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Distribution Automation (DA)

Distribution automation (DA) is the complete system that enables a utility to remotely monitor, coordinate and operate distribution components in a real-time mode from remote locations. It comprises the distribution SCADA, communication means, as well as all field components downstream that are necessary for feeder automation, voltage control, outage management system, advanced meter reading, and data monitoring for real-time state estimation and control.

Available automation sequences may include: fault detection, localization, isolation and load restoration. That is, the DA detects a fault, localizes it to a segment of feeder, opens switches around the fault and restores unfaulted sources via the substation and alternative sources as available. The deployment of DA can minimize fault duration and its extent, therefore SAIDI (system average interruption duration index) and SAIFI (system average interruption frequency index) performance metrics can be improved for customers on those feeders. In addition, DA can also perform the automatic check of equipment loading and thermal limits to determine whether load transfers can safely take place.


Fault detection, localization, isolation, load restoration and loading and thermal limit detection

See also Byron Flynn and Steve Lathrop, "Distribution Automation Pilot at PacifiCorp", Minnesota Power Systems Conference, November 6-8, 2007. URL: http://www.gepower.com/prod_serv/plants_td/en/downloads/distribution_automation_pilot.pdf

Key Technology Area: 
Advanced Control Methods

Sample Vendors:
Name Product description Submitted on Submitted by Affiliation Contact information
Motorola 09/30/10
General Electric 09/30/10
Cisco 09/30/10
Cooper Power Systems 09/30/10
ABB 09/30/10


(Disclaimer: This is a representative sample list of vendors which is updated frequently. The SGIC portal does not endorse any companies or products listed herein.)