By November 21, 2022 Read More →

30 November — To fix it, you need to know it’s broken – Advanced sensing for the distribution grid

Date: 30 November 2022
Time: 12:00pm ET
Location: Wean Hall 3701 and via Zoom
Speaker: Panos Moutis
Topic: To fix it, you need to know it’s broken – Advanced sensing for the distribution grid

Black-outs which are widely spread throughout a transmission system are relatively rare phenomena. On the contrary, faults and disconnections affecting smaller scales in multiple parts of Distribution Networks (DNs) are notably more frequent and add up to service interruptions of – at least – a few hours per customer every year. Additionally, and in light of climate change effects, it is typical utilities’ practice to preemptively de-energize thousands of customers in the path or vicinity of forest fires and floods to reduce further damages and avoid loss of life. All these supply disruptions are strongly related to the limited, if not zero, visibility into the medium and low voltage DNs. Monitoring DNs, however, is not trivial. DNs are geographically dispersed with hundreds of buses over dozens of feeders. It is, thus, important to prioritize the criticality of DN events and understand the diversity of DN characteristics. This talk discusses, first, the value of the digital twin of distribution transformers in identifying DN grid faults with limited and non-disruptive sensing infrastructure. This digital twin methodology also captures the harmonic distortion of the supply that may affect the operation of numerous devices. Secondly, a novel methodology for the detection of forest fires approaching overhead conductors is presented. The methodology relies on the effect of temperature variation to the characteristics of a power line. Both the digital twin of a transformer and the detection of forest fires approaching overhead conductors are enabled thanks to synchrophasor measurements that have been gaining much traction for DN applications.