Aclara, a supplier of smart infrastructure technologies to water, gas, and electric utilities globally, is partnering with UK Power Networks on a groundbreaking project to help distribution network operators reduce the length and frequency of power outages by locating faults faster.
Funded by energy regulator Ofgem, the £2.6 million (about $3.4 million) project employs the Aclara Grid Monitoring platform and sensors, to collect and analyze data related to transient faults (short variations of fault current that do not produce sustained power outages). Transient events are caused by severe weather conditions, tree contact, and malfunctioning assets.
UK Power Networks, which distributes approximately 27 percent of the UK’s electricity to more than 8 million homes and businesses, has installed 400 Aclara power sensors, which are part of the Grid Monitoring platform, to monitor 45 feeders on its overhead networks. Data captured during the project will be used in algorithms to give near real-time visibility and improved awareness of what is happening on the distribution network. Read more about the Aclara Grid Monitoring platform at UK Power Networks in this case study.
UK Power Networks project manager Peter Lang said: “Our goal is to reduce the duration of supply interruptions by directing linesmen to the most likely fault locations. The trial will demonstrate Aclara’s “distance to fault” algorithm to improve restoration times.
‘We are regularly reviewing Aclara power sensor input as part of UK Power Networks’ overall quality of supply improvement program and hope to make more strides in preventing network-failure conditions.”
Kumi Premathilake, senior vice president of advanced metering infrastructure for Aclara added, “This project provides a unique opportunity for Aclara to partner with one of Europe’s most important power companies to deploy and further develop the game-changing Aclara power sensor technology. These powerful sensors are easy to install and provide insight into areas of the distribution network that cannot be reached with other technologies”.
The overhead line project recently was Highly Commended at the Real IT Awards (RITA) in the Innovation in Technology category. It also was shortlisted for a prestigious 2017 UK Innovation Award in the Losses Category.