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Minimizing field inspections to isolate connectivity and theft solutions in distribution networks

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237965D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-23

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Connectivity and Loss localization applications attempt to identify network solutions over distribution grids by using measurements from sensor devices - for example SCADA and AMI data. § Traditionally, these network solutions are identified via manual inspections in the field, which are expensive, unsustainable, and inefficient. § However measurements from the grid are not always sufficient or of required quality to support the inference of the true underlying network solution. In these cases, it may not be possible to eliminate or substitute field inspections with analytics-based solution. § In this work, we propose a method that uses measurements to minimize the number of field inspections needed to identify the true underlying network solution in distribution grids.

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Minimizing field inspections to isolate connectivity and theft solutions in distribution networks

Summary

Connectivity and Loss localization applications attempt to identify network solutions over distribution grids by using measurements from sensor devices - for example SCADA and AMI data.

Traditionally, these network solutions are identified via manual inspections in the field, which are expensive, unsustainable, and inefficient.

However measurements from the grid are not always sufficient or of required quality to support the inference of the true underlying network solution. In these cases, it may not be possible to eliminate or substitute field inspections with analytics-based solution.

In this work, we propose a method that uses measurements to minimize the number of field inspections needed to identify the true underlying network solution in distribution grids.

Business Case 1: Connectivity

Industry problem: Inaccurate / Out-of-date connectivity models


- The connectivity model of a distribution circuit gives the underlying interconnections between various assets and customers in the network downstream of a substation


• i.e. the interconnections between the feeders, distribution transformers, and customers: which customer is connected to which phase and which

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customer is connected to which transformer.


- The accuracy of the connectivity model deteriorates over time due to repairs, maintenance following storms & outages, and rebalancing efforts carried out in the field.


• Field configurations change over time and distributors do not have an up-to-date or accurate view of the connectivity that exists in the field.


- Energy distributors are seeking solutions that minimize the number of field inspections required to maintain an up-to-date connectivity model of their distribution network.


• Manual inspection of field connectivity is expensive and reductions can lead to substantial savings.


• One of the expectations is to get dividends on the recent AMI deployments and utilize these measurements to reduce the cost of field inspections.


• Most solutions needed to improve the reliability and efficiency of a distribution network essentially require an accurate connectivity model as input.

Business Case 1: Connectivity

Manual approach and problems


- During faults and outages, if the crew observes inconsistencies in the connectivity model, these errors may be recorded in manual field reports. Errors in some regions of the distribution network become known in this manner. Reports are not always tracked and not all changes get reflected.


- Utilities use manual labor to perform field inspections. However these resources are not used optimally - they may be wastefully allocated to verify locations where the connectivity model is already accurate.


- There are no systematic ways to detect locations where the connectivity model may be inconsistent and optimally utilize crew to verify the connectivity at these locat...