GE Helps UK Power Distributor Minimize Downtime with Latest Automated Power Restoration System
- Project Marks World’s First Implementation of GE’s Automated Power Restoration Technology on a Live System
- Technology Will Help UK Power Networks to Meet Latest Electricity Regulations
ATLANTA - March 6, 2015 - Today, GE’s Digital Energy business (NYSE: GE) announced that UK Power Networks—the U.K.’s largest power distribution company—is the first to implement its latest release of its Automated Power Restoration System (APRS) on a live system. UK Power Networks will be deploying this latest innovative technology, a module of GE’s PowerOn advanced distribution management system (ADMS), across its high-voltage networks in London, the Southeast and East Anglia throughout this year.
On April 1, 2015, the U.K. is entering into a new eight-year regulatory period, with all electricity utilities being reevaluated with new metrics and targets. These include the number of power interruptions customers have and customer minutes lost (the length of the power interruption).
“GE’s APRS technology positions us to meet the U.K.’s new power regulations and equips us with the capabilities we need to be better prepared if a power cut occurs,” said Steve White, head of network operations and control, UK Power Networks. “It has the ability to automatically reconfigure itself to get power supplies back on to our customers as quickly as possible.”
GE’s APRS helps distribution companies improve their operational performance and asset utilization capabilities by leveraging big data to drive operational efficiency. Essentially, this forward-thinking technology is a key component that helps transition electrical system management from the standard “break-and-fix” theory to more of a “predict-and-prevent” model.
The technology allows radial and lightly meshed circuits with different feeder topologies to be automatically and optimally restored when a fault is detected. When a fault occurs on the network, APRS uses telemetered fault detection/location devices to locate the network section containing the fault. It then analyzes the faulted circuit and its neighboring circuits to determine the size of the outage and spare capacity on potential donor circuits. Next, the APRS isolates the faulted section and restores power supply upstream and downstream of the isolated section. With APRS, restorations typically occur within a minute or less of a fault being detected—depending on the utility’s communication infrastructure.
“For more than 15 years, we have been providing UK Power Networks with our advanced distribution solutions, helping to ensure their power system is equipped to meet evolving network challenges,” said Keith Redfearn, general manager, software solutions, GE’s Digital Energy business. “This innovative project takes our long-standing relationship to a whole new level. UK Power Networks is the first power distribution company to implement our latest software, improving the resiliency of its network and enabling power to be restored to its customers faster than ever before.”
UK Power Networks owns and maintains electricity cables and lines across London, the Southeast and East of England, ensuring reliable power to its more than 8 million customers.