve grid reliability but also to place an increased focus on the individual customer experience."

In addition to improving network reliability and resiliency, the WPD chose the TripSaver II recloser because of its ease of use and simple installation process. The device is designed to fit into already installed fuse cutouts on the overhead distribution network, streamlining the installation process to quickly serve customers.

After collecting data from this initial installation, the WPD will review the results with the intent to discuss future deployments to continue improving reliability throughout its service territory.

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