Powertech’s Grid Modernization team has established a dedicated lab and facilities for helping utilities deploy distribution automation (DA) devices faster using standardized templates and procedures. Services include device inspection against engineering standards, confirmation of readiness for commissioning in field, and pre-commissioning of communicating devices.
DA is a key aspect of grid modernization at several North American utilities. Automated, intelligent devices in the distribution network offer advantages including:
- Increased network automation
- Automated switching
- Implementation of self-healing networks
- Reduced customer downtimes
- Increased network visibility
Leading vendors of distribution switchgear and other devices are ramping up their capabilities and offerings to the utility sector. As utilities select, procure, and deploy these devices, they will need assistance in ensuring devices perform according to standards and specifications.
Currently Powertech is offering inspection and pre-commissioning services for underground and pad-mounted Vista switchgear and fault current indicators (FCI). The team is actively working on adding new skills and methods for other distribution devices such as reclosers, voltage regulators, capacitor controls, and other smart distribution devices.
- Device inspection
- Device pre-commissioning based onpre-established standards
- Device set-up for communication switches, protective relays
- LVE (low-voltage enclosure) checks
- Assistance with protection tests (switchgear), recloser verification, and FCI communications/measurement confirmation
- Communications and modem troubleshooting
- Coordination with manufacturers/vendors for incorrect or incomplete operation during inspection/pre-commissioning
In addition, Powertech Labs envisions expanding current capabilities to include:
- Validation and confirmation of features and capabilities from vendors
- Matching market promises to actual system and design expectations
- Review of engineering methods, standards, and documentation pertaining to device selection, design and deployment
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