"Value Events" Drive Profitable Action

The goal of substation automation is to efficiently manage operations, maintenance, and capital assets with minimal human intervention. SmartSub enables substation automation to live up to this promise.

SmartSub automatically collects non-operational data from substation equipment and measurement devices, correlates it, and expertly analyzes this data in near real time. The end result? Useful information on which utility personnel can act to save time and money. We refer to this process as "value events."

value event n (2009) : the application of insights gained from non-operational data to achieve operational advantages and cost reductions

Value events:

  • Are known situations with definable causes and symptoms that, before the use of SmartSub, result in a cost to the utility every time they occur.
  • Must be detectable through the analysis and correlation of available data.
  • Can be implemented reactively (after an event) or proactively (before an event), but in both cases, value events reduce costs and/or avoid problems.

The versatility of SmartSub allows it to solve each utility's unique set of value events, which can include:

Improved Utility Performance

  • Faster restoration
  • Outage avoidance
  • Faster fault analysis

Reduced Maintenance Costs

  • Apparatus predictive maintenance
  • Condition-based maintenance
  • Better equipment diagnostics

Construction Planning Support

  • Justification
  • Timing/sequence
  • Problem areas

Improved Personnel Efficiency

  • Automate data collection
  • Automate analysis
  • Improve decision-making
  • Reduce response time

Improved Asset Utilization

  • Extend maintenance intervals
  • Operate closer to design limits

Enabling Successful Utility Value Events

Value Event Diagram

How to Identify your Value Event(s)

  1. Pinpoint a significant, recurring operations problem that is costing your utility money.
  2. Quantify the event in potential time and dollars to be saved.
  3. What information is required to take action?
  4. What non-operational data must be analyzed to gain this information?
  5. Which departments and individuals need the information?
  6. How and when should the information be delivered?

Value Event Examples

Lightning Arrestor Blown

  • Transformer trips on transformer differential relay.
  • Fault recorder detected transient at time of fault.
  • Low-side fault current upstream
  • High-side fault current upstream
  • Fault (short circuit) current on high side
  • Gases: Responsive to bus fault condition
  • Conclusion: Blown lightning arrestor
  • Value Event: Restore transformer, deploy crew to repair lightning arrestor.

Lightning-Based Through-Fault Restoration

  • Transformer tripped by Schweitzer 387 relay.
  • Transformer gases: normal
  • Fault record from 321 shows simultaneous transmission fault.
  • Lightning data correlated (to microsecond) to confirm an unrelated fault occurred.
  • Conclusion: Transformer relay tripped out due to a through fault from lightning.
  • Value Event: OK to restore transformer remotely

Lightning Arrestor Failing

  • Waveform recordings showed unusual activity was precursor to lightning arrestor failures.
  • Two actual failures occurred.
  • Value Event: Replace arrestor before impending failure and avoid fault/outage.

Breaker Restriking

  • Breaker restriking due to contaminated oil or pitted contacts was a precursor to failure.
  • Fault record from IED or DFR analyzed to discover whether fault current resumed within one cycle after the fault was cleared.
  • Value Event: Breaker failure avoided, predictive maintenance performed prior to failure.

Improper Recloser Timing

  • Transmission scheme to reclose quickly on single-phase faults.
  • Recloser operation unsuccessful, fault remains, line is taken out.
  • Fault data shows arc extinction time greater than recloser setting, operator alarmed.
  • Value Event: Recloser setting adjusted, future lockouts avoided.

Insulator Grounding Problem

  • Determine Lightning Stroke Current (S=8I.65).
  • Evaluate each system fault that was a result of lightning. Correlate fault inception time to lightning stroke data from Vaisala.
  • Did system respond properly? Correlate lightning stroke current to the fault current from the IED or DFR. If stroke current is less than design threshold, then a possible grounding or insulator problem is detected.
  • Value Event: Deploy crew to check grounding and insulators on line.

Improper Reclosing of Breaker

  • Fault occurred just upstream of the underground GIS breaker B4.
  • B1 also tripped which was a short, overhead line.
  • Operator believed that since a storm just passed through that lightning caused the fault.
  • Operator closes B1 causing significant damage at the GIS.
  • Value Event: Avoid improper reclosing by correlating accurate lightning data to fault.

Fault: Gas Condition Maintenance

  • Correlate DGA with fault information from the IED and DFR.
  • Compute fault energy.
  • Compare to changes to gas profile.
  • Plot gas vs. fault energy and gas vs. peak and duration over time.
  • A larger change of gas (or trend) for a given fault indicates a problem.
  • Value Event: Schedule predictive maintenance on transformer, avoid transformer failure.

Asset Management System Support

  • Compute aggregated fault energy for each event from IEDs or DFRs.
  • Correlate this information to impacted apparatus.
  • Seamlessly feed this information to the utility's asset management program.
  • Value Event: Delay unnecessary testing or promote testing on most stressed equipment.

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