The energy market is undergoing significant change and if utilities don’t do everything they can to provide a reliable network, they will face further challenges in the future.
A 2016 Energy Outlook Survey by KPMG found that the top ranked disruptive trends in the industry are renewable standards, emissions standards, clean power plan requirements, grid resilience, and distributed generation growth.
Due to these trends, utilities are seeing a shift in consumer engagement. People are now more aware of their supply as well as grid alternatives such as solar and battery storage, which are giving consumers the power to shop around if their network is unreliable.
Consumers want an improved and more reliable energy experience, one in which things like blackouts, even if temporary, are unacceptable.
While, around 80 per cent of overhead faults are only temporary, if power is out for even a short amount of time, it impacts a utility’s customers, call centre and bottom line.
Previously, the only way for utilities to protect spur lines from faults that cause outages were by using fuse blowing or fuse saving, but these strategies are costly and can actually decrease reliability.
Utilities typically use power fuses to protect spurs against short circuits because power fuses offer reliable protection.
However, fuse operation requires a visit from utility crews to replace the fuse before power can be restored, even if the cause of the short circuit has resolved itself.
To avoid extended outages on temporary faults, utilities may also employ a ‘fuse saving’ approach, where an upstream recloser will operate first to clear the fault before the fuse operates.
However, many more customers are impacted by momentary outages due to the operation of the upstream device.
When a fuse saving strategy is employed, before the fuse blows, upstream equipment ‘blinks’ the line to determine whether the fault is temporary or permanent. Blinking results in more momentary outages for everyone connected to the main feeder.
With a fuse blowing strategy, any fault (permanent or temporary), causes the spur fuse to operate, resulting in a costly truck roll to locate the blown fuse, inspect kilometers of line, and replace it.
In an effort to combat momentary outages S&C Electric Company have created the TripSaver® II CutoutMounted Recloser which protects spur distribution lines against both temporary and socalled permanent faults—so upstream devices don’t need to operate to protect against momentary faults.
The TripSaver® II CutoutMounted Reclosers combines the advantages of the fusesaving and fuseblowing strategies minus the drawbacks.
When a temporary fault occurs, TripSaver II eliminates momentary outages for customers on the main feeder by only blinking the affected spur line.
This spur line protection strategy improves power utility’s reliability and bottom line, therefore decreasing the cost of electricity to the end users.
Tripsaver II is ideally suited for protection of spur lines that experience frequent transient faults.
This self-powered, electronically controlled, single-phase vacuum fault interrupter, is available for installation in new or existing S&C or MacLean Power Systems fuse cut-out mountings.
This partner content is brought to you by S&C. Visit www.sandc.com to learn more about reducing momentary outages and improving reliability to customers.