Sensus has been chosen to provide equipment and services for PPL Electric Utilities’ Remote Operator Controlled Switch program, which has been approved for system-wide use.

PPL Electric Utilities, which provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania, wanted to reduce customer outage minutes by having system operators identify fault locations and sectionalize circuits before its crews arrived on the scene.

After a successful pilot program in which the utility installed the Sensus Telemetric MicroRTU along with faulted circuit indicators and Cleaveland/Price distribution-class motor operators on existing air-break switches, the utility approved the equipment for use on its entire distribution system. The Sensus program provides fast, reliable two-way communication of information to the utility.

“The two-way communication capabilities enable remote operation of distribution switches and reclosers that reduce customer outage minutes which is a key performance metric for utilities,” said Steve Isaacson, director, Sales and Marketing – Distribution Automation at Sensus.

“The real-time status information allows the utility to quickly identify fault locations, isolate the fault and immediately restore service to the maximuim number of customers possible before crews arrive. Another benefit is the ability to dispatch crews directly to the fault location, further reducing customer outage minutes,” Isaacson said.

The Sensus Telemetric MicroRTU also reports fluctuations in voltage conditions as well as momentary and continuing outages. The product is interoperable with SCADA/EMS/DMS systems using industry-standard DNP 3.0 protocol (a NIST identified Smart Grid protocol) and can use existing assets for distribution automation with no need for new development.