What Is Outage Detection?
Outage detection (as early and accurate as possible) is critical to take actions to manage, mitigate, or recover from power outages. When outages due to weather, third-party damage or asset failure occur, utilities’ number one priority is to remedy the interruption and restore service quickly. They need to understand the extent and the exact locations in which the damage occurred to react promptly and get electrical assets (and thereby customers) back online. Today, the most commonly used outage indications are from smart (revenue) meters, but these come with their own set of challenges.
What Are Some Challenges Regarding Outage Detection?
Inaccurate Representation of Outage
Smart meters talk to each other in a mesh network to communicate, relaying data to central collection points. If there is a power outage in a suburb, the smart meters in the middle cannot get a signal out (because the adjacent meters in the mesh network have lost power) to identify the presence of a nested outage. Therefore, they cannot give a representation of how many people are without power. Smart metering networks also tend to have a high latency from measurement through to network, often exacerbated by the data passing through the revenue metering team before being shared to the network team. This can hamper efforts to get timely alerts about an outage and impact return to service.
Slow and Inaccurate Identification of Outages
The sooner you know, the sooner you can fix the problem (especially in critical areas). Because of the restrictions of smart meters, there is no good way to alert utilities to the issue. Because of this, many of the alerts come from customers rather than their own assets. Utilities are left searching for a way to have visibility to the issue without needing to hear from their customers.
Inability to Identify Issue(s)
Smart meters don’t identify the issue, so there is no good way to identify the cause of the outage or the steps needed to repair it. This prolongs the amount of time it takes to get things back online. Utilities then need to send out people to identify and fix the issues, which takes valuable time and resources.
How We Can Help
ConnectGrid™ IoT Platform
The Dynamic Ratings ConnectGrid™ Smart Infrastructure Solution (SIS) is an agile technology stack that enhances connectivity to grid edge assets for better management. The system is tailored to meet varying security, scalability and availability requirements and has many options available in architecture and communication technology.
Dynamic Ratings is a trusted advisor that helps you make the right decisions for your asset monitoring. We focus on our customer’s objectives and priorities and provide solution-based products that help utilities meet their goals, such as:
Outage Detection Solutions
Our monitors offer Instantaneous Outage Detection and automated alerts, so utilities know the extent and the exact locations in which the damage occurred, and can react quickly and get things back online. Because our products offer continuous online monitoring, they not only alert utilities that there is an issue, but identify the exact issue, so personnel are dispatched with the information they need to fix the problem quickly, saving both time and money.