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The benefits of unified fault file management

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, February 27, 2012

In SCADA/DMS systems, fault management is one of the main functions to reduce outage times. Also of high importance are the various computer systems used in network operation.

Outages can have serious consequences for utilities. If companies fail to comply with standard IEEE reliability indices, such as the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and the Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI), they may face stiff penalties. Aside from being fined, adhering to such standards can also help utilities gain economic efficiency.

Power outages themselves have a tremendous economic impact on communities. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, electricity disturbances cost the U.S. about $80 billion every year - roughly $47,000 an hour for manufacturing firms. Outages quickly lead to customer dissatisfaction, as was seen when Hurricane Irene ravaged the eastern seaboard. Although 80 percent of lost power was restored in the first 72 hours, many customers expressed frustration that electricity had not been returned.

Currently, disturbances are remedied by sending personnel to remote substations to analyze and resolve problems, which adds to costs and takes up valuable time. Even so, once a worker has arrived at the substation, IEDs from various vendors require different methods to access the devices and data - a cumbersome and inefficient process.

As utilities use increasingly dissimilar substation devices, managing them all can become a tangled and unanticipated time commitment. Each have different protocols and varying methods for navigating the faceplates of devices to access data that can slow down restoration operations.

Understanding the fault file data it collects will be key to faster restoration, but utilities must leverage such technology in order to experience more efficient operations.

SUBNET provides a specifically multi-vendor solution that enables utilities to receive automatic notifications when fault files have been generated in remote substations, and then provides access to the data files.

With PowerSYSTEM Center, utilities are able to securely and centrally manage their large install base of many different intelligent electronic devices (meters, relays, RTUs, etc) deployed throughout their entire transmission and distribution system.

PowerSYSTEM Center is a multi-function IED management solution that supports several additional functions including: unified relay event file collection and archiving, unified password management, unified asset monitoring and unified data historian interfaces.

For more information, come to the IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition in Orlando, Florida May 7-10, 2012 and stop by SUBNET's booth #1763 for the latest in substation automation technology.

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