Utility safety: Schneider Electric has announced the launch of its Intelligent Loop Automation solution. This solution is composed of a certified set of architectures and configurations to manage fault location, isolation and service restoration (FLISR) automatically on distribution feeders in response to network conditions, including faults, outages and load imbalances. Tested by Schneider Electric’s engineers, Intelligent Loop Automation reduces outage restoration time and costs, improves customer satisfaction and makes field crews more efficient.
Supported by the expertise of Schneider Electric’s U.S. Energy Applications Center (EAC), utilities can deploy switchable devices, control units and remote terminal units (RTUs) with a Loop Automation configuration that is specifically tailored to their unique supply feeders. Once activated, the loop automation scheme minimizes the customer impact of outages on the local feeder network. When a fault occurs, the system will automatically open switches on either side of the faulted segment to isolate the fault and restore service to unaffected segments in less than one minute. The solution segregates the fault to a minimal network area, helping field crews to find the exact location of the fault quickly and minimize restoration time.
Schneider Electric’s Intelligent Loop Automation solution includes communication-ready control units and switchgear that is driven by a set of certified and tested rules. This orchestration enables the coordinated switching required to provide proper timing of actions to ensure safe and rapid operation. Utilization of communication systems gives utilities the ability to remotely collect information from various points on the grid in shorter time intervals, and update situational awareness and control systems, thus improving the reliability of distribution network operations.
Additional features of Schneider Electric¹s Intelligent Loop Automation solution include:
• Load Awareness: The solution includes a power capacity check to ensure adequate supply when restoring power from different switch or feeder tie points.
• Reliable Deployment: The solution has undergone the rigors of Schneider Electric¹s Tested, Validated, Documented Architecture (TVDA) process. As a result, the configuration settings, variants and test plans are delivered to ensure a rapid, yet highly reliable, deployment.
• Compatible Communication: Schneider Electric has completed the testing process with a variety of communications networks, including Cisco Systems¹ Field Area Network (FAN), to verify performance and compatibility.
• Integration Ready: The solution can be easily integrated with existing SCADA, OMS and DMS platforms using standard industry protocols.
As Schneider Electric extends offerings from the control center to the customer, the company differentiates with solutions that can be deployed turn-key or integrated with pre-existing third party components. With domain knowledge across the network value chain, Schneider Electric is best equipped to understand utility business processes and how investment in feeder automation impacts the bottom line.
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