Distribution Utilities are obligated to reliably provide round-the-clock electricity to their consumers. With increasingly complex electricity networks, a result of rising energy demand and bi-directional flow of electricity due to increasing use of low carbon energy resources (wind, solar, etc.), Utilities must enhance system reliability for consistent 24×7 power to end customers.
While faults and outages will always occur in the electricity network, network operators leverage state-of-the-art technologies to minimize the impact of these outages and fulfil their obligations to their consumers. An effective tool available in the toolkit for this purpose is Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration (FLISR). In this blog post, we will share our knowledge of FLISR. We will also showcase our FLISR application and discuss how it stands apart from other offerings in the market.
What is FLISR?
FLISR, also known as FDIR (Fault Detection Isolation and restoration), involves automatic sectionalizing, restoration and circuit reconfiguration of a high voltage electrical grid network. Basically, FLISR can quickly identify the location of a fault, isolate the faulty area so that the duration of the fault, the number of customers affected by the fault and the quantum of load affected by the fault is minimized. The efficacy of FLISR is underscored by a US Department of Energy 2014 study which revealed that with FLISR capability in place, the number of customers whose service was interrupted was reduced by 45% (Source: T&D World article on FLISR).
Operationally, FLISR is a centralized application module that is integrated with SCADA. This allows FLISR to use all available data in a SCADA enabled distribution network and with advanced calculations, FLISR provides the most optimal way to restore power to customers.
Requirement/Pain Area for Customer
Without the FLISR function, there would only be a power recovery after the following steps:  identifying the fault occurrence in the network,  preparing and moving field teams on-site,  pinpointing the exact location of the fault and  executing interventions to isolate the fault occurrence, which can take a few hours to restore electricity supply. Through FLISR, network operators can restore the electricity supply in a few minutes.
SCOPE’s FLISR Application: ActionWise
At SCOPE, we offer our FLISR application, ActionWise. ActionWise requires the automation of electricity distribution grid networks. Communicable IEDs such as reclosers and fault identifiers must be available on the field along with robust communication media to transmit the information obtained to a centralised database. If the remote control is activated through autoreclosures, then ActionWise will function in automatic mode with great speed and efficiency. However, if only centralized monitoring from the field is available, then ActionWise will provide a switch operation recommendation to the operator to manually manage the fault isolation and service restoration activity.
ActionWise can be deployed at the customer end in one in two ways:  as a ‘stand-alone’ system (integrating directly with field equipment) or  as an ‘extension mode’ integrating with third party existing SCADA. In the case of the latter, ActionWise will integrate with field devices (reclosures and fault identifiers) through the third-party SCADA’s database.
In the extension mode, ActionWise receives data of the distribution grid network through an existing third-party SCADA in real-time, processing this data and sending a set of orders to isolate the fault (through the third-party SCADA) whenever there is a need for intervention. This communication between ActionWise and the existing SCADA can be done using different protocols like IEC-60870-5-104, ICCP-TASE-2, OPC-UA/DA, and DNP3.0.
How ActionWise stands out
ActionWise stands out from other solutions available in the market through the following :
- Network modelling enables the integrated and accurate representation of any topology, involving all segments of the system. Thus, the tool is ideal for the analysis of intelligent networks
- ActionWise can gather all the network equipment data through the manual configuration of the database or it integrates with geographic information systems (GIS) to obtain topological and electrical data automatically
- ActionWise includes a GUI with simplified schematic diagrams for user-friendly operation of the electrical system
- ActionWise has inbuilt safety while executing field equipment orders by showing a lack of communication, or maintenance activities
- ActionWise executes a state estimation algorithm that allows the determination in near real-time off several magnitudes of the electrical system. If a fault occurs in the network, the solution estimates the network state at an instant before and close to the moment of the fault, which increases the precision of the calculations performed
- ActionWise, executes both in stand-alone mode (directly communicating with the field) and in extension mode (integrating with third-party SCADA). The solution can be deployed either in the control centre or in a regional centre, or a substation.
- ActionWise FLISR is configured to control a set of available recloser and switch groups. It is possible to also create a “Simulator” that has an identical HMI and runs in a laboratory environment. This allows the customer to simulate all the failures in the field and see exactly how the system will respond to this failure. With the Simulator, it is also possible to train operators for the operation in real-time.
Therefore, ActionWise is an effective tool for network operators to improve system reliability and provide a continuous supply of electricity to consumers. Other benefits of our FLISR application are:
- Rapid service restoration for customers
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Improved reliability indices such as CMI, SAIFI, SAIDI & other performance indices
- Increased revenue through increased network uptime
- Lower field service costs
- Compliance with regulatory standards
- Better decision-making in the control room
- Coordinate with other distribution automation solutions
To know more about ActionWise and our capabilities in providing FLISR solutions, please write to us at email@example.com