Decision Metrix: Grid Analytical Software

Decision Metrix is a web enabled intelligent compliance monitoring and decision support tool developed by Premium Power to address the challenges of the modern day power grid.

Decision Metrix

This case study describes Premium Power’s deployment of the Decision Metrix Power Quality network management tool for ESB Networks. ESB Networks is Ireland’s largest DNO and is facing unprecedented challenges with the impact of large scale integration of renewable generation sources to its network.

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.

CHALLENGE

ESB Networks face the constant need to manage and maintain high Power Quality standards across its network. ESB Networks are also facing the challenge of integrating more and more renewable power sources. Renewable power such as Wind brings with it a number of challenges to Power Quality. ESB wanted to understand how their network was performing against these challenges and ideally to identify problem areas before they became significant.

ESB Networks has two Power Quality monitoring systems deployed. The first was the ION system from Schneider and the second was the Unipower system from Unipower LLC.  ESB wanted to unify the data generated from both these systems in order to provide a comprehensive view of their network. They wanted a system which would enable compliance against EN50160 and their own internal network standards to be continuously evaluated. Finally they wished to understand where problem areas existed and where they were emerging.

SOLUTION

During 2011 and 2012, Premium Power developed a compelling case for a decision support platform for utilities. The Premium Power team had a vision of a web enabled, modular vendor neutral platform with a rules engine that was flexible enough to deal with specifics from across the power engineering domain.

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. In the case of ESB Networks, Decision Metrix integrated with the two power quality metering systems already in place, ION and Unipower.  Decision Metrix was programmed to import the data from these systems and to evaluate meter performance against Power Quality 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.

RESULTS

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 vendor specific Power Quality standards..

Overview

• Enhances the value of existing system
• Unified view
• Wide area monitoring and reporting of electrical characteristics
• Compliance monitoring
• Customisable dashboard
• Benchmarking overall system performance and reliability
• Integrate with any data source
• Eliminates human error

"Integration with third party systems can be very challenging for data quality. Understanding the quality of the data used to measure compliance is critical."
Alan O'Kelly, Projects Development Manager

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