Electrical switchgear engineers NOJA Power today announces that its Colombian representative, PTI S.A. has installed smart grid solutions for two of the country’s major utilities, Electrocaquetá and Empressa de Energia de Pereira (EEP), which include NOJA Power’s OSM Series Automatic Circuit Reclosers (ACR or “auto recloser”) and RC10 controllers.
Colombia is a rapidly developing nation and the government is encouraging utilities such as Electrocaquetá and EEP to upgrade production, transmission and distribution infrastructure to meet future growth in demand and improve quality of service while continuing to meet sustainability targets.
In addition, Electrocaquetá and EEP faced the challenge of installing smart equipment to meet these demands in remote and hard to access areas, making it difficult to interconnect distribution automation for smart grid operation. PTI solved the problem by linking the distribution automation equipment (including NOJA Power’s ACRs and RC10 controllers) to control centres using the cellular network.
PTI used technology from specialist network communication equipment company Viola Systems Ltd of Finland to link to the cellular network. (PTI S.A. represents Viola Systems in Colombia.) A key element of Viola Systems’ technology is the Arctic Gateway router, a smart communication device which is installed at the remote distribution automation site enabling connection to the cellular network. The routers are connected to the cellphone network and then through the Internet using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to the Viola Systems M2M server installed in the client’s control centre.
A total of 54 NOJA Power ACRs and RC10 controllers are used in the two companies’ installations. The equipment uses the IEC-104 communication protocol across the VPNs, ensuring information security. This solution also enables remote control of the SCADA and operational parameters of the ACRs.
“NOJA Power’s auto reclosers have been designed from the ground up for smart grid applications,” says Neil O’Sullivan, NOJA Power’s Managing Director. “This includes equipping the devices’ RC10 controllers with a variety of interfaces so that they can communicate using a range of technologies including PTI’s solution using the Colombian cellular network.
“This is an ideal solution for remote installations that aren’t serviced by wired communication networks and allows the utility operators instant access to the comprehensive data set gathered by the ACRs while allowing full manual control of the devices’ operation.”
NOJA Power’s OSM series ACRs provide a comprehensive suite of automation features. The units perform voltage measurement on all six bushings, current measurement on all three phases, bidirectional protection and extensive power quality and data logging capability. The ACRs benefit from the use of vacuum interrupters and solid dielectric insulation instead of the environmentally unfriendly oil or sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas used in sectionalizers and older recloser products. The OSM series stainless steel enclosure forms the only ACR with controlled internal arc fault venting on the market. The controlled arc fault venting design is in accordance with the requirements of IEC62271-200 Clause 6.106 and Annex A.
The RC10 cubicle is a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)-ready controller that provides a directional overcurrent, earth fault and sensitive earth fault relay, auto reclosing relay, instantaneous metering, event log, demand logger and remote terminal unit (RTU) for remote control in a single package
Since their introduction, the OSM series ACRs have been installed by utilities in over 80 countries around the world. (See “About the NOJA Power OSM series” below.)
NOJA Power has produced a white paper entitled “Cellular networks bring remote smart grid installations to life”, which describes PTI S.A.’s smart grid solution for Electrocaquetá and EEP. The white paper is available for download from the company’s website, www.nojapower.com.au.