Introducing decentralized feeder automation to an existing SCADA

In our last blog post, we looked at 10 key features of a decentralized feeder automation solution, covering everything from cost to scalability. One of those major components is the ability to mount the new technology on an existing SCADA system.

Overhauling a legacy system is a costly process that can take a lot of time. Opt for a feeder automation solution that can integrate with existing software and feed real-time network statuses to your SCADA.

With that said, choosing a feeder automation software that links seamlessly to your existing network architecture reduces deployment time and provides your utility company with a smooth transition. Ideally, you’ll want one that is “plug and play” and doesn’t require an extensive and complex setup process.

Here’s a real world example

One major Georgia-based power utility made the switch, with the goal of identifying and deploying the best fault location, isolation, and supply restoration (FLISR) technology on the market and eliminating any doubts or uncertainties about what would happen in emergency situations.

After extensive research, they chose CENTRIX™, ACS’s decentralized feeder automation solution. Its interoperability with existing hardware and software made it a good fit for the company’s goals.

CENTRIX™ harnesses the performance and speed of a distributed solution on a foundation of power and reliability best found in a model-driven approach, providing the company with the best of both worlds. Additionally, CENTRIX™ allows for flexibility with the use of existing devices, avoiding the cost of replacing vendor-specific hardware.

It also opened up the doors to a number of additional ACS capabilities that can be added onto the system at any point, including volt/VAR optimization and distributed energy resource management. Optimizing a system for losses not only provide increased efficiency and reliability, but also result in long-term savings and a significant return on investment.

With over one million customers served to date, the utility company now operates over 763 feeder breakers with more than 2,400 automated devices.

Since rolling out CENTRIX™ in 2010, the company has seen an increased effectiveness in the detection and isolation of faults and outages, as well as a faster response time for those feeders under auto-restoration. The smart grid can address these minor issues within seconds, without using any manpower to solve the problem. A solution that would have once taken 15 minutes or longer (and even up to several hours) now only takes a couple of minutes. There is no longer a need to dispatch operations crews or rely on a diligent operator to manually isolate faults—CENTRIX™ handles it all.


The big picture?

The utility company’s transition to an auto restoration system not only improved their internal efficiency and achieved their initial goals, but they also received a positive reception from local government and their community of stakeholders. It also provided the company with a chance to teach employees and contractors about how to effectively and safely operate the new technology.

At the end of the day, the deployment of CENTRIX™ not only provided the company with widespread efficiency that improved customer experience, but it also placed a heavy focus on safety—both for customers and the engineers and operators that keep the system running.

Learn more about your feeder automation options—read the whitepaper, Centralized and Distributed Intelligence Applications for Feeder Automation.

Founded in 1975, Advanced Control Systems™ (ACS) is a leading provider of advanced automation technology and products to the global electric power industry.