Distribution automation is a proven way of improving the efficiency, reliability, and overall performance of the electricity distribution system.

FREMONT, CA: Distribution networks have not been armed with high levels of automation historically. But the changing market and the advent of smart grid technologies are rapidly transforming this. Today, energy generation and distribution highly rely on advanced digital technologies and intelligent devices to satisfy customer demands and business requirements. To the energy industry, digitization is the key to new distribution automation technologies for better performance. According to Aclara, electric utilities today are deploying distribution automation as part of their grid modernization strategy.

Savings through Efficiency Gains

The first benefit of distribution automation is that energy firms can save costs through efficiency gains. A typical electric distribution utility might have several capacity banks across its operation to compensate for voltage loss. Each of these banks must be manually switched over by employees. Distribution automation offers a better way of managing this activity. By using automation capability, this manual switch-over can be managed remotely from a control point.

Improving Grid Reliability

Distributed automation provides visibility and control over the grid. This means that the control center will be the first to know about the outage. Power can be re-routed, restoring power almost immediately. Customer support can be dispatched to the correct location with the right information and tools to restore power quickly. And of course, the ability to detect, isolate, and restore energy during emergency situations saves time and money.

Optimizing Energy Network

Energy firms can proactively resolve issues in their network before they escalate to serious problems with the help of distribution automation. Moving from reactive maintenance to a proactive one will save time and keep energy networks optimized. Clear visibility of the grid means firms can quickly identify areas where energy is being wasted.  Workers can ensure that asset life cycles are enhanced, and premature equipment failure is eliminated.

Once implemented, distribution automation delivers several measurable benefits for both providers and customers. In short, the bottom line of implementing distribution automation is better performance, lower costs, more reliability, and improved transparency. 

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