ComEd’s “Smart Switches” Reducing Service Interruptions; “Self-healing” technology key to improving reliability – Electric Light & Power

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Distribution Automation (Smart Switches) routes power around potential problem areas, often with no noticeable interruption in service.  Installation of these devices resulted in 82,000 fewer customer power interruptions in 2012. During the severe storms that hit the Chicago area in mid-April, DA devices prevented 20,000 service interruptions.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

By remotely monitoring and controlling grid operations, Distribution Automation (DA) devices, or smart switches, are a central feature of smart grid technology and ComEd’s effort to reduce the frequency and duration of outages.

[…] if a tree were to fall on a utility pole resulting in an interruption, far fewer customers would be impacted because it enables us to better isolate the damaged section,” explained McMahan. “DA introduces a self-healing capability to the electric grid by allowing us to resolve issues before customers might even be aware of them, and that has a profoundly positive impact on people’s daily lives.”

When fully implemented, distribution automation and smart meters will communicate with ComEd’s operations center, alerting the utility of an outage and eliminating the need for customers to call to report they are out of power.  […]  To see how smart meters and DA devices work together, click this link .

Under the smart grid law, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years to strengthen and modernize the electric grid in northern Illinois. More than $1.3 billion is earmarked to deploy a Smart Grid system and install smart meters in four million homes and businesses to give customers greater control over their energy consumption and costs.  The current schedule calls for ComEd to begin installing smart meters in 2015. […]

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