Aging infrastructure and an aging workforce are two critical issues facing utilities today. Combined with tighter capex and opex budgets, these issues are requiring a more sophisticated approach to workforce management, automation, and asset replacement across the world. Innovative utilities recognize that in order to adjust to this new paradigm, the ability to add intelligence to the grid through sensing, automation, and event management is absolutely critical as a replacement for a retiring workforce.
In the United States, utilities are moving forward with installations of information management systems focused on fault detection and restoration, outage management, as well as grid optimization solutions such as Volt/VAR control. These systems are fully reliant on information received from sensors in the grid in order to perform their functions.
Outside the United States, Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are looking to improve reliability and optimize asset replacement scheduling by adding fault detection and predictive maintenance solutions to their network. In many cases, DNOs are leveraging deployments of Advanced Metering Infrastructure to install supervision and automation solutions within their transformer stations.
With its comprehensive Sensing product portfolio and supporting Event Management Analytics software solutions, CURRENT is redefining the way utilities interact and monitor their distribution network. CURRENT’s Sensing and Analytics solutions incorporate the industry’s most advanced edge-based event detection and alarming software in order to provide utilities and DNOs with the ability to leverage on-board event alarming capabilities and customize thresholds and alerts for a wide range of parameters detected by CURRENT’s sensors including voltage, current, watts, VARs, and a comprehensive suite of power quality analytics.
Sensing and Analytics Solutions
CURRENT’s Sensing and Analytics solutions portfolio offers unparalleled capabilities for directly improving grid reliability while also providing grid intelligence and alerting into utility software systems such as SCADA, DMS, and Volt/VAR solutions.
Low-Voltage Sensor / Analyzer (LVA)
This infrastructure solution, installed on distribution transformers delivers accurate, real-time data about current, voltage, power and energy measurements, as well as advanced power quality measurements, such as THD and harmonic analysis. By analyzing the collected data at the edge of the network, CURRENT’s LVA solution provides real-time event and alarm intelligence that gives utilities valuable insight into the health of the transformer and quality of power, which enables them to proactively improve efficiency and reliability of the distribution grid and support the integration of distributed renewables and electric vehicles. Additional features of CURRENT’s LVA include:
- Flexible current measurement support – CURRENT’s LVA solutions can measure current (amps) in LV distribution cables using LVAs along with CURRENT’s innovative Rogowski coil solutions or directly with 3rd party current transformer (CT) solutions.
- Integrated Wide Area Backhaul Communications (WAN) – CURRENT’s LVA optionally provides integrated support for WAN backhaul communications and routing utilizing cellular (3G) or WiMAX technologies. By combining support for metering, advanced sensing, and WAN communications, utilities can greatly reduce capex and opex costs when deploying an advanced metering infrastructure.
Medium-Voltage Underground Sensor / Analyzer (URD 6000)
This infrastructure solution, specifically designed for US-style underground medium-voltage (MV) feeders, analyzes MV current measurements and provides real-time URD fault location detection and notification. This solution also supports transformer health monitoring by monitoring voltage conditions on the LV side of the network.
Rogowski Coil Sensors
Available in a variety of sizes, these precision current (amp) sensors can be used on single low-voltage cables to bundles of larger cables. The unique design of CURRENT’s Rogowski sensors offer very high rejection of external magnetic fields and automatically calibrates when connected to an LVA, eliminating on-site calibration often required with current transformer solutions.
Providing event management, an integrated technical and business rules engine, data visualization, and data mapping, the OpenGrid Distribution enterprise software platform provides a turn-key foundation for enhancing a utilities distribution grid. The OpenGrid Distribution platform allows for users to create and manage thresholds, alerts, and events found through CURRENT’s intelligent sensing solutions, as well as visualize data and geospatial information from these sensor devices. OpenGrid Distribution can be easily integrated with utilities’ existing systems, including OMS, DMS, Asset Management, Work Management, SCADA, Data Historians and metering systems. Events included in the OpenGridDistribution platform and from CURRENT’s intelligent sensors include:
- Transformer Failure Detection – Predicts pending transformer failures by analyzing voltage and current anomalies.
- Distribution Transformer Overload Detection – Measures loading at the transformer in comparison to transform rating and provides several stages of alarms for transformer overloading.
- Transient Voltage Disturbance Detection – Utilizes voltage sensing at the transformer to generate exception reports, highlighting voltage regulation problems well before any customer complaints.
- Outage and Restoration Detection – Utilizes the sensing and monitoring functions of CURRENT’s sensing solutions to report outage and restoration events on the electric distribution system.
- MV Cable Fault Detection (US) – Provides utility control room operators with remote visual information to determine the specific cable in a URD environment where a fault has occurred, enabling the immediate dispatch of properly equipped field operators, and reducing fault-locating labor and outage durations.
Proactive Event Management
Absorption of massive quantities of data is a serious issue in Smart Grid deployments from both a usage and communications cost perspective. CURRENT’s Sensing and Analytics solutions avoids these issues by proactively looking for grid events, not just raw data, allowing the utility to immediately benefit from intelligence discovered in the network.
Cost Effective Power Analytics
CURRENT’s sensing solutions provide the exact same functionality often seen in very expensive power quality analyzers but at a much more attractive price point.
CURRENT’s solutions not only enable advanced sensing and analytics, but the ability to integrate communications such as cellular (3G) or WiMAX, provides utilities with a turnkey platform for enabling advanced smart grid capabilities at the lowest possible cost.
CURRENT’s sensing and analytics solutions are deployed are actively monitoring over 35,000 transformers in utilities and DNOs worldwide.
Events and data obtained by CURRENT’s sensing and analytics solutions can be easily integrated into utilities’ existing systems, including OMS, DMS, Asset Management, Work Management, SCADA, Data Historians and meter data management platforms.
CURRENT’s Sensing and Analytics solutions offer utilities the most robust smart grid solution on the market today. CURRENT’s product portfolios provide utilities with a clear path to move from installing basic smart meters at customer locations to developing a strong business case for deploying sophisticated solutions that improve grid reliability and enhance grid efficiency in a way that address the growing need for workforce automation.