Learning from utility communication system failure (DistribuTECH 2014)

Published: Mon 03 Mar 2014
A blog entry by Smart Grid Watch

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When Hurricane Sandy struck the U.S. in October 2012, it caused power outages throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Part of the trouble with restoring power in some areas was a failure of the communication systems operated by local utilities.

In a DistribuTECH 2014 session, Siemens Product Development Manager Andre Smit presented a paper about the useful lessons learned by examining what caused one utility's communication system to fail during power restoration operations.

"We reviewed the failure step by step, examining what happened with the communication system, the field order system and the fixes that we implemented," said Smit. "We learned how these systems should be tested in the future in order to prevent similar failures."

VIDEO: http://youtu.be/nxNzDv2MIB8 or  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxNzDv2MIB8

In emergencies, another key to minimizing the risks and dangers of outages is to enable seamless, instantaneous switching of critical loads, such as hospitals. Siemens offers Distribution Feeder Automation with an ultra high-speed Automatic Transfer Scheme (SDFA-ATS) to meet this need.

Smit's paper, Practical Experiences When Testing Wide-area Protection and Control Systems That Utilize Wireless Communications will be available to DistribuTECH 2014 attendees in the conference proceedings.


More about Siemens at DistribuTECH 2014.

Watch the video here at Smart Grid Watch Blog.