Utilities throughout the world are under pressure to ensure a reliable supply of high-quality power to their customers. Deploying Fault Location, Isolation, and Service Restoration (FLISR) is one of the most reliable ways to do so. With FLISR, you can automatically isolate the faulted area and reroute power to restore as many customers as quickly as possible after an outage. This has the potential to reduce outages durations from hours to minutes or even seconds.
Loss of Voltage (LOV) software works in the same way, monitoring your network for sudden voltage drops. When the LOV algorithm detects a loss of voltage in a substation or elsewhere in the grid, the application will attempt to isolate the cause of the voltage loss from the network and reroute power to as many affected customers as possible.
Did you know that you can start to deploy FLISR and LOV on only a subset of your feeders and gradually expand over time as needed? This may be of particular interest if you’re interested in deploying FLISR and LOV but, like many utilities, you think that they're out of reach. You may have the impression that these applications are expensive, complex, and time-consuming to implement – that they are solutions for utilities with expansive budgets and resources. In this article, we’ll revisit those thoughts and dispel the myths surrounding FLISR and LOV. Because, with SurvalentONE FLISR and LOV, you can dramatically improve reliability and decrease outage durations affordably, easily, and quickly.
Basic Infrastructure Requirements
First, let’s discuss pre-requisites. Prior to deploying FLISR, you will need to set up telemetered switches (e.g. reclosers) and fault targets in the target area. You will also need to have a reliable communications medium to integrate the devices to the ADMS so that FLISR and LOV can operate the devices remotely.
Myth # 1: FLISR and LOV are too expensive for the average co-op or municipality utility
With SurvalentONE FLISR and LOV, you can dramatically improve reliability and decrease outage durations affordably. Depending on your budget, you can deploy FLISR across your entire network or you can implement it on a select feeder or substation. For example, you can start with critical sections such as feeders serving medical facilities or key commercial and industrial areas. You can also focus on areas prone to failure due to vegetation or storms, particularly remote regions that require lengthy travel to perform restorative actions.
SurvalentONE FLISR and LOV work with industry-standard devices and communications technology, so there’s no need to replace any existing telemetered devices prior to deploying them. And, if you deploy in phases, you don’t have to wait until your entire network is linked to telemetered devices. You can start your deployment immediately with your existing telemetered device and communications infrastructure.
Myth # 2: Deploying FLISR and LOV is a complex project that requires a large, specialized team
Not true! If you decide to deploy in small phases and use your existing infrastructure, your administrator can set FLISR and LOV up very easily. For a single feeder or substation with a few telemetered devices and existing communications, all you need is a single administrator to draw the schematics in SmartVU. This is true whether you have your GIS data imported or not. If you don’t have your GIS data imported into your ADMS yet, you can create a simplified schematic view in SmartVU to display the feeders that will be using FLISR and LOV.
Plus, SurvalentONE FLISR and LOV can be implemented 100% remotely, without Survalent team members onsite.
Myth # 3: FLISR projects take years to get off the ground
The duration of the project largely depends on your existing device and communications infrastructure and how you choose to deploy FLISR.
For example, with Survalent, you could implement FLISR on 2 feeders, with each feeder having 1 recloser and a tie switch between the feeders, in about 3 hours assuming that:
- Reclosers and the tie switch are telemetered and connected to Survalent SCADA
- You would provide Survalent with the schematic of feeders and connection of reclosers and tie switch. (In a proof of concept for a customer, we drew the schematics to set up a single feeder with a handful of reclosers in just a few hours.)
- The schematic view and Topology Processor have been drawn & implemented in SmartVu
If you wanted Survalent to implement the schematic view and topology processor for the above, the project could be complete in about 8 hours.
As discussed above, deploying SurvalentONE FLISR and LOV doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” project. If you’re not ready for a full FLISR implementation, you can quickly set up a single feeder or substation to improve reliability in critical areas or trouble spots. Over time, as you add more telemetered devices to your network or, as you identify new sections that would benefit from FLISR and LOV, you can scale your system accordingly.
Myth # 4: Operators won’t use / won’t have confidence in FLISR and LOV
SurvalentONE FLISR and LOV can be used in semi-automatic or automatic mode. Why does this matter? In the semi-automatic mode, the application creates a switch order that isolates the fault and provides service restoration around the isolated area. An operator must approve and execute the switch order. Some utilities use semi-automatic mode to help their operators gain comfort and confidence in the actions of FLISR and LOV before switching to a fully automated solution.
Central Georgia EMC recognized that FLISR would be a dramatic change for its team. The utility wanted to ensure its operators were confident in process automation prior to deploying FLISR. Several years prior to initiating a full FLISR project, the utility began operating communications systems with capacitor banks and a few pole-mounted reclosers. Its engineers were able to ensure they had a good communication network and the team gained experience controlling the power network remotely. The utility continued building trust in new technology with small successes, gradually adding to its capability and knowledge base until it was ready to deploy FLISR across its network. Learn more.
Another option for increasing operator confidence in the FLISR/LOV system is to train them on the Operator Training Simulator. Survalent’s OTS is a second independent copy of the ADMS system operating with simulation programs instead of scan tasks. Operators can use OTS to test FLISR and LOV in an offline environment before deploying them in the production environment to confirm everything is working as expected and gain comfort in their use of the system.
Interested in learning more about how you can set FLISR and LOV up in key areas of your network? We’ll be happy to provide more information.
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