Grid Monitoring Platform Overview
With Aclara’s Grid Monitoring platform utilities can detect faults with real-time information and continuously monitor power quality across all three phases of their medium voltage distribution network. With this actionable data, utilities can boost the reliability, efficiency and power quality across their distribution system with enhanced situational awareness to:
- Detect overload and imbalance conditions.
- Perform real-time load and substation monitoring.
- Reduce outage duration (e.g. improve SAIDI and CAIDI) and momentaries (e.g. improve SAIFI, MAIFI).
- Improve power quality and customer satisfaction.
- Maximize asset life and utilization.
Whether it’s providing fault information to more quickly dispatch crews, monitoring load or getting 0.5% accuracy in voltage measurements to optimize efficiency, Aclara is helping utilities solve the real-world challenges and improve the reliability of the distribution grid.
- Smart Grid Sensors are inductively powered (maintenance-free) to last up to five times longer than battery-powered alternatives and provide visibility into down to 3 amps
- Real-time data and alarms about grid conditions using outage and fault detection analytics, configurable threshold alarming, real-time load and power quality monitoring.
- Key measurements including load current, fault current, voltage, power factor, phase angle, sags, surges and harmonics.
The Aclara’s Grid Monitoring Platform consists of
- Inductively powered smart grid sensors:
A Turnkey Platform with Sensor and Software Solution.
The core of Aclara’s Grid Monitoring Platform consists of inductively powered Smart Grid Sensors coupled with Aclara’s SMS software with Predictive Grid® Analytics. The platform provides real-time visibility into feeders and laterals down to 3 amps to detect faults, monitor power quality and detect load imbalance across all three phases of your distribution network. With this turnkey solution, utilities gain immediate visibility and stronger situational awareness into their distribution grid operations to make the critical planning and response decisions to significantly improve reliability.
With the real-time granular data from Aclara’s Grid Monitoring platform utilities can:
- Reduce customer and system outage minutes.
- Detect overload on substation transformers.
- Find imbalance on circuits.
- Reduce technical loss.
- Monitor high-value assets.
- Tell if your circuits are operating normally or improperly.
- Get visibility into your worst performing circuits.
- Find and resolve chronic power quality issues.
Deployed at the World’s Leading Utilities
Aclara’s Grid Monitoring platform is a proven solution with some of the world’s largest utilities. A leading utility in North America, saw a 2.6 % improvement in their American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score since deployment. In the UK, Western Power Distribution selected Aclara’s Grid Monitoring platform to provide better information for network planning for improved grid reliability and to painlessly meet new regulatory low-carbon requirements.
Read our case studies:
- Distribution Monitoring Case Study – NV Energy
- Smart Grid Sensor Integration – DTE Energy
- Substation Monitoring – Manitoba Hydro
- Transitioning to a Low Carbon Future – Western Power Distribution
- Detecting Transient Faults on Overhead Power Networks – UK Power Networks
Accurate, Low Cost Voltage Measurements is an Affordable Reality
With Aclara’s award-winning Power Sensor, utilities can Actively monitor and manage voltage levels from the substation throughout the entire distribution network. The Power Sensor delivers voltage measurements within 0.5% accuracy for half the cost of an optical sensor and a fifth of the cost of a line post sensor.
Aclara’ rugged Power Sensor solution is a fraction of the CapEx and OpEx cost of traditional line post sensors that take multiple crews hours to install, and have high battery or solar panel maintenance costs. Once deployed by a hot-stick, a simple ground wire is connected to the sensor’s neutral or pole ground and the installation is complete.
To eliminate the costs and aggravation stemming from communication backhaul challenges utilities face when modernizing their distribution grid, our sensors include integrated wireless communications over Wi-Fi or mobile networks. Sensors are installed quickly, safely and easily, and begin collecting data seamlessly for collection to a centralized utility managed or Aclara-hosted datacenter,
Aclara Sensor communications options include:
- Cellular Networks: Sensors communicate directly to Aclara’s SMS software without the use of a third party node, RTU or wireless aggregator.
- Wi-Fi Sensors: Get standards-based Wi-Fi communications to Aclara or third party nodes. Aclara’s Aggregator integrates Mobile Network interfaces or TCP/IP Ethernet interfaces for a broad range of wide area networks – WiMax, wireless mesh, fiber or DSL.
Configurable Alarms, Actionable Intelligence and Dashboard Reporting,
Reports and alarms can be customized to match a transformer manufacturer’s nameplate rating. Real-time overload and peak-load reporting tells you when transformers are stressed beyond capacity. Real-time phase imbalance monitoring alerts you when phases are out of balance to improve a transformer’s lifecycle. Alarms can be prioritized by severity, and events are captured in Aclara’s’ SMS dashboard for future analysis.
Seamlessly Integrated into Your Data Center or Flexible Hosting Options
Grid Monitoring data is easily collected, deployment and seamlessly integrated into your IT operations within your own data center operations, via DNP3, or can be hosted at Aclara’s advance and secure data operations. Once sensors are deployed, information can flow directly and transparently into your existing SCADA, Historian or DMS systems.
Aclara’s Grid Monitoring platform is a multi-application solution that leverages your distribution data beyond just fault detection. The Grid Monitoring platform provides superior total cost of ownership by simultaneously tackling multiple issues including fault detection and analytics, VVO/CVR applications, capacitor bank monitoring, load monitoring and balancing, worst-performing-circuit analysis and preventative maintenance. Out-of-box reporting – such as circuit load, circuit phase imbalance, substation overload, substation peak load, substation phase imbalance, and worst performing circuit ranking – is available for these applications in the Aclara SMS software where no additional integration or development.
Fault Identification – Advanced Fault Detection Analytics
Aclara’s line sensors deployed at unmonitored substations provide robust fault detection and real-time alerts to quickly and precisely deploy service crews. This combined benefit of affordable substation monitoring and fault detection is especially valuable in rural environments where crews have long drive times. Eliminating truck rolls and crew field time and dramatically reduce operational costs while delivering safe, affordable and reliable energy.
Substation Monitoring – Affordable Visibility for Unmonitored Substations
With new transformer overload, phase imbalance and peak load reports, Aclara provides an affordable way for utilities to have real-time monitoring deployed in minutes, not days
Easy to install, Aclara’s sensors are hot-stick deployable taking only a few minutes – instead or hours – to install. No need to roll fiber, de-energize substations or re-wire. Sensors are battery-free (inductively powered), require no calibration and are tested to last for 20 years. Aclara’s line sensors are software-defined for remote management and wirelessly firmware upgradable.
Aclara’s Grid Monitoring Platform is a cost-effective way to monitor circuits to know when circuits are about to be overloaded, phases are imbalanced or your grid is not operating inefficiently. The platform creates continuous remote monitoring of circuits that can help:
- Planners have real-time accurate data about the real load on your circuits.
- Operations can know if it’s safe to make a switching event during power or storm restoration.
- Your utility can have visibility as more sources of distributed generation, microgrids and renewables come online and impact load.
Connecting renewable energy sources such as solar and wind into a distribution network can disrupt grid operations and increase the likelihood of blackouts and outages. Monitoring the distribution network with new sensor technology provides grid operators with valuable, real-time data needed to improve resiliency, lowers costs and helps utilities and Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) bring more renewables online safely.
New automation systems like Distribution Management Systems (DMS) and Outage Management Systems (OMS) rely on the accurate data on loads and individual connections including fault location and automated switching to speed service restoration.
Aclara’s Auto-Phase ID and GPS Time synching of sensors gives utilities accurate phase identification throughout their distribution feeders and single-phase laterals. Auto-Phase ID enables utilities to identify and resolve inaccuracies in their GIS and CIS databases before they dispatch crews allowing for faster restoration with fewer false alarms. Aclara’s sensors also use integrated GPS receivers for an accurate and synchronized universal time reference and perform interval data logging at coordinated time periods.
Distribution Monitoring Case Study – NV Energy
Smart Grid Sensor Integration – DTE Energy
Substation Monitoring – Manitoba Hydro
Transitioning to a Low Carbon Future – Western Power Distribution