OwnerJuly 2015 to presentEl Cerrito

Finding best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow: energy efficiency, demand response,, solar, wind, electric vehicles, biofuels and smart grid. It’s all the innovations that make the energy we use more secure, clean, and affordable. The energy world's best hopes lie in what's happening in the digital realm, especially in data analytics.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Efficient Energy Storage

Low-cost electrical energy storage will transform renewable energy sources from a bit player to a mainstream role in our energy economy. It is required for the use of electricity generated from intermittent, renewable sources such as solar and wind.

Energy Storage Options - Comparing Power and Discharge Time

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1. Background

2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Next Steps
7. Success Factors
8. Companies/Organizations
9. Links

In 2010, Texas wholesale power prices went negative 17% of the time due to too much wind and not enough storage. Sometimes, generators operating nuclear, gas, or other plants actually pay other generators to shut down, since ultimately that’s cheaper than ramping down their own plants.  

  • The lack of grid-scale storage means that when there is too much wind or solar energy for the transmission grid to handle, or when there is no buyer in the market, grid operators order producers to “curtail” production — stop the turbines, disconnect the solar array.  In Texas these curtailments led to an estimated $57 million in generation losses in 2010, according to PBT Consulting. Meanwhile, Texas keeps building more wind generation.Wind curtailments have additional costs — especially negative prices in wholesale power markets. Other generators usually end up paying this cost, through depressed prices for their production

  • Large-scale energy storage is one of the Federal focus areas for the Smart Grid. Electric energy storage can increase the value of electricity by enabling it to be used whenever and wherever needed.

  • While the grid has historically consisted of power generators and power users, now we are beginning to see devices that are both generators and users -- for example, energy storage and plug in electric vehicle.

  • Improved electrical energy storage is needed for the national electrical grid to relieve current stresses on the grid and to cope with the growth of intermittent renewable energy sources. Mechanical energy storage technologies such as pumping water uphill and compressed air storage are feasible with current technology, but these can’t be used everywhere. Electrochemical energy storage using batteries offers higher stored energy per volume and easier deployment, but is today much more costly. Even so, large batteries are already being deployed to help control frequency fluctuations on the grid, because they can provide lots of power for a short period.

2. Acronyms/Definitions
  1. AB2514 - California Assembly Bill 2514, as originally written by state Rep. Nancy Skinner and would have required that the state’s utilities match 2.25 percent of their peak loads with energy storage by 2014, and 5 percent by 2020 — a goal that could have equated to about 3,400 MW of storage capacity in the next 10 years.

    When signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in September 2010, the law requires the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), by March 1, 2012, to open a proceeding to determine appropriate targets, if any, for each load-serving entity to procure viable and cost-effective energy storage systems and, by October 1, 2013, to adopt an energy storage system procurement target, if determined to be appropriate, to be achieved by each load-serving entity by December 31, 2015, and a second target to be achieved by December 31, 2020.

  2. Ancillary Services - Balancing services used to balance generation and demand in tightly limited situations to maintain the alternating current (AC)system frequency of 60 Hz. EES is perfectly suited to provide this service by absorbing electric energy (charging cycle) whenever there is too much generation for a given demand and by injecting electric energy into the power grid discharging cycle) when there is too little generation. Traditionally, these services have been performed by conventional gas or steam turbine technologies. But rather than varying the torque of large rotary turbo-machinery on a second-by-second basis, electrochemical EES is much better suited to quickly respond to the grid needs.

  3. Battery Storage - Utilities typically use batteries to provide an uninterruptible supply of electricity to power substation switchgear and to start backup power systems. However, there is an interest to go beyond these applications by performing load leveling and peak shaving with battery systems that can store and dispatch power over a period of many hours. Batteries also increase power quality and reliability for residential, commercial, and industrial customers by providing backup and ride-through during power outages.

  4. CAES - See my blog article Compressed Air Energy Storage - Uses pressurized air as the energy storage medium. An electric motor-driven compressor is used to pressurize the storage reservoir using off-peak energy and air is released from the reservoir through a turbine during on-peak hours to produce energy. Ideal locations for large compressed air energy storage reservoirs are aquifers, conventional mines in hard rock, and hydraulically mined salt caverns. Air can be stored in pressurized tanks for small systems.

  5. Curtailment - A reduction in the output of a generator from what it could otherwise produce given available resources, typically on an involuntary basis. Curtailment of generation has been a normal occurrence since the beginning of the electric power industry. However, owners of wind and solar generation, which have no fuel costs, are concerned about the impacts of curtailment on project economics. Operator-induced curtailment typically occurs because of transmission congestion or lack of transmission access, but it can occur for a variety of other reasons, such as excess generation during low load periods, voltage, or interconnection issues.

  6. EDLC - Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors - (Also known as supercapacitor, supercondenser, pseudocapacitor, or ultracapacitor) Store energy directly as charge. An EDLC is an electrochemical capacitor with relatively high energy density. Compared to conventional electrolytic capacitors the energy density is typically on the order of hundreds of times greater. In comparison with conventional batteries or fuel cells, EDLCs also have a much higher power density.

  7. ESS - Energy Storage System - Devices or physical media that store some form of energy to perform some useful operation at a later time. A device that stores energy is sometimes called an accumulator.

  8. DER - Distributed Energy Resources - Small-scale energy generation/storage sources capable of providing temporary changes in electricity supply. Expands on Distributed Generation (DG) to include technologies such as battery energy storage, and superconducting magnetic energy storage.

  9. Flow Batteries - (See my blog Article: Battery Storage) Flow batteries differ from conventional rechargeable batteries in one significant way: the power and energy ratings of a flow battery are independent of each other. This is made possible by the separation of the electrolyte and the battery stack (or fuel cell stack). A flow battery, on the other hand, stores and releases energy by means of a reversible electrochemical reaction between two electrolyte solutions. There are four leading flow battery technologies: Polysulfide Bromide (PSB), Vanadium Redox (VRB), Zinc Bromine (ZnBr), and Hydrogen Bromine (H-Br).

  10. Flywheel - (See my Blog Article: Flywheel) An electromechanical device that couples a motor generator with a rotating mass to store energy for short durations.

  11. NASE - Network Attached Storage for Energy - Right now, many companies are talking mostly about planting energy storage facilities where power like solar or wind is generated. But why not put energy storage where it gets consumed, sort of the way Akamai figured out how to cache network data closer to consumers.

  12. SMES - (See my blog article Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage) - Energy is stored in the field of a large magnetic coil with direct current flowing. It can be converted back to AC electric current as needed. Low temperature SMES cooled by liquid helium is commercially available. High temperature SMES cooled by liquid nitrogen is still in the development stage and may become a viable commercial energy storage source in the future. SMES systems are large and generally used for short durations, such as utility switching events.

  13. Supercapacitors (also known as Ultra-capacitors) are DC energy sources and must be interfaced to the electric grid with a static power conditioner, providing 60-Hz output. A supercapacitor provides power during short duration interruptions and voltage sags. By combining a supercapacitor with a battery-based uninterruptible power supply system, the life of the batteries can be extended. The batteries provide power only during the longer interruptions, reducing the cycling duty on the battery. Small supercapacitors are commercially available to extend battery life in electronic equipment, but large supercapacitors are still in development, but may soon become a viable component of the energy storage field.

3. Business Case
  • A Smart Grid is a key enabler for energy storage with the goal of peak reduction.

  • Recently, advancements with emerging storage technologies, particularly in battery, flywheel and above ground compressed air energy storage provide the potential of making Storage a ubiquitous Smart Grid Tool. There have been advances in fast response, multiple cycles, transportability The technologies all perform differently but can excel is specific applications.

  • Distributed energy storage will find applications on both the utility and customer sides of the meter. Utilities are using storage to defer equipment upgrades and to reduce loads at congestion points. Customers use energy storage to improve power quality, reduce demand charges and to participate in demand response programs with minimal impact on their operations. Communities, campuses and bases can use storage as critical elements of micro-grids and energy management systems. Both customers and utilities can use energy storage in conjunction with photovoltaic (PV) systems to smooth output and time-transfer energy generated at times of low value to times of high value. Community PV/Storage systems are being considered for green residential, light commercial and micro-grid projects.

Power and Energy Positioning of Energy Storage Options

4. Benefits
  • Helps Manage Demand - The deployment of energy storage technologies to help balance production to demand while improving capacity factors may be more acceptable politically than other types of infrastructure upgrades and potentially less disruptive to the U.S. economy and society

  • Integrate Intermittent Renewable Generation - As wind power deployment increases, wind output may begin to exceed electricity demand during certain times of the year, which would necessitate curtailment unless energy storage options are available. The July 2008 DOE report 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply discusses the scenario in which integration of 300 GW of wind energy into the U.S. grid is achieved To deal with the variability of the wind energy output, approximately 50 GW of new peaking plant gas turbines would be used to supplement or compensate for the variability of the wind power’s output. Energy storage could serve a portion of this needed capacity.

  • Defer Transmission Upgrades - Energy storage may be able to reduce the transmission capacity needed for renewables by up to two-thirds. Many large-scale renewable energy facilities for solar and wind farms are located in remote areas that require new transmission lines to access them. However, energy storage could reduce the cost of these lines by decreasing the capacity of transmission needed to transmit the electricity. Without storage, the transmission lines to these remote sites would be built to accommodate the maximum amount of wind or solar energy produced, or else the facilities would have to dump any excess energy that the line cannot accommodate. According to the Electricity Advisory Committee, for some wind projects, it is currently more cost-effective either to build transmission capacity for less than the full energy maximum of the project or dump surplus energy during the hours when output exceeds transmission capacity.

  • Control Frequency - Provides frequency regulation to maintain the balance between the network's load and power generated. Provides stability, VAR support, power quality and transfer-leveling, and reliability.

  • Supports Micro-grid Operations - Balances microgrids to achieve a good match between generation and load.

  • Improves Reliability - interruption protection, voltage support and power quality. Electric energy storage increases the tolerance of sensitive electrical equipment and end-use devices to withstand the frequent power quality variations in the electrical environment. Achieve a more reliable power supply for high tech industrial facilities.

  • Ancillary Services - Fast response capabilities allow devices to perform better than current devices (Increased need for regulation) A significant issue for regulation is that traditional fossil generation plants are required causing the renewable integration needs from increasing emissions Reduce damages from greenhouse gas emissions due to generation from clean energy generation substituting for power from less clean sources.

5. Risks/Issues
  • Regulatory Treatment of Storage & Asset Classification - Today's regulatory structure and utility processes disfavors energy storage. Storage is neither supply nor demand in a traditional sense and existing regulatory framework is not set up to manage it. It is a matter of debate whether the cost of energy storage technologies utilized to shift transmission utilization to match capacity should be a generation or a transmission asset because of its multifaceted implications for business models, sources of financing, and regulatory cost recovery.
    1. Energy Storage is a transmission application because it is directly linked to the transmission system and its operation, without any bias towards its classification as such for regulatory or business model questions.
    2. Storage can also be used for energy price arbitraging and production leveling, which are normally generation functions and which developers prefer to perform on a merchant basis so that they can access market prices. Also, the operator takes ownership of the energy in redelivering it which isn’t a transmission function.
      We need appropriate regulatory, market, and incentive treatments to encourage storage in support of renewable energy. When Storage is used in a multi-purpose application (as at a substation), it is unclear how to allocate costs and benefits for cost recovery. Because these benefits address different functions (generation vs. transmission), it may be difficult to measure the different benefits and allow for full cost recovery based on these benefits.
    3. FERC rules for energy storage asset class

  • Cost Competitiveness - High cost of energy storage technologies due to the small scale of production. The costs of energy storage options need to be compared to other options, including the construction of new transmission infrastructure.

  • Value Not Monetized - Failure of the current marketplace to monetize the true value of storage. Storage has over 30 different elements of value and, right now, very few of those elements of value are monetized in the marketplace.

  • Awareness - Lack of awareness of the benefits of energy storage among policy-makers and the public. Many policy-makers, grid operators, and the general public are unaware of what energy storage is, the specific technologies that comprise energy storage, the recent technological advancements, data about its effectiveness, and what benefits energy storage can provide

  • DER Interoperability Standards Immature - Currently, commercial storage technology is not realistically capable of supporting the full Smart Grid dispatchable storage vision, which makes it difficult to predict what information needs will be required. DER communications are covered by the IEC 61850 series. At present, it is anticipated that DER standards will support the basic information required for communication with storage devices.

  • Rate Schedules Needed - There needs to be a rate schedule that makes thermal energy storage economically feasible. We need a rate schedule for the whole state, perhaps for the whole nation, which guarantees the difference of on-peak and off-peak energy costs or demand costs, to insure and guarantee for the next, ten years, so that investors and builders and people that want to build central plants can invest and know this is the predictions we can have. Thermal energy storage is the most neglected demand-shifting optional device we've had.

  • Smart Grid Integration - Identifying the control technologies and algorithms necessary to ensure storage can seamlessly work with Wind, Solar, and Grid requirements when integrating renewables to the electricity grid.

  • Market Information - Information on energy balance, requirements for ancillary services and related market values may not be available. In the case of longer term storage (minutes to hours) for energy arbitrage, load following and ramping, market information on both the current value of energy and the expected future value will be required to effectively schedule changing and discharging. Since all storage systems will have both a capital and an operational cost component, its dispatch will depend primarily on capacity and on energy value. Also the capacity and energy limits of the storage systems will need to be communicated back to either a dispatcher or aggregator.

  • Communications - In the case of short-term storage (seconds to minutes) for ancillary services, including frequency regulation, reactive supply and voltage support, requires fast and secure communications that allow for automatic control of the resource.

  • Matching Technologies to Applications

6. Next Steps
  • California ESS Procurement Targets - AB 2514 requires the CPUC, by March 1, 2012, to open a proceeding to determine appropriate targets, if any, for each load-serving entity to procure viable and cost-effective energy storage systems.  Under the terms of AB 2514, by  October 1, 2013 the CPUC shall adopt an energy storage system procurement target, if determined to be appropriate, to be achieved by each load-serving entity by December 31, 2015, and a second target to be achieved by December 31, 2020. In addition, the CPUC should consider a variety of possible policies to encourage the cost-effective deployment of energy storage systems, including refinement of existing procurement methods to properly value energy storage systems.
    • In October 2013, the CPUC adopted an energy storage procurement framework and established an energy storage target of 1,325 megawatts for PG&E, Edison, and SDG&E by 2020, with installations required no later than the end of 2024. 
    • Read the D.10-03-040 
    • Read the press release 
    • As required by D.13-10-040, on February 28, 2015, the three Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) - PG&E, SCE and SDG&E, filed their Energy Storage (ES) Application containing a proposal for the first ES procurement period (2014-2016).

      On October 16, 2014, the CPUC approved the ES Applications with modifications in D.14-10-045.

      The IOUs will file their Applications with final ES request for offer (RFO) results for CPUC approval by December 1, 2015.

      Further information regarding IOU RFO Process can be accessed at: 
  • Power-oriented (fast) Energy Storage will grow quickly in the near to mid term but will be constrained in the long term by a modest total market size. Power-oriented (fast) energy storage is poised for strong near- to mid-term growth. Its most significant component, the frequency regulation market, has recently been opened up for direct entry by energy storage in some ISO regions of the U.S. with additional ISOs anticipated.

    This means that energy storage can secure contracts for grid frequency regulation on the open market and the owner of the system will get compensated in cash. This obtainable, all cash benefit stream makes obtaining compensation for an energy storage system much less complicated than many other implementations. New highly robust, moderate cost lithium-ion batteries are able to provide this service cost effectively and are beginning to be deployed successfully in a few regions of the U.S. and in Chile. This trend is expected to continue and accelerate with the addition of new renewable resources on the grid and further decreases in the cost of lithium-ion batteries.

  • Energy-Oriented (load shifting) energy storage has a massive total market size, however it is only beginning to be ready to be exploited. Energy-oriented (load shifting) energy storage offers a number of potentially lucrative opportunities for implementations that strategically combine applications. While wholesale load shifting is sometimes discussed, it does not create enough value to be cost effective on its own in most situations right now. There are many existing strategic load shifting implementations that are or are close to becoming cost effective.

    The challenge with these implementations is that some of the benefits are generated as non-cash benefits which can be difficult to monetize. Additionally, the benefits come from bundling different value streams, which are feasible technically but challenging to accrue to one entity for regulatory reasons. In some parts of the world, like Japan, where the value created from single applications is higher or utilities are more easily able to accrue value from the multiple benefits generated, sodium sulfur (NaS) load shifting energy storage has already gained a good foothold and has recently gained favor in other countries like France and the UAE, though only small pilot installations exist in the U.S. New flow battery technology, particularly zinc-bromide, has recently become more cost effective than NaS for many implementations and is expected to grow to surpass NaS installations by 2015. Advanced lead acid batteries are also expected to show impressive growth due to further cost reduction.

  • Create an energy storage asset class - A separate asset class could provide more certainty that energy storage costs can be reimbursed and provide more certainty in that respect, and I think if FERC were to take the lead on that, that that would have a trickledown effect for State policies.
  • Unbundled Ancillary Services - ISO's should unbundle ancillary services, to provide energy storage technologies and manufacturers and developers to have an in, to be able to bid on some of these ancillary services.

  • Research & Development
    • Modeling and analysis to determine how much storage is required to support state and national renewable goals.
    • Determining appropriate regulatory, market, and incentive treatments to encourage storage in support of renewables.
    • Identifying the control technologies and algorithms necessary to ensure storage can seamlessly work with Wind.
    • Determining how to allocate costs and benefits for cost recovery when storage is used in a multi-purpose application.

7. Success Factors
  • Allow utilities to include investments in energy storage in their electricity ratebase
  • Launch proceedings and studies to quantify the full value of energy storage and explore policies needed to stimulate its deployment
  • Extend tax credits and loan guarantees to energy storage projects
  • Make investments in energy storage a high priority and compile and publicize data on its effectiveness

8. Companies/Organizations
  • CESA - California Energy Storage Alliance - The alliance includes battery makers such as EnerVault, A123Systems, Deeya Energy, Prudent Energy, Xtreme Power, ZBB, Powergetics and AltairNano, as well as flywheel maker Beacon Power, air conditioner energy storage maker Ice Energy, solar panel giant Suntech and oil, gas and energy services giant Chevron. That list is representative of the range of technologies that could play a role in helping California meet such a challenging goal.

  • Green Charge Networks - Santa Clara, CA -  Founded in 2009, focuses on helping businesses and institutions reduce peak demand charges through a combination of predictive software and battery hardware the company calls "power efficiency." Green Charge Networks claims to be the first company to offer Power Efficiency Leases. Similar to the way that solar leases helped solar become mainstream by allowing more homeowners to go solar with zero money down, GCN aims to help more businesses utilize energy storage by offering them Greenstations at zero upfront cost.

    The idea of power efficiency builds off the difference between energy (kWh) and power (kW). Energy efficiency focuses on reducing the amount of energy consumed while power efficiency focuses on reducing the rate at which energy is used, also known as peak demand. Commercial and Industrial electric tariffs include costs for peak demand known as Demand Charges.

    Green Charge operates under a shared savings model with customers. The company owns systems at customer facilities and covers the capital expenses for installation and interconnection, as well as provides ongoing operations and maintenance services.

    Green Charge Networks received $12 million in a grant from the United States Department of Energy in 2011. The company received further funding from angel investor Richard Lowenthal, founder and CTO of car charging network ChargePoint, in December 2013.  In March 2014, Green Charge Networks received $10 million in financing from TIP Capital to finance energy storage projects for their customers with zero upfront cost.  In July 2014, Green Charge Networks secured $56 million in capital from K Road DG, a distributed energy and smart grid solution company

  • xxx

9. Links
  1. California Energy Storage Roadmap - The California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), developed an energy storage roadmap  that identifies policy, technology and process changes to address challenges faced by the energy storage sector. The comprehensive roadmap assesses the current market environment and regulatory policies for connecting new energy storage technology to the state’s power grid. It is the result of collaboration by the three organizations and input from more than 400 stakeholders, including utilities, technology companies, environmental groups, and interested parties.

  2. NREL - Wind and Solar Energy Curtailment: Experience and Practices in the United States Lori Bird, Jaquelin Cochran, and Xi Wang March 2014

  3. California Energy Commission  - Committee Workshop on Energy Storage for Renewable Integration - April 28, 2011

  4. Electricity Storage Association - Washington DC

  5. CPUC Proceeding on Electric Energy Storage. - On April 2, 2015, the California Public Utilities (CPUC or Commission) opened an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) in response to the enactment and ongoing implementation of legislation Assembly Bill 2514 and to continue to refine policies and program details, which established the Energy Storage Procurement Framework and Program and approved the utilities' applications in implementing the program. This rulemaking considers recommendations included in the California Energy Storage Roadmap, an interagency guidance document which was jointly developed by the California Independent System Operator, the California Energy Commission and the CPUC.

  6. UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment and the UCLA School of Law’s Environmen­tal Law Center and Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment White paper on the potential of energy storage. July 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Consumer Behavior Change

Not all consumers will be willing to learn about Smart Meters, analyze utility bills, pay for the upgrades or even care. The story will be a particularly hard sell during tough economic times.

The Smart Grid will provide many pathways to engage the consumer

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1. Background

2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Success Factors
7. Companies & Organizations
8. Links

  • Developing a Smart Grid includes technical items like meters, technology, but the real goal is behavior change. My Dynamic Pricing post  showed how financial motivation will be used to engage customers to change their energy use behavior. However, the behavior change issue is more deeply rooted.

  • It is very hard to drive behavior change and very few industries have done this. The technology industry usually lets people do what they were doing already in a new way. In addition, low cost electricity at any time consumers want to use it is seen as a core right. Cheap anytime electricity is seen as an entitlement, the customer feels they own the electrons in their home. Changing these attitudes and competing for customers’ attention and how they use their time will require a concerted effort.

  • As an industry, we have kept the magic behind the "wall switch" to ourselves. Therefore in order to educate our customers on the value proposition of smart grid, do we first have to educate them on some of that “magic”? Will they care?

  • The average American knows very little about personal energy consumption and energy savings. According to a survey published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Americans overestimate the energy savings of actions like turning off lights, and riding public transportation, but underestimate the energy consumption of other things like using central air conditioning. A key to guiding people to make better decisions about their own energy usage, will be establishing the knowledge about how energy flows work at an earlier age.

  • The power industry has seen little innovation over the past century, which is why greentech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are so eager to build companies in this industry. But another result is that utility consumers are used to a routine, never-changing relationship with the utility, and aren’t used to any type of change, period.

2. Acronyms/Definitions
  • Curtailment - The right of a transmission provider to interrupt all or part of a transmission service due to constraints that reduce the capability of the transmission network to provide that service.

    If customers are curtailed inconveniently, with a high frequency of occurrence, there will be tremendous push-back. Less inconvenient demand management facilitated by the smart grid is of critical importance.

  • Green Button - a feature that allows residential and commercial customers to download detailed energy-use information in a standardized format to better manage electricity consumption and cost.

    Green Button is an industry-led effort that responds to a White House call-to-action: provide electricity customers with easy access to their energy usage data in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format via a "Green Button" on electric utilities' website. Green Button is based on a common technical standard developed in collaboration with a public-private partnership supported by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. Voluntary adoption of a consensus standard by utilities across the Nation allows software developers and other entrepreneurs to leverage a sufficiently large market to support the creation of innovative applications that can help consumers make the most of their energy usage information.

    Today, more than 60 million households and businesses can use Green Button to access their own energy usage data from their electric utility, and a growing set of companies are offering products, services, and applications that use Green Button data

    Numerous companies are already developing Web and smartphone applications and services for businesses and consumers that can use Green Button data to help consumers choose the most economical rate plan for their use patterns; deliver customized energy-efficiency tips; provide easy-to-use tools to size and finance rooftop solar panels; and conduct virtual energy audits that can cut costs for building owners and speed the initiation of retrofits.

  • PCT – Programmable Communicating Thermostats - There was a large California citizens backlash over rumors of that PCT would be required in building codes and the utilities would control air conditioning use without the consumer’s knowledge. Even though these rumors weren’t true and the building code made economic sense, the building code change was defeated.

3. Business Case
  • In April 2010, the California PUC ruled that utilities can add gains from behavior change programs to their energy efficiency goals. These programs attempt to reduce power consumption by changing the behavior of consumers.
  • A Smart Grid is a key enabler in communicating peak prices to consumers; and integrating smart appliances, with the goal of changing consumer behavior. Seeing the consequences of actions – or not is critical to successful behavior change. Successful smart grid implementation requires that electricity customers—residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional—have the information and the tools needed to participate in the market. Clear and consistent information, e.g., when the grid experiences peak demand, and effective tools, e.g., switches and smart appliances, enables informed and active customer participation in the smart grid. Service providers and others need to be encouraged to develop interoperable devices, programs, and other services on a timely basis to enable customers to participate in smart grid programs.

  • A four step process leads to behavior change:
    1. Awareness
      The Smart Grid is competing for customer attention and follow-through. It needs to be free and simple. Consumers may have no idea what to do with too many confusing choices. They may think their impact is so small, it doesn’t matter what they do.

    2. Familiarity and Education
      • Money can be a motivator, but only big energy costs motivate change. People may think of themselves as frugal, but utility bills are invisible – unless there’s a big spike. Still, savings can feel like a little reward – EnergyStar rebate feels good.
      • Customers need to see the “value proposition” for participating in the smart grid, and that their utility bills will be reduced. Levels of knowledge and quality of information will differ by region, utility, and delivery point on the grid; understanding these regional and local differences will impact the manner in which customers participate in smart grid decisions. Regulators, legislators, and others need to be educated on the opportunities provided by the smart grid, as well as the costs and benefits of smart grid investments.

    3. Consideration

      • Behavior change needs to be aligned to consumers live style priorities. It should make them feel good about what they are doing. Values are connected to emotion and behavior. Talk to people in terms of these values they will have more power. Values messages could include: don’t waste, be frugal, stay safe, political identity – no foreign oil. A direct “Green” messaging is not a strong source of value change.

      • Influencers affect what people do. Family members and trusted media personalities trigger change. To instigate change, find the influencers that matter to people and influence them.

      • Fit to life is critical. Optional behaviors must be easy and have minimal experiential and financial cost. I’m not going to “sacrifice,” be inconvenienced, or feel like I lost something. Target New behaviors that are easy to fit into life should be targeted first—follow lessons of recycling

    4. Participation
      Community is the best target for change. Seeing people from my reference community change encourages individual change. Apples to apples comparative information within a neighborhood or area results in energetic competition to reduce energy use. Change in groups feels like significant impact – and competition can motivate. Known communities support new behaviors and create communal experience. Find the Hub of change: People and influencers belong to communities.

  • Revealing the Values of the New Energy Consumer Accenture end-consumer observatory on electricity management 2011
    • Key finding #1: "While consumers regard their utilities as the primary provider for energy-related products and services, dynamic business models are emerging." Specifically, Guthridge told us, while utilities are still the default incumbent, "one quarter of customers (indicated they) would buy their simple electric service from someone other than their utility," if given the option. 73 percent of consumers surveyed indicated they would consider buying in-home products and services from non-traditional providers.

    • Key finding #2: "Price is the pivotal factor in the acceptance of electricity management programs, but price alone will not drive adoption." While 83 percent of the global population in the survey said the No. 1 impact for them was the cost the new service would add to their utility bills, 73 percent indicated that a utility loyalty program also ranked very high in perceived value. Last year's North American research clearly pointed to a focus on in-home displays as a high value-add, but Guthridge said this year the trend is moving to more set-it-and-forget-it convenience. There's a gender difference here, as well. "Men tend to focus on technology channels, while women are more focused on solutions that are intuitive and easy to use across the family."

    • Key finding #3: "A wide array of consumer preferences is driving the need for differentiated propositions and experiences." For utilities, this means "you can't have a single program or a single pricing structure that will appeal to the whole breadth and depth of residential customers, especially in the U.S.," Guthridge said. Additionally, "more than 60 percent of the customer base does not really want heavy, hands-on management of their energy savings...Tailoring the programs, products and channels to match the (customer) segments is most important."

    • Key finding #4: "Consumers will respond to programs that consider their full spectrum of values and preferences." They want programs that are easy to use, simple and convenient, and with some "uniqueness" or customization to fit their own personal needs.

  • A 2010 national survey by Market Strategies International shows that the U.S. Electric Industry faces an interesting challenge – more than three-quarters of Americans do not recognize or understand the industry’s best available technologies to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and curb global warming – the smart grid and smart meters.

  • Seventy-nine percent of Americans claim to know little or nothing about the smart grid, while 76 percent lack knowledge or understanding of smart meters However, the study also shows that Americans are very supportive once the technologies have been explained to them. 75 percent feel implementing Smart Grid/Smart Meters should be a priority over the next 1-5 years. 67 percent support their utilities implementing these technologies (when costs to consumers are estimated at $6-$10 per month). To underscore the support, the results vary only slightly at lower or higher monthly cost estimates.
Direct feedback on energy use can save up to 120 billion KWh by 2030

4. Benefits
  • Make smart choices based on better information alone results in 5% - 15% savings seen in studies. Average US electric bill is about $1200 per year so the savings are about $120 per household. With about 100 million US households this equates to $12 billion per year.
  • More Options for Consumers
  • Lower overall energy costs
  • More choices on how to meet individual consumer needs
  • Dynamic rates to better integrated needs of grid and consumer

5. Risks/Issues
  • Market Size - Green True Believers represent the smallest percentage of total consumer market. For example, only early adopters care about a Carbon Calculator. Mainstream people have little interest in any of this stuff. According to the 2009 Green Power Progress Survey released in August, $48 is the average price American will pay in a one-time fee for installation of hardware to facilitate the "benefits of smart grid technology" And out of the respondents that yielded that average, a quarter weren't willing to pay anything at all, another quarter weren't willing to pay more than $25, and only 7 percent would pay more than $100.

    The survey found there is another category of "green elites," or people who said they are involved in sustainability or environmental efforts, willing to pay about $70 on average, with 14 percent of them willing to pay $100 or more.

  • Immateriality of Savings - The few dollars per month that consumers get for letting the utility control their lights, refrigerator, AC, etc. are miniscule compared to my original justification for purchasing that appliance. They don't want the complexity added to my life. A 2011 Accenture study found the modest savings from active energy management in a home—doesn't necessarily motivate persistent behavior. But price incentives bundled with other offerings can motivate persistent behavioral changes, Accenture found. Rewards programs used in other industries, for example, may work for utilities. Convenience, loyalty points, a technology or some other variable must be combined with price to find the right combination to drive higher levels of adoption upfront and over time.

  • Short Term Cost vs. Longer Term Benefit - A 2011 consumer survey by Harris Interactive found There is little understanding of the longer-term benefits in energy cost savings, many of which can exceed the initial higher cost of the equipment investment in less than a year (which translates to an ROI greater than 100%.) The biggest obstacle to widespread consumer, industrial and commercial adoption of energy efficient technologies remains the up-front sticker shock.

    34% of US respondents to the Harris survey said they would make more room in their budget for energy efficiency efforts. On the other hand, a significant two-thirds said they were willing to make behavioral changes like using their energy-intensive devices at different times to conserve energy.

  • Carry-Over Perceptions - Consumers remain unconvinced of the value of energy efficiency, in part due to skewed perceptions of its true cost. For example, the general public believes that an energy-efficient building has an upfront cost premium of nearly 20%, while the actual premium is a mere 0% to 3% on average.  Consumers equate energy efficiency with sacrificing choice, function, comfort, convenience, and aesthetics. Efficiency still bears a stigma from flawed, first-generation versions of products like compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and electronic ballasts. Despite subsequent technology advances, many skeptics still associate saving energy with the reduced function and high initial cost of those early devices.

  • Entitlement - Smart grid, in order to return the benefits of the business case must overcome this societal concept that electricity is a right. To just assume that people will buy into the concept because it is "good for society" is naive and dangerous.

  • Fear of Big Brother - Auto correct can be annoying to some. A Prius Display provides real time feedback on gas mileage to help drivers modulate the way they. Some people like it, but others hate it because they don’t like to be hectored by car.

  • Cost – Consumers expect to pay $300 or less Consumers may be reluctant to add new devices and retrofit homes to save a few dollars a year

  • Privacy – Consumers don’t want an intrusive system.

  • Security – Concerns about compromising personal and home safety

  • Hassle– Competing for scarce consumer attention and time.. People will only do optional things if it is easy and fits with life There is a 40% churn rate on twitter, participation needs to be encouraged over time.

  • Ignorance - It is still unclear what percentage of the public is aware of the Smart Grid. It is clear that consumer awareness will be needed for adoption of the program and supporting the ultimate goal of energy conservation.

  • Chasm Model - Holds that there’s a big difference between what companies need to do to effectively sell technology products to early adopters and what they need to do to sell to the early and late majority of the technology adoption lifecycle (source: Joe M. Bohlen, George M. Beal and Everett M. Rogers)

    Early adopters are technology enthusiasts looking for a radical shift, where the early majority simply seeks productivity improvement. Early adopters hope to get a jump on competition, lower their costs, get to market faster, have more complete customer service or get some other similar business advantage. Those in the majority of the market, however, want to minimize discontinuity. They want evolution, not revolution. They want technology to enhance, not overthrow, established ways of doing business. And they don’t want to debug someone’s product—they want it to work properly and to integrate with existing technology.

    The chasm occurs because the majority of the market wants references from other customers like them, but all that pre-chasm vendors can offer are references to early adopters. Companies trying to cross the chasm run into trouble because they’re essentially operating without a reference base, trying to sell to a market that’s highly reference oriented.

    Bridging this gulf is awkward, because if they’re to be successful, companies must adopt new strategies just at the time they’re becoming most comfortable with ones that seem to work.

    The only reliable way to exit the chasm is to target a niche market on the other side made up of pragmatists united by a common problem for which there is no known solution. These pragmatists are motivated to help the new technology cross the chasm if it is packaged as a complete solution to their problem.

    Why is this counter-intuitive and hard?
    • Niche marketing feels like leaving sales on the table – Companies that are sales-driven and lured into selling to any market segment miss the opportunity to build momentum and authority in their strategically chosen segment

    • Everyone wants to be a big fish, but not in a small pond – Being a market leader is every company’s objective. But no company wants to be known of as king of a small hill. Even though conquering successive small hills leads to mountains.

    •  Not all features and benefits may be required – For companies that have invested time and money developing a deep product, focusing on just one small niche and a subset of their features can feel insulting to engineering. Crossing the chasm means making decisions that are best for a narrowly defined customer, not for your product’s bragging rights.

6. Success Factors
  1. Education - Chances are consumers would be more accepting and possibly even demand updated power systems if they actually knew about the Smart Grid and how it will benefit them. Consumer benefits need to be defined and advocated by utilities and policymakers alike across all economic levels. Education should include a Call to Action; people need to know what they need to do. Feedback on the impact of customer participation in the smart grid will be necessary to allow and improve coordination between the utility and its customers, to minimize customer disruptions, and improve customer service.

  2. Visibility - Put feedback “in my face” People need to see their impact at the point of use. There seems to be promise in putting easy-to-digest information "tidbits" based on their personal smart grid data in people's hands when we already have their attention, for example when they login to bill pay. This is where we find the masses instead of the excel-loving-green-early-adopters. There may be potential for simple messages that speak to the customers' bottom line -- for example when they login to pay their power bill, to see "You spent $25.00 more this month than last month, and you could save $x.00 by turning off your printer each night" seems to have potential to inform and to motivate behavior change.

  3. Community - A program of telling homeowners how their electricity use compared with their neighbors' had the effect of cutting energy consumption by 2%, the same as the impact of an 11% to 20% rate hike, says Hunt Allcott of MIT. The research shows that interventions not based on electricity prices can substantially and cheaply change consumer behavior.

  4. Excitement - Make Home Control Fun To get beyond the early adopters—who are primarily concerned with functionality—offer a fun and easy user experience, from purchase through installation and use.  Energy efficiency measures should provide enjoyment to those who implement them and for everyone who encounters them. Interactive websites, such as energy use dashboards for the home, can provide visual, real-time feedback to help users understand and make better choices about their energy consumption decisions.

  5. Ease of Use - Minimize Behavioral Changes By their nature, many products and services within the family ecosystem are complex, requiring that users learn new behaviors. Consumers have difficulty evaluating the efficacy of investing time/effort in learning new routines. To militate against consumer inertia, companies should offer products that facilitate existing behaviors, helping consumers save time or effort. People don’t change default settings – default to conservation. When set appropriately, programmable thermostats provide a high degree of customization for region and season, save time and effort, and deliver a quick payback.

  6. Rate Design - Participation hinges on the accurate design of electricity rates that reflect appropriate economic realities.  Consumers need much more access to an innovation called “smart pricing” — in other words, electricity prices that vary based on supply and demand — a key change the Smart Grid was designed to enable, and one that might make it a lot more worthwhile to pay attention to your energy behavior.

  7. Market Segmentation - Different Consumers want different things. A 2011 Accenture study identified six separate categories for residential customers. Energy efficiency solutions should fit with a customer’s location, situation, and socio-economic status. Each of these customer segments requires a completely different value proposition.
    • Self-reliants: Prefer to manage electricity consumption on their own.
    • Social independents: Enjoy testing new technologies.
    • Cost-sensitives: Look above all for the best financial rewards.
    • Service-centrics: Would like the best service for them and their family.
    • Traditionalists: Prefer a familiar experience.
    • Tech-savvys: Value convenience and efficiency.

  8. K.I.S.S.: A study of successful pilot programs in Illinois confirms that utilities struggle to communicate about the smart grid in simple and clear language. Jargon and unnecessary acronyms are rampant, and these ultimately breed confusion, suspicion and mistrust among consumers. Ontario-based Hydro One, by way of positive example, has done a strong job in using digital animation and Internet-based graphics to clearly illustrate how the smart gird works and what its benefits are.

  9. Leverage Power of Third Parties: According to the Accenture Study, consumers trust third parties more than utilities for information on optimizing electricity consumption. Often in this regard traditional adversaries can become cooperative partners. For example, the Natural Resources Council of Maine has supported smart meter installation in that state, lending a reasoned and credible voice to the debate over Central Maine Power’s smart meter roll-out. These kinds of groups should not be overlooked for collaborative educational outreach, if and when possible.

  10. Separate the Forest from the Trees: When it comes to the smart grid, it is vital that customers understand the big picture – the larger context of and justification for smart meter deployments. This is especially important because most of the long-term economic benefit of the smart grid could come not from reduced utility bills but from mitigated rate increases due to the inevitable, long-term rise in the costs of generation.

  11. Embracing New Media: Ultimately, endorsements from friends and peers are the most effective way to spur adaptation of the specter of technological change posed by the smart grid. Generally, utilities have been slow to employ the most powerful tool available today to achieve this: social media. Through a technology platform provided by Virginia-based OPower, utilities are engaging online communities of enthusiastic smart grid advocates through Facebook and Twitter ‒ who make up just five percent of their customer base ‒ to spur adaptation from the other 95 percent. Innovative utilities understand that social networks represent a powerful channel for in-depth engagement with residential users, and are embracing them.

  12. Aesthetics. Energy-efficient products should please the eye. For example, LED lamps look sleek and stylish, and flat-panel computer screens look streamlined and modern, with the added benefit of using less desk space.

  13. Emphasize Comfort, health, and safety. Energy-efficient solutions should address the well-being of consumers and their families. Daylight can reduce eyestrain, and greener buildings can offer better indoor air quality.

  14. Empowerment. Energy efficiency solutions should provide an array of choices that allow anyone to do something positive for the environment according to their level of commitment. Rebates and tax credits provide incentives for low-cost actions like weather-stripping on up to big-ticket items such as efficient furnaces and central air conditioning units.

  15. Productivity. Energy-efficient solutions should enhance working and academic environments. Efficient lighting and air conditioning can improve comfort and morale, leading to improved business output and sales, and better student performance.

  16. Status. Energy-efficient products should have a cachet that enhances a customer’s self-image, rather than seeming like a sacrifice. As with solar panels and hybrid vehicles, LED lighting shows promise of becoming a status symbol and a highly visible display of environmental commitment.

  17. Success Criteria Key NIST Customer Metrics for enabling participation in the smart grid include:
    • Percent of customers/premises capable of receiving information from the grid
    • Percent of customers opting to make decisions and/or delegate decision-making authority
    • Number of communication-enabled, customer-side of the meter devices sold
    • Number of customer-side of the meter devices sending or receiving grid related signals
    • Amount of load managed
    • Measurable energy savings by customers

7. Companies and Organizations
  1. C3 Energy, Redwood City -  Develops and publishes energy software. The Company offers smart grid analytics to utilities to helm them manage their systems. C3 Energy provides utilities with end-to-end system visibility across supply-side and demand-side smart grid operations.

    In May 2012,  C3, purchased Efficiency 2.0, a residential energy efficiency company that uses rewards to encourage people to save energy.  For C3, which was founded by Siebel Systems’ Tom Siebel, the acquisition allows the company to bring more comprehensive offerings to utilities that want to tackle all of the customer classes.

    Efficiency 2.0, which is based in New York City, recently picked up Southern California Edison as a customer, and also counts ComEd, Northeast Utilities and Cambridge Energy Alliance as some of its clients.

    The appeal of Efficiency 2.0 is its low-cost solution compared to other hardware-intensive options.  What Efficiency 2.0 does that no one else does is offering cash rewards for saving energy. The customers who just receive mailed reports save about 2.5 percent, while those that log into the web program to earn rewards save just over 6 percent. 

  2. OPower - Arlington, VA - #Opower (on twitter) - The most prominent company in the field of consumer energy behavior modification. Opower compares your power consumption with the power consumption of similarly situated neighbors. It then puts a paper note bearing the results of the analysis inside your next utility bill. Opower has found that consumers who use more power than their neighbors will reduce their power consumption to hew more closely to the status quo. Here's a great statistic from the company: in 2010 the firm  provided the equivalent of one-third of the U.S. solar industry's output in energy savings -- simply by sending out an actionable set of data once a month to utility customers.

    Opower Neighbor Comparison Insert
     Opower’s business model has been successful because utilities send Opower’s detailed bills to its customers automatically (as an opt-out service), and the bills have a very high chance of being opened because the envelope looks like their standard utility bill. Opower has evolved a lot over the years. The software provider started with a simple efficiency solution for utilities, and has since deepened its analytics and moved into demand response, billing, segmentation and customer care.

    Opower finished 2014 with $128.4 million in revenue, a 45 percent increase over 2013. The utility-consumer behavior expert posted a GAAP net loss of $41.8 million in 2014.

    For years, Opower has helped utilities tackle easy-to-fix energy-efficiency problems and improve basic customer offerings. But now, many utilities are thinking about more sophisticated segmentation and increased customer satisfaction. In most cases, utilities lag behind other industries in the evolution of customer services.

    Opower has approximately 50 million endpoints each for its digital engagement tool and energy-efficiency offering, and expects to double its demand response numbers from 1 million to 2 million this summer. In the first quarter 2015, OPower signed its largest deal to date, a nearly $90 million, seven-year contract with Pacific Gas & Electric and a significant deal with Sacramento Municipal Utility District for enterprise-wide digital engagement and energy efficiency

    Video interview with Opower's marketing and strategy VP Ogi Kavazovic. We think you'll be particularly interested in his comments on when in-home displays will catch on. (Hint: never.)

    In April 2012, Opower and Facebook unveiled their first social energy application, the results of six months of development aimed at making household energy efficiency as cool as Words With Friends.

    Opower’s app also draws from the reams of data that the Arlington, Va.-based startup has collected from the 70 or so utilities it now serves, which collectively have about 60 million customers. That means Facebook users can see how efficient they are compared to others that share similar living space in terms of square footage, climate zone and type of heating and air conditioning, for example.

  3. People Power - Palo Alto, CA - Founded in 2009, provides energy consumption monitoring solutions. The company offers carbon emissions reduction and energy efficiency solutions.

  4. Simple Energy - Boulder, CO-   Attracting utility customers to energy efficiency via contests. prizes are important to get people involved. But once they’re in the game, they tend to start taking pride in saving money, getting into conversations with friends and neighbors, and otherwise getting involved with the subject in a new way, driving long-term behavior changes,

     Supports energy efficiency efforts (helping to change customers’ behavior and boosting program sign-ups), demand response programs (driving customer load shifting and increasing auto-demand response participation), and smart grid initiatives (providing fun and easy ways to interact). Simple Energy enables people to become more engaged with their own energy consumption by comparing their use with friends and neighbors on social platforms where they’re already spending time: Facebook, email, and mobile apps.”

  5. SmartEnergy IP - Philadelphia - Provides strategic communications, strategy and solutions for utilities across the world. From the development of specialized customer education programs to the implementation of those programs, SmartEnergy IP™ provides a wealth of knowledge and experience to improve the customer experience. In Jan 2014 has launched what it is calling the "first-ever" Smart Grid Customer Education Model, providing a common framework for utilities to educate customers on the benefits of smart grid and encouraging close collaboration and communication between IT, metering, and marketing departments within utilities.
8. Links
  1. BECC -  Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference - Entering its ninth year, BECC is the premier event focused on understanding individual and organizational behavior and decision-making related to energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and sustainability
  2. CIEE - California Institute for Energy & Environment - UC Berkeley, Behavior & Decision Making - The potential for saving energy in California is huge. But getting people and organizations to do things differently is a tricky proposition. Energy efficiency isn’t just about new technology, it’s about new behaviors and better decisions. Understanding how we think — and what motivates us to action — is the catalyst of change toward a sensible, sustainable energy future.
  3. Smart Grid Consumer Coalition - A new nonprofit coalition of utilities, academics, smart grid companies and consumer advocates that is hoping to find out what the customer knows and wants when it comes to a 21st-century electrical grid, and how players can deliver their messages so consumers will listen and learn. Current members include Future of Privacy Forum, IBM, Control4, Silver Spring, GE, NREL and various utilities. The organization will share best practices amongst members as they are developed.
  4. The Smart Grid: An Introduction” (PDF 4 MB) is a publication sponsored by DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. It is the first book of its kind to explore – in layman’s terms – the nature, challenges, opportunities and necessity of Smart Grid implementation. Give one to key staff, your colleague, your lawyer, your accountant or your spouse…and watch the lights go on

Distribution Automation

A self-healing modern grid detects and responds to routine problems and quickly recovers if they occur, minimizing downtime and financial loss

Hierarchy of Primary DA Functions, Secondary DA Functions, & DA Scenarios from NIST Smart Grid Workshops

Navigate this Report
Back to Distribution Index

1. Background
2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Primary DA Functions
5. DA Use Case Scenarios
6. Benefits
7. Risks/Issues
8. Success Factors
9. Companies
10. Links

  • Distribution systems have traditionally not involved much automation. Distribution equipment, once installed on feeders, was expected to function autonomously with only occasional manual setting changes. Capacitor bank switches might switch on or off based on local signals, such as time of day or current. After a local fault condition, reclosers would attempt reclosing a set number of times before locking out. Lateral fuses would blow if the current became too high.

  • In a legacy grid architecture, service calls were made by truck, switch positions were changed manually, and there was no sensors, communications or intelligence.

  • Utilities today have a fragmented view of operations derived from the silos approach and dependence on proprietary technologies that lack the ability to communicate with each other. Beyond operations, the fragmented view impacts utility system planning, as well. At the beginning of each week, electric utility managers design on paper an electric network model based on anticipated conditions, which describes the current status of all the systems that comprise the distribution grid, but the planned design they envision is not maintained throughout the week. In fact, walking through an energy control center today would show multiple operational units monitoring and managing different parts of the grid, from DCS to EMS/SCADA to OMS to AMI to DR, each with a distinct view of the state of the grid provided by the stand-alone proprietary systems. It is left to the human grid operators in the control center to integrate these disparate views of the grid and make management decisions with the information they have at hand.

  • Recently, in response to the growing demand to improve reliability and efficiency of the power system, more automation is being implemented on the distribution system. Distribution Automation is one of the four federal Smart Grid focus areas and the Smart Grid policy requirements as outlined in Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of December 2007 increase the need for Distribution Automation.

  • In the past solar has been an immaterial contributors to the grid, but what happens when 20 percent or more of the homes in a neighborhood go solar and a cloud passes overhead? That changes a neighborhood of solar power producers to utility power customers in a matter of minutes – and grids built to deliver power one way at constant voltages and frequencies have trouble accommodating that two-way, intermittent flow.

    Too much solar power, and local grid voltage could rise, causing potential problems for motors, lights and other equipment. Too little, and voltage can sag. That may only flicker light bulbs at home, but it can lead to million-dollar work stoppages for customers like semiconductor manufacturers and server farms that need clean power at a near-to-constant voltage and frequency.

  • Eventually the smart grid — like broadband networks do — will have some sort of distributed model of computing where automated decisions are made at the edge of the network but with some sort of supervisory control layer. That distributed computing model will be quite different from the centralized mainframe model and point-to-point system that utilities largely have in place today.

2. Acronyms/Definitions
  1. Accessible, Visible, Lockable, Disconnect: A device is used by utility maintenance personnel to ensure that the DER will not energize the line during maintenance activities. The device meeting this requirement may or may not also serve as an NEC-required isolation means.

  2. ADA - Advanced Distribution Automation – A term coined by the IntelliGrid project in North America to describe the extension of intelligent control over electrical power grid functions to the distribution level and beyond. Normally, electric utilities with SCADA systems have extensive control over transmission-level equipment, and increasing control over distribution-level equipment via distribution automation. However, they often are unable to control smaller entities such as Distributed energy resources (DERs), buildings, and homes.

  3. CA - Contingency Analysis of Distribution System - Power systems are operated so that overloads do not occur either in real-time or under any statistically likely contingency.
    This is often called maintaining system “security” A simulator is equipped with tools for analyzing contingencies in an automatic fashion Contingencies can consist of several actions or elements
    • Simple Example: outage of a single transmission line –
    • Complex Example: outage of a several lines, a number of generators, and the closure of a normally open transmission line.

  4. Capacitor Banks - Capacitive devices located on distribution circuits that raise voltage and provide VAR support and control Power Factor

  5. Distributed Intelligent Controls – Actions carried out in the field based on algorithms.

  6. DSPF - Distribution System Power Flow Model - Provides utilities with real-time analysis to make operations decisions. It is a computer model of the distribution system that reflects current operating conditions. These models must be updated continuously, given the frequency of construction, upgrades, maintenance, reconfigurations, and other work on the distribution system. Data access from the SCADA system is continuous, while data updates from the other databases would be change driven. This power system model is constructed from the following models and types of data:
    • Topology model: 3-phase physical connectivity of the distribution system, often found in Geographic Information Systems, Automated Mapping systems, and paper drawings. This configuration model includes connectivity to the transmission system, interconnections between feeders, locations of aggregated loads, and connections to distributed energy resources.
    • Facilities model: power system equipment such as circuit cable characteristics, substation transformers, circuit breakers, capacitor banks, voltage regulators, and feeder switches, as well as the capabilities of the equipment controllers. This facilities data is derived from the Facilities Management system and other engineering databases.
    • Load model: aggregated loads with load profiles, associated with locations along feeders. These load models are derived from the Customer Information System (CIS).
    • Transmission interface model: the characteristics of the interfaces between the transmission system and the distribution system. This transmission model is extracted from the Energy Management System power system model.
    • Real-time data: distribution system status and measurement data from the SCADA system applied to the combined models, so that the result is an up-to-date model of the current distribution system, showing actual electrical connectivity and power system measurements.

  7. DTS - Dispatcher Training Simulation - Provides new and experienced dispatchers with training on the actual power system they are operating, by providing scenarios of events and circumstances that they must respond to.

  8. FCI – Fault Circuit Indicator - A device which provides visual or remote indication of a fault on the electric power system. Also called a faulted circuit indicator (FCI), the device is used in electric power distribution networks as a means of automatically detecting and identifying faults to reduce outage time.

    Overhead indicators are used to visualize the occurrence of an electrical fault on an overhead electrical system. Underground indicators locate faults on an underground system. Often these devices are located in an underground vault. Some fault indicators communicate back to a central location using radio or cellular signals.

  9. Fault - Any abnormal flow of electric current. For example a short circuit is a fault in which current flow bypasses the normal load. An open circuit fault occurs if a circuit is interrupted by some failure. In three phase systems, a fault may involve one or more phases and ground, or may occur only between phases. In a "ground fault" or "earth fault", current flows into the earth. The prospective short circuit current of a fault can be calculated for power systems. In power systems, protective devices detect fault conditions and operate circuit breakers and other devices to limit the loss of service due to a failure.

    In a polyphase system, a fault may affect all phases equally which is a "symmetrical fault". If only some phases are affected, the resulting "asymmetrical fault" becomes more complicated to analyse due to the simplifying assumption of equal current magnitude in all phases being no longer applicable. The analysis of this type of fault is often simplified by using methods such as symmetrical components

  10. FLISR – Automated Fault Locating Isolation and Service Restoration – Smart Distribution application function that rapidly and automatically detects and isolates permanently faulted segments of a feeder and then restores service to as many customers as possible. FLISR is able to restore service in one minute or less following the initial fault, resulting in significant reliability improvement compared with a manual restoration process. FLISR performs the following major functions:
    • Detects that a feeder fault has occurred
    • Locates the damaged portion of the feeder between two remote controlled line switches
    • Isolates the damaged portion of the feeder by opening appropriate remote controlled line switches
    • Re-energizes undamaged portions of the feeder via the primary feeder source and one or more backup sources using remote controlled tie switches.

  11. FCL – Fault Current Limiter - A device which limits the prospective fault current when a fault occurs (e.g. in a power transmission network). The term is generally applied to superconducting devices, whereas non-superconducting devices (such as simple inductors or variable resistors) are typically termed Fault Current Controllers. (For example, the ground fault circuit interrupter is commonly used in residential installations.)

    Superconducting Fault Current Limiters come in two major categories: resistive and inductive.

    In a resistive FCL, the current passes through the superconductor and when a high fault current begins, the superconductor quenches: it becomes a normal conductor and the resistance rises sharply and quickly. Inductive FCLs come in many designs; the simplest is a transformer with a closed superconducting ring as the secondary. In un-faulted operation, there is no resistance in the secondary and so the inductance of the device is low. A fault current quenches the superconductor, the secondary becomes resistive and the inductance of the whole device rises. The advantage of this design is that there is no heat ingress through current leads into the superconductor, and so the cryogenic power load may be lower. However, the large amount of iron required means that inductive FCLs are much bigger and heavier than resistive FCLs.

  12. IED - Intelligent Electronic Device - Research and development is needed to improve software updates to field devices.

  13. ITL - Intelligent Line Switching - The monitoring and control of distribution primary voltage switching devices to interrupt, restore, and redirect the flow of power across the power distribution system. Intelligent line switches are generally limited to those switches that are “electrically operable”. An electrically operable switch is one that includes an operating mechanism that stores energy needed to open or close the switching device and can be operated by pushbutton or remote control. Electrically operated switches include substation circuit breakers, motorized disconnect switches, automatic load break switches, line reclosers, and sectionalizers. ILS functions can be subdivided into two main categories: Fault Location Isolation and Service Restoration (FLISR) and Optimal Network Reconfiguration (ONR).

  14. MFR - Multi-level Feeder Reconfiguration - Multi-level feeder reconfiguration software application analyzes many different distribution system configurations, assessing each configuration from a global perspective on how it best meets one or more of the following purposes, as set up by the operator or situation:
    • Service restoration
    • Overload elimination
    • Transmission facilities overload
    • Load balancing
    • Voltage balancing
    • Loss minimization
    • Reliability improvement

  15. ONR - Optimal Network Reconfiguration - Identifies ways in which the electric utility can reconfigure an interconnected set of distribution feeders to accomplish one or more specified objectives without violating any operational constraints on the feeder. The ONR function enables the utility to achieve the following objective functions:
    1. Minimize total electrical losses on the selected group of feeders over a specified time period
    2. Minimize the largest peak demand among the selected group of feeders over a specified time period
    3. Balance the load between the selected group of feeders (i.e., transfer load from heavily loaded feeders to lightly loaded feeders.)

  16. Recloser - Sense and interrupt fault currents by opening their breaker. Attempt reclosing their breaker after a fault is detected on a feeder, usually three to four times before locking open. Restore service via a remote control command after automated or manual switching has isolated the faulted feeder section.

  17. RPR - Relay Protection Re-coordination of Distribution System - Adjusts the relay protection settings to real-time conditions based on the preset rules. This is accomplished through analysis of relay protection settings and operational mode of switching devices (i.e., whether the switching device is in a switch or in a recloser mode), while considering the real-time connectivity, tagging, and weather conditions. The application is called to perform after feeder reconfiguration, and, in case, when conditions are changed and fuse saving is required. No fault calculations are needed in this application, if the distribution system is radial without significant DER.

  18. RTU – Remote Terminal Unit - Substation master station which collects the appropriate data for transmission to the control center, and which passes control commands on from the control center to the electronic equipment.

  19. SCADA - Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition - SCADA systems at the control center monitor status and measurements of distribution equipment in substations.

  20. Self Healing - A system that does not have a “single point of failure." Transmission system is inherently self-healing. Self-Heals A self-healing modern grid detects and responds to routine problems and quickly recovers if they occur, minimizing downtime and financial loss.

  21. Smart Switch - Automated switches are installed along feeders and at feeder tie-points. These automated switches can communicate with each other locally (typically within a few miles), and are programmed to respond appropriately to feeder fault conditions.

  22. Smart Communication -
    • Peer to Peer between each of the switching points and substations. Takes the burden off central communication.
    • High Speed, low latency messages move in and out of their destination quickly
    • Open Standards (TCP/UDP etc.) Ethernet vast and well developed suite
    • Standard protocols (DNP etc.) data packets.

  23. Transfer Trip - For a Generating Facility that cannot detect Distribution System faults (both line-to-line and line-to-ground) or the formation of an Unintended Island, and cease to energize EC’s Distribution System within two seconds, EC may require a Transfer Trip system or an equivalent Protective Function.

  24. VFI – Vacuum Fault Interrupter operates in less than 50 milliseconds. Isolate and close back in to sections
Information Flows of DA Applications Based on Distribution System Power Flow (DSPF)

3. Business Case
  • Distribution Automation includes using real-time information from embedded sensors and automated controls to anticipate, detect, and respond to system problems, a smart grid can automatically avoid or mitigate power outages, power quality problems, and service disruptions.

  • You can only throw so much labor at making continuous adjustments to the grid, people in the field making constant adjustments to the switch plan, to rerouting power, that's just not realistic. So they really need technology to help them be more proactive about managing the impact of these devices that with increasing frequency will be connected to the edge of the network. The frequency of distribution grid adjustments will increase in the future—how quickly will vary by utility. Eventually they'll need to react quicker to changes in power flow both on the demand side and the supply side. The solution is to automate some monitoring and control functions and devote personnel to more complicated issues.

  • In the case of urban/city networks that for the most part are fed using underground cables, networks can be designed with interconnected topologies so that failure of one part of the network will result in no loss of supply to end users.

  • It is envisioned that the smart grid will likely have a control system that analyzes its performance using distributed, autonomous reinforcement learning controllers that have learned successful strategies to govern the behavior of the grid in the face of an ever changing environment such as equipment failures. Such a system might be used to control electronic switches that are tied to multiple substations with varying costs of generation and reliability.

  • Smart substations require new infrastructure capable of supporting the higher level of information monitoring, analysis, and control required for Smart Grid operations, as well as the communication infrastructure to support full integration of upstream and downstream operations.  The modern substation is a fountain of data; as much as 5GB/sec, so filtering, analyzing, and responding to that data presents an ever-increasing challenge,

  • The substation of the future will require a wide-area network interface to receive and respond to data from an extensive array of transmission line sensors, dynamic-thermal circuit ratings, and strategically placed phasor measurement units. The smart substation must be able to integrate variable power flows from renewable energy systems in real time, and maintain a historical record or have access to a historical record of equipment performance. Combined with real-time monitoring of equipment, the smart substation will facilitate reliability-centered and predictive maintenance.

  • The lower cost of automation with respect to T&D equipment (transformers, conductors, etc.) is also making the value proposition easier to justify. With higher levels of automation in all aspects of the T&D operation, operational changes can be introduced to operate the system closer to capacity and stability constraints.
Source: EPRI
Source: EPRI

5. Primary Distribution Automation Functions
  1. Monitoring and control of distribution equipment within substations
    • Distribution SCADA System Monitors Distribution Equipment in Substations
    • Supervisory Control on Substation Distribution Equipment
    • Substation Protection Equipment Performs System Protection Actions
    • Reclosers in Substations

  2. Local automation of DA equipment on feeders
    • Local Automated Switch Management
    • Local Volt/Var Control
    • Local Field Crew Communications to Underground Network Equipment xxx
  3. Monitoring and control of DA equipment on feeders
    • SCADA Communications to Automated Feeder Equipment
    • SCADA Communications to Underground Distribution Vaults
  4. Management of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) systems
    • Protection Equipment Performs System Protection Actions on DER Interconnections
    • Monitoring of DER Units
    • Controlling DER Units
  5. DA analysis software applications
    • Study-Mode and Real-Time Distribution System Power Flow (DSPF) Model
    • DSPF /DER Model of Distribution Operations with Significant DER Generation/Storage
  6. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
    • Implementation of AMI to Industrial, Commercial, and Residential Customers
    • Direct Customer Load Control

6. Distribution Automation Use Case Scenarios
  • Basic Reliability Scenario – Local Automated Switching for Fault Handling - Covers the use of SCADA to the substation, automated switches on feeders that respond to faults locally, and SCADA monitoring of these automated switches.

  • Advanced Reliability Scenario – FLISR with Distribution System Power Flow (DSPF) Analysis - This Use Case utilizes the power flow model of the distribution system as the primary means to assess real-time conditions by providing full power system visibility to operators, and by providing software applications with a computerized model of the power system for them to perform their analyses. With smart meters and AMI in place, FLISR becomes a process, an application, that's more readily enabled because the meters act as sensors that can trigger an alarm that the power is out. With meters, FLISR becomes more accurate and restoration goes more quickly.

  • Efficiency Scenario – Efficiency Assessment with DSPF Analysis - Efficiency of the distribution system is often considered of secondary importance to reliability, but can become of significant interest on specific feeders and substations that are handling high loads and/or variable power factor situations, so that it actually can improve reliability. The Efficiency Use Case utilizes the ADA’s DSPF model of the distribution system, along with real-time data from the SCADA system, to assess first the adequacy (will the equipment be able to handle the expected loads) and the efficiency (how efficiently is the power system operating and what can be done to improve that efficiency).

  • DER Planning Scenario – Planning, Protection, and Engineering of Distribution Circuits with Significant DER Generation - Distribution planning and/or engineering must assess each proposed DER interconnection to ensure it meets the required interconnection standards. They must also assess any impact on distribution feeders, feeder equipment, substations, distribution operations, maintenance procedures, etc. to accommodate the DER interconnection. If changes must be made, these changes must be engineered and implemented before the DER interconnection is finalized.

  • Basic Real-Time DER Management Scenario – SCADA Monitoring and Control of DER Generation - Larger DER units and aggregates of smaller DER units are impacted by, and can impact, realtime distribution operations. SCADA monitoring and (direct or indirect) control of these DER units allows them to be “visible”, thus adding to reliability and safety of distribution operations.

  • Advanced Real-Time DER Management Scenario – DSPF Analysis for FLISR, Microgrids, Safety, Market with Significant DER Generation - Involves analyzing the distribution system in real-time or “near” real-time to determine actions in response to planned or unforeseen situations that involve significant DER generation/storage. This analysis would be needed for fault location, isolation, and service restoration, protection coordination, establishment of microgrids, safety of field crews and the public during outages, power quality, market operations involving DER units, and many other activities. This type of analysis would be impossible for distribution operators to handle without support from the DSPF model that forms the foundation of the ADA capabilities. The DSPF model would need to cover not only the distribution system but also the larger DER units as well as some model of aggregated small DER units.

  • Distribution Maintenance Management with DER Scenario – Maintenance, Power Quality, and Outage Scheduling with Significant DER Generation/Storage - Maintenance of the distribution system that includes significant DER can be a new challenge. As the number of DER units grows and as the amount of generation is derived from DER units, distribution operations will no longer be able to manage the maintenance of the system without significant support from automation.

  • Demand Response with DER Scenario – Distribution Operations with Demand Response and Market-Driven DER Generation/Storage - With the inclusion of DER generating and storage capabilities, demand response becomes even more complex, and requires Advanced Distribution Applications (ADA) using the DSPF model. Without such automation, distribution operations with demand response would become extremely difficult if not impossible.

4. Benefits
  • Cost Savings - including lower costs, avoided costs, stability of costs, and pricing choices for customers. Lower operations and maintenance costs from reduced need for O&M activity and from lower equipment failure rates
    • Automation of switches can avoid the need to send personnel to the field to perform the switching.
    • Monitoring of capacitor banks and other feeder equipment can avoid the need to send personnel to check or test their status or change their parameters.
    • Monitoring of field equipment can provide maintenance personnel with more accurate historical and current information, thus allowing more timely maintenance or avoidance of maintenance when not needed.
    • Real-time knowledge of distribution equipment/line status, including length of time of any overload situations, so not reliant on “worst case” planning criteria.

  • Power Reliability - Including reduced number and length of outages, reduced number of momentary outages. Limit the number of customers impacted by system outages.
    • Quickly isolate faults to limit the impact
    • More precisely locate faults to facilitate crew dispatch
    • Automate restoration of healthy portions of the circuit
    • Apply distributed monitoring and control to eliminate single points of failure
    • More monitoring of field equipment permits greater visibility into where a problem might be. Field personnel can be sent directly there, instead of patrolling the entire line until they see the problem. xxx
  • Power Quality - Cleaner power, and reliable management of distributed generation in concert with load management and/or microgrids. Deploy equipment that automatically adjusts to voltage fluctuations and system disturbances to prevent customer impacts.

  • Safety and Security - Including increased visibility into unsafe or insecure situations, increased physical plant security, increased cyber security, privacy protection, and energy independence.

  • Energy Efficiency - Including reduced energy usage, reduced demand during peak times, reduced energy losses, and the potential to use “efficiency” as equivalent to “generation” in power system operations.

  • Environment and Conservation – Including reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and other pollutants, reducing generation from inefficient energy sources, and increasing the use of renewable sources of energy.

  • Scalability - Economical to start small, get big. Easy to add equipment.

7. Risks/Issues
  • Upgradability - Sometimes virtually embedded transmission and distribution assets have different failure rates and life expectancy than the majority of today’s grid technologies. These failures and resultant replacement rates must be estimated. Utilizing a reliable component, like a substation transformer, with a 40-year design life and incorporating an information technology with 10, 15 or 20 life forces careful consideration of the costs to upgrade the embedded components.

  • Interconnectedness of Distribution Automation Functions - Individual distribution automation (DA) functions, such as monitoring VARs on a feeder or detecting faults on a circuit, cannot have their benefits or challenges assessed in isolation. Most of these DA functions can only be cost-effective if they are part of a larger set of functions. In addition, many of the DA functions must rely on “primary functions”, such as SCADA monitoring and control, to even begin to provide some benefits.

  • Inherent Lack of Redundancy in Radial Distribution Networks - As applied to distribution networks, there is no such thing as a "self healing" network. If there is a failure of an overhead power line, given that these tend to operate on a radial basis (for the most part) there is an inevitable loss of power.

  • Latency - Fast Communication Speed Needed - 50 ms communication time requirement is high for hand shakes. If you don’t do it fast enough, the main circuit breaker flips. Latency is a big deal for distribution automation, which needs a network that can execute some commands at the speed of the grid, so to speak – that is, the 60 hertz, or cycles per second, at which U.S. utilities deliver their power. The unit is the cycle, so a 60-hertz cycle is basically 17 milliseconds per cycle. There could be faster applications with a WiMax solution, which promises low latency on top of effective data rates of 2 to 3 megabits per second, compared to SpeedNet's 650 kilobits per second.

  • Legacy Equipment & Applications - Most of the North American electricity system infrastructure is 40 to 50 years old and nearing the end of their useful life. Many legacy applications simply cannot scale to handle the Smart Grid's required levels of data volume and complexity.

  • DER Proliferation - If you start putting a lot of storage in substations, there’s going to be new automation needs.

  • Data Management - Often data management methods which work well for small amounts of data can fail or become too burdensome for large amounts of data – a situation common in distribution automation and customer information.

  • Systems Integration - The key issues include interoperability of interconnected systems, cyber security, access control, data identity across systems, messaging protocols, etc.

  • Configuration Management - Modern relays are IP-addressable, but require on-going operational technology governance to manage security, firm-ware changes, configuration changes, maintenance, health checks, version control, and compatibility testing. New relays have hundreds of set points and a broad range of stored history, but most utilities use only a fraction of their functionality.

  • Merging SCADA and Protection. - For several years now, it has become apparent that substation automation using intelligent devices and modern LAN technology requires the integration of substation functions. Protection devices must be capable of control and monitoring, and SCADA devices must take some part in protection. Similarly, the parent organizations of these devices must learn to communicate with each other.

  • Merging IT and Operations. As utilities deploy enterprise bus technologies, the traditional separation between corporate IT and utility operations organizations must narrow, especially to address security issues.

  • Merging Distribution Automation and Metering. These two systems previously had nothing to do with each other although they shared a common geographic area of responsibility. Soon they will likely make use of a common, ubiquitous distribution communications network. Similarly, their respective organizations must now integrate operating procedures to realize some of the advantages of an integrated Smart Grid, such as advanced outage management.

8. Success Factors
  • Phased Approach – A phased approach can be used in distribution automation, because, unlike tightly networked transmission systems, distribution systems can fairly easily deploy pilot projects or initial implementation of DA functions that affect only a few feeders. Lessons can be learned from these initial deployments which can improve eventual deployment of the functions to a larger set of feeders.

  • Distribution Automation Scenarios, - Developing use cases based on both secondary and primary DA functions, allows utilities to understand both the benefits and the challenges involved in implementing these functions. Primary functions typically require heavy capital expenditures to implement equipment, communication, and data infrastructures whose payback can only truly come when one or more secondary functions utilize these infrastructures.

7. Companies
  1. ABB Zurich Switzerland(NYSE: ABB)- Substation protection and control solutions ensure reliable power transmission and distribution. To ensure interoperable and future-proof solutions, their products have been designed to implement the core values of the IEC 61850 standard.

  2. Advanced Control Systems, Norcross, GA - A leading provider of smart grid solutions and advanced automation technology to the global electric power industry. For over 40 years, ACS has pioneered control center solutions which include SCADA, advanced distribution management (ADMS), outage management (OMS), energy management (EMS), network simulation and optimization, network display strategies and ergonomic design. ACS automation product lines include a wide range of flexible and cost-effective substation, distribution, and feeder automation solutions. ACS mobile tools enable utilities to communicate with crews and consumers using real-time data. ACS provides technology to manage energy through a fully-integrated real-time PRISM platform which optimizes grid efficiency.

  3. BPL Global, Pittsburgh PA - Provides software solutions and services to electric utilities enabling an intelligent grid to more efficiently manage demand, integrate distributed energy resources, improve service reliability, and optimize cost and capital productivity. Partners with local utilities, internet service providers, equipment suppliers and financiers to create end-to-end solutions integrating software, communications, hardware and managed services.

    BPLG provides monitoring and communications solutions for improved efficiency and reliability of the distribution grid. Their Rapid Fault Locator solution detects and reports line faults on distribution feeders, and provides continuous monitoring of the line conditions avoiding faults and reducing the duration of outages. An intelligent grid depends on a secure and robust communications platform to manage the significant increase in data capacity required to support two-way communications between a centralized software platform for monitoring and control and any smart devices distributed throughout the electrical network. BPLG offers communications solutions from basic network monitoring, to robust smart grid communications, to last-mile broadband services to consumers and businesses.

  4. GE Digital Energy (NYSE: GE)- Atlanta, GA  A GE / Alstrom joint venture. serving customers globally with over 20,000 employees in approximately 80 countries. Grid Solutions helps enable utilities and industry to effectively manage electricity from the point of generation to the point of consumption, helping to maximize the reliability, efficiency and resiliency of the grid.
    1. Substation Automation
    2. Monitoring & Diagnosis
    3. Power Sensing
    4. Utility Operations Systems
  5. S&C Electric, Chicago, Their IntelliTEAM system of networked devices isolates and restores faults in a distribution grid. S&C has designed its own SpeedNet radios, capable of about 5 millisecond "hops" from device to device, to handle the task.
  6. xxx
  7. Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.(SEL) Pullman, WA - Designs and manufactures solutions for protection, monitoring, control, automation, and metering of electric power systems. The company provides secure communications; transmission, distribution, and generator and motor protection; revenue and power quality metering; industrial power; integration and automation; and rugged computing products. It also offers precise timing, fiber-optic communications, testing, transformer, bus, breaker, and capacitor protection products, as well as SEL software solutions, SEL software downloads, and SEL accessories.

    SEL Distribution Automation Control System automates feeder restoration and reduces outage times. The system analyzes and detects fault conditions, isolates affected feeder sections, and restores power to unaffected sections. The system includes simple drag-and-drop IEC 61131 function block configuration software on an SEL information processor, with the ability to automate up to 100 devices per controller.

10. Links
  1. IEEE/PES Distribution Automation Tutorial 2007/2008 - Each section has an attached Powerpoint presentation. Some sections have a supporting text.
  2. NIST Smart Grid - Distribution Automation White Paper, ver 2 (doc) - more than scope but possibly not complete White Paper. May need more on actual Smart Grid Challenges (e.g. gaps in standards and recommended practices).
  3. Xanthus Consulting International - Report to the California Energy Commission on the Benefits and Challenges of Distribution Automation (pdf) the complete report from which the White Paper above was extracted.
  4. IntelliGrid Architecture”, EPRI's IntelliGridSM initiative is creating the technical foundation for a smart power grid that links electricity with communications and computer control to achieve tremendous gains in reliability, capacity, and customer services. A major early product is the IntelliGrid Architecture, an open standards, requirements-based approach for integrating data networks and equipment that enables interoperability between products and systems.
  5. The Value of Distribution Automation PIER Final Project Report - Prepared For: California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research Program Prepared By: Navigant Consulting, Inc. March 2009 CEC-500-2007-103