Top 5 Benefits of Distribution Automation and GridLink
The Tait GridLink Solution enables SCADA transmission and Distribution Automation over your DMR Tier 3 network. In this video, we’ll discuss three benefits of Distribution Automation, as well as two unique benefits that Tait GridLink brings to the table.
1. Save Costs through Efficiency Gains
So the first benefit of Distribution Automation is you can save costs through efficiency gains. Consider this: a typical electric distribution utility might have 2,000 capacity banks across its operation to compensate for voltage loss associated with warm weather and/or planned state changes. Four times a year, each bank must be manually switched over, by employees in trucks.
On average, a truck deployment costs a utility $500. So, if we do a little bit of math:
2,000 capacity banks
x four visits annually
x $500 per month
= US$4million in OPEX each year
Distribution Automation offers a better way. By using the data capacity that exists in something like the Tait DMR Tier 3 voice network, these manual switch-overs can be managed remotely from your control center. That means you can use that $4 million to reinvest in the business as you choose.
And that’s just one example. There are many other ways you can increase efficiency through Distribution Automation.
2. Improved Grid Reliability
Another benefit is improved grid reliability. Distribution Automation provides visibility and control of your entire grid. This means the Control Center will be the first to know about an outage. Power can be re-routed, restoring power to the majority of customers almost immediately. Help can be dispatched to the correct location with the right information and tools to restore power quickly.
And of course, during storm situations when trees are laying across the power lines, the ability to detect, isolate, and restore energy around the fault not only saves time and money, it saves lives and reduces outage durations.
3. Optimize your network and save energy
And the third benefit: you can optimize your network and save energy. Distribution Automation allows you to proactively resolve issues in your network before they escalate into serious problems. Moving from reactive maintenance to proactive maintenance will save you time and keep your network optimized.
Clear visibility of your grid also means you can quickly identify areas where energy is being wasted. You can fix many of these issues remotely, reconfiguring switches to load balance, optimizing Volt/VAR, or more discretely managing feeders, assets and resources. With better grid management, it’s easier to ensure that your budgeted asset life cycles are realized and avoid premature equipment failure or replacement.
So those are three great benefits of Distribution Automation, but now let’s talk about what makes the Tait GridLink solution unique.
4. Wide Area, Mission Critical Network
First, it provides a wide area, mission critical network. So traditionally, providing the required data communications that enable Distribution Automation (DA) has been difficult in areas of low density. Fiber optics are not economically feasible over wide areas and cellular coverage is too inconsistent and unreliable to be considered mission critical.
The Tait DMR Tier 3 network, however solves both these problems. It covers a wide area and is built with mission critical resilience, ensuring that your organization can maintain visibility and control of your grid when you need it most. All that’s required is to connect the Tait TD9300 to your RTU so it can relay commands and information between control and pole top devices.
5. One network for voice and SCADA
And the other benefit of Tait GridLink is that you only need one network for both voice and SCADA. We utilize the exact same network that provides our customers with voice coverage. Health and safety requires a critical voice system, but you can get more out of your voice system by choosing a Tait DMR Tier 3 Voice and Data network. That means you’ll only need to install, manage, and pay for one network instead of two.
You can also space out your migration. For instance, you could start by upgrading your infrastructure, then follow by upgrading your voice terminals. Once your DMR Tier 3 network is active, you can then start installing Tait GridLink TD9300 terminals at a pace that suits your needs.
So this concludes the benefits of the Tait GridLink Distribution Automation solution. For more on GridLink, you can visit taitradio.com/gridlink or view the TD9300 specification sheet. And for more on DMR Tier 3 from Tait, you can watch the other videos in this series.