In 2007, a Newton-Evans survey of electric utilities in North America showed that 65% of the sample planned to have capacitor bank control on the same telecommunications infrastructure as distribution automation. Thirty-eight percent said that Volt/Var optimization, demand management or voltage reduction applications will share the same telecoms as DA, and 13% indicated load balancing will also use the same infrastructure. One quarter of the respondents to this survey cited “other” applications such as AMI, fault location, and station alarms. We are revisiting this question and obtaining status and plans related to many more DA topics and issues during the fourth quarter of 2014.
In designing a Distribution Automation system, controls and/or logic can be control center based, substation based, or field based. The 2007 Newton-Evans survey asked electric utilities, “Which type of controls are you planning for feeder automation?”
Since completion of the 2007 study, Newton-Evans has conducted several proprietary studies on DA topics, both from a field equipment perspective as well as from a DMS perspective. Our current study is now being readied for North American-wide utility participation in a comprehensive survey format. During mid-2014, Newton-Evans also published its series of nine comprehensive DA market segment overviews on key market components including DA/DMS systems, control devices for reclosers and capacitors, voltage regulators, fault current indicators, pole-top RTUs, line mount monitoring devices, DA communications options and DA engineering and consulting services.
For more information on Newton-Evans DA research (including the new study of the North American market for DA, planned for late January 2015 availability) see our reports page and the article below.