NOJA Power

Technical Article

Published 03/2022

Improving HV Operator Safety with the Remote HMI App

Safe operation of the electricity grid is a common goal for all distribution network service providers, and many network innovation programs call for methods to improve operator safety. Driven by network user feedback, NOJA Power’s new Remote HMI App provides an opportunity for all network service providers to add a layer of physical isolation between operators and high voltage equipment. This safety innovation reduces operator risk, while affording all the common benefits and security of the current NOJA Power Recloser Control platform.

NOJA Power’s original Recloser App was launched almost a decade ago. This system offered operators a way to remotely switch a NOJA Power Recloser and check the breaker status. This initial version was readily deployed in high risk environments, where physical access to equipment was challenging. Operators could remain safely in their vehicles, while the secure pairing between their mobile device and the Recloser Controller facilitated control.

NOJA Power’s original Recloser App
NOJA Power’s original Recloser App

However, the limitation of the recloser app is the inability to change settings and view system logs. Accordingly, any network with SCADA duplicates the function of the original NOJA Power Recloser App.

Fast forward to the release of the NOJA Power Remote HMI – this improved application provides the full functionality of the controller panel, but remote on a mobile device.

NOJA Power Remote HMI App
NOJA Power Remote HMI App

After a mobile device is securely paired with the Recloser Controller, operators can conduct all the activities they would normally do by climbing a ladder and opening the controller panel.

These features include:

  • Reading Close/Open Logs and Fault Reports
  • Modifying Protection and control settings
  • Checking System Performance parameters such as circuit breaker wear, battery status, and SCADA Communications status

With these capabilities, network operating businesses can minimise the need for operators to climb poles, or physically contact electrical equipment. Network operators often need to access equipment in suboptimal conditions, such as heavy rain or at night. The ability to remotely interrogate the device reduces the risk of physical injury due to fall or electrical shock.

“Our remote HMI app combined with a USB Bluetooth dongle for each control offers customers the power to control our panel in their hands for our complete range of control types from RC-02, RC-03, RC-10 and RC-15,” says NOJA Power Group Managing Director Neil O’Sullivan.

While the original NOJA Power Recloser App remains a complementary option for NOJA Power OSM Recloser users, the full featured NOJA Power Remote HMI application provides a comprehensive operational replacement for physical equipment access, giving network businesses a serious risk mitigation alternative.

The NOJA Power Remote HMI App is available on both Apple and Android stores at $49 AUD.

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