Utility outage management: Schneider offers new weather intelligence

National Grid Helicopter G-RIDA
Integrated weather intelligence aims to offer a geospatial view of network asset data and operations combined with real-time weather events for improved outage management

Global energy management company Schneider Electric has integrated weather intelligence into its ArcFM Responder outage management system to help utilities reliably manage distribution network outages.

According to a company statement, weather data integrated into its ArcFM Responder outage management system “enables utilities to easily visualise near real-time weather events overlain on network asset data.

Schneider added: “The combination allows the utility to correlate weather impacts on their assets, stage crews to better respond to weather events while ensuring their safety, and determine which sections of their system are at the greatest risk for damage.”

The solution offers a geospatial view of network asset data and operations combined with real-time weather events affording utilities reduced patrol time, being able to prioritise work more effectively, accurate and detailed outage reports and smooth integration with other systems, such as CIS, SCADA, AMI and work management.

US outages worse in summer than winter

Meanwhile, in the US smart grid sensor company Tollgrade Communications has released updates on its grid modernization project in partnership with Detroit utility DTE Energy.

The pair are working on a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action for a comprehensive grid modernisation project in the Detroit metropolitan area.

The idea is to test a predictive grid concept within the utility’s service area using Tollgrade’s smart grid solution LightHouse, a monitoring platform that aims to assess faults and asset health problems.

The report cites that by a substantial margin, the most frequent events measured were line disturbances, defined as short-lived faults that do not trip protection devices or typically raise alarms.

Key findings show that most line disturbances and outages occur in the summer months then drop off dramatically in October, with a slight uptick in the winter during the months of November and December.

The data also shows a large spike in events of all types in March due to several ice storms that impacted a large section of North America.

The results of the trial aims to show how US utilities can better detect and respond proactively to power outages by monitoring its smart grid sensors.

Vince Dow, DTE vice president, Distribution Operations said: “The idea is to utilise LightHouse sensors and analytics to begin to identify outages before they occur and minimise the impact of aging infrastructure on our distribution grid.”