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CGVB disconnector with smart DWatch Touch monitoring
DWatch Touch: GE's first digital disconnector monitoring and control system commissioned in Canada

GE Renewable Energy has commissioned its new, fully digital disconnector as part of an air-insulated substation at Sept- Îsles, Quebec, a major industrial hub in Canada. Located in the Atlantic Northeast, the substation will energize Société ferroviaire et portuaire de Pointe-Noire's unique industrial transit zone dedicated to the natural resource industry.

SFP Pointe-Noire has great projects for its railway and port hub, and is looking to attract new companies on the 500 hectares of industrial sites. To do so, SFP Pointe-Noire has invested in a new 170 kV electrical substation which will ensure continuity of power supply for themselves and every new company that settles in the area.

With a focus on system resilience, and thereby condition-based maintenance operation, the substation equipment – mainly the circuit breakers and the disconnectors – is featuring GE's well-known CBWatch and the new DWatch Touch control and monitoring devices with full IEC 61850 communication protocol implementation. These monitoring systems provide maintenance employees with local and remote data consultation.

The DWatch mechanism provides an exhaustive real-time condition assessment of critical functions with incipient failure detection features to reduce the risks of catastrophic equipment failure, thus preserving network performance. DWatch records information coming from the sensors installed on the mechanism of the disconnector allowing the user to assess the condition of the equipment in real-time. An optional feature allows the analysis of the date using a comparison with standard models programmed into the system.

The DWatch Touch system is an enhanced version of GE's DWatch monitoring system. The disconnector mechanism is now equipped with a touch screen HMI interface allowing grid operators to locally access all monitored data without any additional laptop. This additional interactive functionality allows them to:

  • Customize the configuration of their disconnector such as the speed control
  • Perform local deep analysis of the health of the disconnector
  • Immediately intervene on the disconnector and re-calibrate its settings

Equipped with segregated USB port on the back of the device, it gives maintenance staff the possibility to upgrade the monitoring system and allows a secured transfer of data while keeping the remote monitoring and control capabilities, thanks to pre-installed IEC 61850 features.

This new system complies with utilities' grid codes and cybersecurity instructions.

It is the first time that the DWatch Touch has been installed on GE's CGVB08 vertical break type disconnector. Due to the Covid pandemic, commissioning was done with remote support from Italy, while the activity was performed in the cold Canadian winter environment. The conditions for this commissioning visit were challenging, especially for new technology introduction, which proves the robustness of the system in harsh weather conditions.