ESB Networks – Grid Power Quality Solution

ESB Networks is the Distribution System Operator in the Republic of Ireland. Premium Power has worked closely with ESB Networks for over a decade to provide and support a country wide power quality and power monitoring solution.



The Background

Electrical Utilities have common concerns—one of the most important is maintaining the quality of supply to customers. The term power quality describes quality of supply. Power quality is a broad term that includes elements such reactive power, harmonic pollution, load imbalance and fast voltage variations.

Power quality problems at a network level can have significant and expensive consequences. The costs (direct and consequential) associated with this problem have been shown through key studies to range from $118 billion to $188 billion in the US per annum and to exceed €150 billion in the EU per annum.

According to industry consultants many utilities are addressing power quality in an ad hoc manner. This means resolving problems as they become apparent to customers through interruptions or machine failure.

This area is addressed by standards such as EN50160 or G5/4. These are standards which govern the power quality delivered to a customer and provide limits within which utilities should be maintaining supply.

The Challenge

ESB Networks is the Distribution System Operator in the Republic of Ireland. Premium Power has worked closely with ESB Networks for over a decade to provide and support a country wide power quality and power monitoring solution. The result is a large network of Power Quality meters (ION 7650’s) integrated into the powerful ION Enterprise power monitoring system. Maintaining and managing a network of this size presents unique communication and configuration challenges.

How we helped

Premium Power integrated a large number of metering devices into the PMS. This gave the client the ability to measure and monitor EN50160 and grid code compliance across a huge number of sites.

Premium Power have supported ESB Networks in customizing the system to address many challenges.

In recent years the dramatic increase in penetration of renewable energy has placed new and challenging demands on ESB Networks. In 2012 ESB Networks and Premium Power worked together to write a software system that would allow powerful reporting and analytics of the network. This software solution was delivered on time and budget and has been been expanded since to include the monitoring of many advanced grid performance attributes.


Standards/Rules Engine

The result was Premium Power’s powerful Decision Metrix platform. The Decision Metrix Compliance module allows users embed the rules used to evaluate Power Quality performance across a network including standards such as EN 50160 and G5/4.   Decision Metrix was designed to import the data from PQ systems and to evaluate meter performance against Power Quality and Grid Compliance standards.

Data Independence and Validation
Integration with third party systems can be very challenging for data quality. Understanding the quality of the data used to measure compliance is critical. Decision Metrix uses a customisable set of rules to determine is the data quality to an acceptable standard. Breaches of minimum standards are clearly flagged clearly for users to see.

Network Compliance KPI
Understanding which network points need an engineer’s attention is critical when monitoring a network Power Quality. Decision Metrix uses appropriate KPI to identify which network points are failing to comply and also highlights trending information which can be critical in identifying emerging problems.


"Over the years we have fostered and developed a number of relationships with utilities and other high power users. This is one example of where our expertise and specific knowledge in the area of power quality can be seen."
Alan O'Kelly, Product Design Manager, Premium Power

The Result

Decision Metrix delivered strong business benefits to the network operator in the area of power quality network performance.

Reduced Manpower and time
Improved performance was possible with less effort. Decision Metrix identified compliance failures in significantly less time than previous labour intensive methods of management.

Improved Network performance
Identifying Network issues ahead of time is a significantly better way to manage network Power Quality. The impact of Power Quality problems can be very costly. Early and in some cases pre-emptive identification of issues has offered very clear ROI.

Ensure Network Compliance
Identifying and demonstrating network compliance with standards is becoming a more and more significant requirement to network operators. Decision Metrix has used its powerful reporting mechanism to demonstrate network compliance to Grid Codes.

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