Faster automated switching for critical loads (DistribuTECH 2014)

Published: Mon 27 Jan 2014
A blog entry by Smart Grid Watch

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For some utility customers, such as hospitals and manufacturing facilities, reliable access to power is absolutely essential. These critical customers often are connected to backup power sources, just in case.

For instance, critical customers often are connected to backup generators that are ready to go in the event of an outage. However, there is usually a noticeable delay between when the power goes out and when the generator kicks in. The challenge is, how to switch over to backup power quickly, smoothly and safely -- ideally without even noticing?

Most conventional switching systems can support only two power sources -- yet some critical customers have multiple backup power options.

To enhance power reliability for critical customers, Siemens has developed SDFA-ATS: Siemens Distribution Feeder Automation with an ultra high-speed Automatic Transfer Scheme. Literally faster than the blink of an eye, this solution can automatically transfer critical loads to a viable power source in a mere one-one hundredth of a second. This saves time -- which in a manufacturing setting usually translates into saving money. It also reduces risk, especially if a hospital is affected.

Unlike costlier pad-mounted systems, SDFA-ATS features poletop design, using any brand of reclosers. Also, SDFA-ATS can support multiple backup power sources, not just one. This prepackaged, field-proven solution comes fully programmed and tested, ready for installation on site. (More technical details.)

SDFA-ATS diagram

"Now, outages affecting critical customers can be largely avoided by switching to any of the available power sources." said Andre Smit, Manager of New Product Development for Siemens Smart Grid.


AT DISTRIBUTECH: Tues. Jan. 28, 3-4:30 pm. SDFA-ATS will be discussed in this presentation: Practical Experiences When Testing Wide-area Protection and Control Systems That Utilize Wireless Communications. Part of this session: Innovations in Substation and Power Distribution Communications.

More about Siemens at DistribuTECH 2014.

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