The electric distribution system can aspire for a transformation when electric utilities consider the option of distribution automation.

FREMONT, CA: Automation has traditionally not been a part of distribution networks. However, the evolving market and the advent of smart grid technologies are rapidly changing this. Now, electricity generation and distribution depend to a great extent on advanced digital technologies and intelligent equipment to meet customer demands and business requirements. To the electric utilities, digitization is the key to new distribution automation capabilities that drive better performance. According to a report in Aclara, electric utilities today are deploying distribution automation as part of their grid modernization strategy. The benefits of distribution automation are enlisted below.

• Cost-Cutting with Efficiency Improvements

The primary advantage of distribution automation is that electricity firms can save costs through efficiency additions. A conventional electric distribution utility might have several capacity lines across its operation to compensate for voltage loss. Each of these lines must be manually switched over by workers. Distribution automation allows a better way of handling this task. By using automation, this manual switch-over can be executed remotely from a control point.

• Enhancing the Reliability of Grids

Grids become more visible and can be controlled better with distribution automation. This means that the operators will be conveyed about any outage first. Power can then be re-routed, helping the immediate restoration of services. Customer support can be sent to the correct location with the right information and devices to restore power promptly. And of course, the ability to detect and restore energy during emergency situations saves time and money.

• Improved Network for Energy

Electric utilities can proactively fix issues in their network before they escalate into severe issues with the assistance of distribution automation. Shifting from reactive maintenance to a proactive will spare time and keep energy networks optimized. Clear visibility of the grid means firms can instantly identify areas where energy is being wasted. Workers can then ensure that asset life cycles are enhanced, and premature equipment failures are eliminated.

Once executed, distribution automation produces several measurable benefits for both providers and customers. To conclude, the bottom line of implementing distribution automation is enhanced service delivery and increased revenue.

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