Reducing outage times and frequencies, mitigating the impact of increasing amounts of renewables on power quality, aging infrastructure and costs associated with smart grids and integration are just some of the challenges utilities are facing today.
To address these Landis+Gyr has enhanced its smart grid portfolio with a cost-effective retrofit platform from newly acquired PowerSense designed to digitalize existing power distribution infrastructure. The MV/LV Monitoring and Control Solution comprises sensors that can be retrofitted onto medium and low voltage power cables, transformers and switch gear, and via integration of already installed electric devices in substations.
The modular system’s features and benefits include automation and software controls that can locate, isolate and restore faults to reduce Customer Minutes Lost, by lowering System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI).
At strategic points power quality is monitored for any potential issues that might arise, while monitoring and control technology also allows the utility to visualize power flows, to ‘see’ where bottlenecks occur in the network. The solution is designed to manage the integration of renewable energy sources, such as Photovoltaics, which can apply stress on cables and the network infrastructure because of their intermittency. In addition the system is able to carry out top precision energy theft detection. By implementing energy balancing and power data visualization utilities are able to reduce the network unbalances and maximize their revenue and the lifespan of energy assets.
Some of the key solutions of the MV/LV Monitoring and Control portfolio include:
The Advanced Smart Grid Terminal is a billing grade metering node with the smart grid functionality of MV/LV Monitoring and Control. Combined with the SmartCom RTU, the terminal aggregates and transmits real-time data to the utility’s high-level IT system, like SCADA, or other grid management IT platforms.
Several applications can be included such as billing, integration of renewables and microgeneration, as well as streetlight functionality, enabling the utility to secure its investments and reduce operational costs. The Advanced Smart Grid Terminal cost-effectively meets DNOs’ smart grid requirements for secondary transformers, improving service quality and protecting existing energy management assets.
The Smart Grid Device Integrator integrates existing and new smart grid devices, independent of their functionality, into the DNO’s SCADA or IT business system, enabling utilities to set up a cross-functional smart grid platform in substations which provides investment security and asset protection. In addition, the Smart Grid Device Integrator has 16 digital inputs and 8 digital outputs and can be combined with extra modules for additional functionalities. This provides utilities with the flexibility needed to extend, adapt and change the system in compliance with their individual smart grid strategies.
Enexis, one of the largest DSOs in the Netherlands, is using the Smart Grid Integrator to reduce customer outages. These have been reduced from durations of 87 minutes or more, to 3–5 minutes. The utility chose the solution for its low total cost of ownership, functionality and upgradability for SCADA protocols.
As part of ongoing plans to enhance and improve network power quality and service, Finnish utility Naantalin Energia recently began a pilot, with Landis+Gyr, to demonstrate the MV/LV Monitoring and Control Solution.
Unison Networks, a utility in New Zealand, is deploying the LV monitoring solution as part of the Smart Grid Program. After a comparison of similar technologies Unison chose this unit because it offered a cost effective solution with advanced power quality monitoring. A total of 150 units are being installed for online power quality monitoring on distribution transformers in second half of 2014. This will inform the assessment of emerging quality of supply issues, and impact from disruptive technologies such as renewable generation connection. Unison will be able to manage quality of supply for their customers more effectively through this innovative approach.