On June 5, T&D World attended a one-day distribution automation exchange (DAXchange) hosted by Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L; Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.).
Several Midwest utilities, as well as suppliers and manufacturers, attended the regional event, which provided a quality forum to learn about leading-edge applications and see them demonstrated. The day began with morning presentations followed by outdoor demonstrations in the afternoon.
Rick Schmidt of Power System Engineering (Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.) addressed wireless communications options for distributed automation, including licensed and unlicensed radio, commercial cellular, broadband VSAT and power line carrier. Schmidt examined the advantages and limitations of the different mediums through case study examples. He stressed the need to perform proper due diligence (needs and risk assessment, budgeting, resource planning, design, testing and training) before choosing an option.
Carl Goeckeler of KCP&L detailed the utility's recent capacitor bank monitoring system for rural areas, which was installed as a result of patrols conducted in 2000 that revealed problems with their capacitor banks. The Telemetric two-way communications system provides exception reporting that detects blown fuses, failed units, damaged control cable and high harmonics. The Internet-enabled system allows for remote control and provisions for set-point adjustments to change system voltage and VAR requirements.
Phil Cosey and Eli Forney of KCP&L spoke on remote substation automation. The automated equipment discussed included transformers, load tap changers, regulators, reclosers and switches. Cosey elaborated on various substation points that are monitored and controlled via the Internet such as oil temperature, LTC temperature, operational status (relays, switches, reclosers and fans), as well as power-quality readings.
Jon Wirtz of Westar (Topeka, Kansas, U.S.) expounded on efforts to interface its energy management system with substation remote thermal units (RTUs) using a cellular network. Westar chose the cellular approach because of its large remote service territory and small point count requirements. To date, Westar has five substation RTUs on the Web tied to its energy management system.
The outdoor session was conducted at KCP&L's linemen training yard. Various demonstrations were conducted to exhibit the operation of automation equipment and devices (capacitor banks, regulators, overhead switches and pad-mounted switchgear) under simulated conditions.
Sponsors and participating suppliers for the event included: Telemetric, Siemens, Power Delivery Products, S&C Electric, Cleaves-Bessmer-Marietti and Rauckman High Voltage Sales.
Thanks to KCP&L on behalf of T&D World and the participating utilities who benefited from the DAXchange.
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