Speeding up smart grid recovery from faults
An automated system speeds up smart grid recovery from unpredictable faults – saving costs while ensuring that people have electricity in their homes even in extreme weather conditions. Early pilots are already operating in real life networks in Finland.
During extreme weather conditions like storms, trees fall and lines get broken. One cannot prevent trees from falling but it is possible to make the recovery of electric lines faster and the affected areas smaller.
Grid operation center. © ABB
To respond to these challenges, Finnish power companies and IT providers joined their forces to create a solution that would address electricity outages due to extreme weather conditions.
The system can quickly identify where in the electricity lines the faults have occurred, getting a head start in fixing the problematic areas.
Moreover, it can identify how much time it would take to fix the fault and communicate that to the end consumer, which is important particularly when faced with extreme weather conditions like storms.
Thus, the system makes power cuts shorter and smaller in scale, which means fewer resources are needed to identify and fix problems.
The only alternative solution to reduce power cuts due to extreme weather conditions is to replace overhead lines with underground cabling. However, burying cables underground is expensive and time-consuming, while the new automation solution can deliver quick results with smaller investments.
The system, developed under the Smart Grids and Energy Markets (SGEM) program under the CLEEN Ltd (Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation for Energy and Environment), is not about any individual piece of technology but it is rather an overarching system of systems.
The developers include ABB, Elenia, Fortum, Helen, Viola Systems, Emtele, Nokia Siemens Networks, VTT and Tampere University of Technology.
The CLEEN Ltd was established in 2008 to facilitate and coordinate world class industry driven research in the field of energy and environment.
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