AMI is gateway to better fault restoration, says new report

Customer demand for fast electrical service restoration is driving the industry for fault location, isolation and service restoration (FLISR) systems, according to US intelligence company Navigant Research.

The worldwide market for FLISR hardware will grow from US$2.4 billion annually in 2014 to nearly US$5.4 billion in 2023, estimates the report.

Bob Lockhart, research director with Navigant Research, said: “Improving these indicators can lead directly to improved customer satisfaction and reduced penalties by industry regulators, giving FLISR a quantifiable return on investment.”

He added: “FLISR is one of the more effective applications of distribution automation technology, and can noticeably improve utility performance metrics such as the system average interruption duration index and the system average interruption frequency index.”

In the US, investment grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have funded significant rollouts of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems.

Between 2009 and 2012, more than US$1 billion was spent on distribution assets, including approximately US$300 million on automated switches that could be used for FLISR.

While utilities are genuinely interested in smart metering, according to the report, they also see those AMI deployments as a means to acquire the necessary network for distribution automation applications such as FLISR.

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