The Value of Non-Operational Data

Utility operations have depended on SCADA systems for real-time data—the current on-line status of their transmission and distribution system. This data, however, provides only half the story. While operational data tells a utility what is happening, non-operational data can explain why things are happening. By correlating and analyzing non-operational data, utilities gain deep insights that can be shared with all utility departments.

Non-operational data is complex and periodic, such as oscillating waveforms, and includes data sets that are routinely captured in the substation by equipment such as digital fault recorders, protective relay devices, dissolved gas monitors, and temperature sensors. Examples of non-operational data are:

  • Fault Data
  • Event Data
  • Disturbance Data
  • Equipment Monitor Data
  • Equipment Condition Status
  • Environmental Conditions

By taking immediate action on the analysis of near-real-time non-operational data, utilities can:

  • Explain why systems behave abnormally
  • Restore outages faster
  • Prevent problems from escalating
  • Operate equipment more efficiently
  • Make informed decisions about infrastructure repair and replacement
  • Keep equipment healthy and extend equipment life
  • Improve reliability and availability
  • Maximize the utilization of existing assets
  • Improve employee efficiency
  • Increase profitability

SmartSub works in parallel with SCADA and provides a series of necessary functions not performed by SCADA. First it collects non-operational data that generally requires the development of drivers written for each manufacturer's proprietary protocol. Second, unlike SCADA that only transmits collected data, SmartSub continually processes information, bringing data of interest to the surface and alarming technicians when user-settable conditions occur. Third, in addition to providing basic charting and graphing of non-operational data, SmartSub generates action-oriented "value event" reports.

Delve Deeper into Non-Op Data

Non-Operational Data: The Untapped Value of Substation Automation

In the September issue of Utility Automation & Engineering T&D, power quality analysis expert, Dan Brancaccio, reveals how utilization of non-operational data is the key to improving the performance of the distribution infrastructure as well as the bottom line.

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