From substations to customer billing meters, the AclaraONE™ (One Network for Everyone) platform provides utility operations and planning personnel with insights and confidence to safely monitor, manage, and control distribution grid assets in the most challenging of circumstances. AclaraONE leverages our advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) networks to provide communications and visibility to all your electric distribution devices including capacitor banks, reclosers, voltage regulators, customer meters, and other intelligent electronic devices.
With AclaraONE, centralized data management of electric, water, and gas devices couples with advanced analytics to deliver actionable information to improve reliability, increase revenue performance, reduce operating cost, meet renewable objectives, while enhancing safety and consumer satisfaction.
The electric grid is more complex today than ever. New, carbon-emissions-reducing sources of green energy are making significant inroads in the power supply mix as utility companies worldwide introduce distributed energy resources (DER) that were not accounted for in traditional one-way grid design and operations. DER is altering our everyday lives, bringing significant challenges for distribution engineers, and impacting almost every aspect of your distribution networks.
As you seek new solutions to increase visibility into, and control over, your distribution networks, you need better ways to manage assets and safely and reliably accommodate the fluctuations in voltage, current, and loads that result from increased demand and the integration of distributed energy resources. Solutions that combine the latest technologies – from initial plan through implementation – offer new ways to monitor and control millions of distribution lines connecting homes and businesses while reducing costs, improving reliability, and actively engaging with customers.
Electric utilities are expected to provide safe, reliable electricity to their customers while keeping costs low. Aging infrastructure, integration of renewables, and a broad range of variables make this a real challenge. Key areas to be addressed include managing localized capacity constraints, overstressed distribution equipment, and peak period costs.
Our innovative load control solution manages customers’ loads (air conditioners, water heaters, pool pumps, and spas, for example), operates the grid at optimum efficiency, and rapidly manages and sheds load during peak periods while maximizing customer comfort and cost savings.
Distribution operations technology has advanced rapidly, providing utilities with a multitude of smart distribution devices with which to interface. However, communicating with remote devices to carry out real-time control with feedback is still a challenge, and improving the operations of distribution networks is necessary to:
- Keep crews safe with accurate switching
- Identify problem areas proactively to prevent outages
- Optimize the operation of distribution equipment to reduce losses
- Increase asset life
- Integrate DER and renewables, and manage electric vehicle charging stations
Aclara’s distribution automation solutions are designed to help you deliver these outcomes by providing standards-based (i.e. DNP3) communications and control to both intelligent electronic devices and older analog devices installed on your distribution grids. Devices enabled by our technology include capacitor banks, line switches, reclosers, fault detectors, load tap changers and grid monitoring sensors.
Medium Voltage Distribution Grid Monitoring
Reliability starts with better visibility into your medium voltage networks. With Aclara’s Grid Monitoring platform, you are better able to detect faults with real-time information, classify different types of line disturbances, and continuously monitor power quality across all three phases of your medium-voltage distribution networks. The solution easily integrates with data historians as well as SCADA, OMS, or DMS systems, complimenting them by providing the granular data on load, outages, and faults you need to better understand the operation of your circuits.
Aclara’s load control solution enables utilities to rapidly manage and shed load during peak periods while maximizing customer comfort and cost savings. Leveraging Aclara’s purpose-built networks, which provide fast and reliable communication, AclaraONE software strengthens automated control strategies, system feedback, and the standards-based interfaces to meet your utility’s load control objectives.
Whether load shed is locally driven or via the generation and transmission authority, joint-action agency, regional transmission organization, or independent system operator, the precise degree of load shed is delivered right where it is needed with measurement and verification to satisfy your reliability needs and ensure accurate commercial settlement.
Distributed Energy Resources
Complemented by Enbala’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technology as well as Aclara’s communications infrastructure and demand response portfolio, AclaraONE improves network stability and efficiency by supporting management of your DER challenges.
Aclara’s load control solution enables utilities to implement load-management programs as secure dispatchable resources for improved grid quality. The solution, consisting of software and hardware:
- Utilizes a patented adaptive load control algorithm and analytics, allowing you to control load while eliminating the need for complex system modeling.
- Leverages industry standard APIs, enabling low-cost integration with third-party demand response management solutions.
- Alleviates specific locational constraints by managing consumer loads, installed at customer’s location.
AclaraONE technology enables utilities to better manage customer loads by building load-shed profiles using distributed intelligence to continually monitor loads locally,
Using the AclaraONE unified headend, distributed intelligence is easily and centrally managed by network operators, allowing you to set business rules, define strategies, and orchestrate load control events. Standards-based interfaces allow you to receive event objectives from balancing authorities.
Simply put, Aclara’s load control solution offers you the most advanced communications technology to manage your load programs and extend the life of your capital investments.
Unlike other control technologies, Aclara’s intelligent load control:
- Improves reliability during emergencies by transmitting SCRAM broadcast messages. Each message confirms load shed from all selected devices in under 15 seconds, quickly reducing loads and keeping the lights on.
- Improves long-term reliability by smoothing transitions, reducing system stresses with ramped load shed and cold load pickup.
- Reduces wholesale penalties and demand charges, which enables surgical peak reduction and peak shifting strategies.
- Increases customer satisfaction with intelligent load control that learns the customer’s load profile and applies load reduction, minimizing customer impact while maximizing load shed.
- Utilizes Aclara’s network for both AMI and load control, lowering maintenance costs.
- Improves forecasting because current sensors monitor availability for dispatch.
- Measures and verifies load shed using current sensors in the Aclara intelligent load control solution, along with the AMI meter.
According to EEI, 90% of outages in the U.S happen on the distribution grid network. But, predicting and responding to outages on this part of the network is difficult due to its sheer size. Yet, a utility’s ability to quickly resolve an electric outage is a critical driver of customer satisfaction as well as improved SAIDI, SAIFI, and CAIDI reliability metrics.
Aclara’s fault detection and localization solution complements outage management systems by automating the delivery of outage alert and restoration confirmation messages. It utilizes patent-pending algorithms to detect when a fault occurs, eliminating reliance on customer “no power” calls to notify you of an outage.
These algorithms also enable the identification of a fault location within the network by helping to:
- Reduce delays in service restoration by targeting truck rolls to the likely location of the cause of the service disruption
- Decrease time lost “driving the line” looking for the outage
This combination of reduced latency in detecting faults and more accurate targeting of crews to the fault location enables you to improve your SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index) and CAIDI (Customer Average Interruption Duration Index) scores considerably. The fault detection and localization solution employs industry-standard APIs, enabling low-cost integration with third-party outage management solutions.
Aclara’s distribution automation solutions deliver unparalleled grid visibility and control of the electric distribution grid. Advanced analytics and communication management provided by the AclaraONE unified headend help utilities meet reliability, economic, regulatory, and safety objectives. Aclara’s purpose-built communications networks ensure that low latency, reliable communications, grid visibility, and control are available to all your grid monitoring sensors and distribution devices including capacitor banks, reclosers/line switches, voltage regulators, and load tap changers.
With AclaraONE’s robust, centralized data management capabilities, information is instantly available to all stakeholders. Our standards-based application interfaces also guarantee effective integration with other applications including DMS, SCADA, OMS, and GIS. Our advanced analytics tools turn your data into actionable information to locate and isolate faults, balance feeders, optimize the operation of capacitors and voltage management devices, and prevent outages by proactively identifying issues from electric waveforms.
Aclara’s distribution automation solutions meet your reliability, economics, regulatory and safety objectives with advanced applications:
- FLISR – fault location, isolation, and service restoration
- Peak reduction
- Balance/maximize DERs
- Power quality
- Voltage management
- Reduce wholesale costs – VAR, CVR
- Reduce losses and allow you to get more out of existing assets through capital deferment
- Energy conservation
- Renewable portfolio standards
- Validate switching
- Accurate crew information