Program 14

Program 14 projects focus on the following technical areas:

  • Engineering Analysis Software
  • Engineering Guidelines
  • Equipment Testing/Evaluation
  • Industry Perspectives / White Papers
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Smart Grid
  • System Protection

Project 4 - Surge Protection of Electronically-Controlled Devices Installed in Distribution Systems

One of the ways that utilities have improved the performance and efficiency of the distribution system is by installing equipment-based electronic controllers throughout the distribution system. Examples of these controllers include ones used with voltage regulators, reclosers, sectionalizers, tap changers, and overhead feeder capacitor banks. As the number of controller installations has increased, several DSTAR utilities have experienced more controller failures than expected. In particular, overhead feeder capacitor controllers were identified for study in this project and focused on controller failures attributed to lightning.

Using pole installation diagrams of capacitor bank controllers provided by several DSTAR members, the pole installations are simulated in the Alternate Transients Program (ATP). Local lightning strikes are simulated to determine the factors which affect the transient voltages at the controller.

The study report makes recommendation based on a parametric study of both actual DSTAR member pole installations as well as variations of these installations and corresponding observations.

Project 5 - Cable Pulling Assistant Updates

This project focuses to update the CPA program to include the following enhancements:

Core Programming Updates

• Modify the existing 3-D visualization to show manholes

• Allow the user to choose different types of conduit for each section (High priority)

Interface Changes and Other Minor Updates

Several issues and suggestions have been reported by users since Version 3.25 was released. These include some changes to the CPA interface as well as some other minor updates that would improve the user experience. In addition, some bugs that have been identified by users that were not addressed in subsequent Programs have been included.

Project 6 - Best Practices for Integration of Utility Applications

The scope of this effort focuses on the evolution from an environment where a utility communications system was hard coupled to the supported application and the data source is coupled to the data consumer to one where all of these elements may evolve independently.

Two main topics currently being considered:

• Maximizing the use of existing and future communications infrastructure - This topic includes utility experiences in migration of legacy applications to newer communications technology, the factors influencing the choice between separate or converged communications infrastructure moving forward, and strategies which utilities have employed when opting for converging multiple applications onto a single communications system.

• Access to power system related data outside the traditional system boundary - This topic includes utility experiences related to the need for more and more applications to access power system related data including the challenges associated with data formats and accessibility. How utilities are dealing with cyber security aspects and strategies moving forward for a single data source (e.g. power system IED) to support multiple applications.

While there are many applications that are utilized within utilities today, this effort was focused on those which support the operation of the power system in one way or another such as: Power System Protection, Distribution Automation (DA), Substation Automation (SA), Demand Response (DR), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Distribution Management System (DMS), Outage Management System (OMS), State Estimation, Automatic Generation Control (AGC), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Power Quality (PQ), Asset Monitoring, Wide Area Monitoring, Protection, and Control (WAMPAC), Distributed Energy Resources (DER), and Electric Vehicle (EV).

Project 7 - Survey of Best Practices for Copper Theft Deterrence

This report summarizes industry best practices to deter copper theft. It includes economic, reliability-related, and other consequences of copper theft on utility systems. The report also identifies several countermeasures available and implemented by utilities for theft deterrence.

The report is based on information assembled from review of relevant research publications and reports, as well as a survey of DSTAR member organizations and a few other utilities. The survey was designed to gather information related to the level of concern about the copper theft, consequences faced as a result of incidents, and countermeasures implemented or planned for implementation.

The literature review includes:

  • Theft deterrents
  • Law enforcement options
  • Alternate materials

The survey covers the following:

  • Theft deterrents
  • Low enforcement options
  • Alternate materials
  • Approximate cost and/or number of incidents of copper theft
  • Successes - approximate costs and theft reductions from successful measures implemented
  • Failures – measures attempted that were not successful and reason for failure

Project 8 - Motor problems Resolution and Avoidance – Update CRN Publication

This project follows the scope and organization of the existing report except a couple of new sections will be added to expand beyond motors to include electronic power converters (sometimes called “Drives”). The case studies will be expanded to include illustrations of how drives affect motors.

This project has been scoped to identify and revise the contents of the manual according to the latest industry standards, practices, and guidelines. The revision will include updates and/or additions based on new equipment and changes in equipment and technology since the manual was first published, including information on:

• Impact of new applications such as CVR, smart technologies

• Low voltage issues

• Unbalance voltage issues

Project 9 - Guide to Best Practices for Improving Distribution Reliability

This report summarizes DSTAR member activities and lays out best practices for improving the system reliability. The report is based on information assembled from review of relevant research publications and reports, as well as a survey of DSTAR member utilities. The survey was designed to gather information utilities’ practice and approach to reliability improvement.

The survey questionnaire covers the following:

• Outage response and management

• Data collection, reliability assessment methodology and metrics used

• Goal setting, efforts and practices for improving reliability

• Reliability reporting requirement

• Use of reliability tracking during budget process

• Performance evaluations and reliability

• Industry advancements and reliability