~ The size and complexity of the power network makes remote decentralized asset management difficult, but not impossible ~
Power losses can have a significant impact on the day-to-day operations of a business, the productivity of telecommuting staff, or the profitability of a power asset management company or grid operator. This is Beth Ragdale, Product Manager of. Energy control system expert Beckhoff Automation UK describes the role of modern control systems in the availability of power assets.
In 2020, several UK power asset management companies paid a total of £ 10.5 million for a failure that led to a power outage affecting more than one million people in 2019. The cause of the first failure was stated by the UK energy regulator Ofgem as follows: A very rare and unexpected event caused by a lightning strike, highlighting the impact of asset failures on the power grid.
To maintain network availability, you need assets that are functioning properly. Operators have a low chance of failure (PoF), with all assets functioning properly, from power-related assets such as wind turbines and photovoltaic panels to distribution assets such as transformers, circuit breakers, and power lines. You need to make sure that.
However, asset risk in electrical networks is not a simple process. Electrical assets experience a wide range of time-based utilization or random failures. Each of these produces distinctly different modes of failure, such as electrical flashovers and circuit trip failures.
There is also the fact that assets are neither uniformly complex nor equally accessible. Transmission lines have far fewer components than transformers, both have fewer components than offshore wind turbines, and are much easier to access. The more complex your assets, the more likely you are to fail.
As the scope of this complexity and risk grows with the size of the electrical network, it is not surprising that asset maintenance is a business priority. Ofgem’s current price control, RIIO-ED1, which runs from 2015 to March 31, 2023, has introduced regulatory requirements for operators to report on the health and materiality of their assets.This requirement is set to last until 2028, and Ofgem How to evaluate the soundness of electrical assets In April 2021 for the next RIIO-ED2.
Part of the methodology for assessing risk is to explain the intervention planned during the reporting period. These interventions include replacement, refurbishment, or maintenance activities aimed at reducing the PoF of assets. Many of these activities contribute to the secondary deliverables of the operator’s network assets related to the improved risk posed by the exchange of assets.
Accurate health monitoring is paramount to providing interventions to reduce PoF in electrical assets. This has traditionally been done mostly by manual inspection and evaluation. This has proven to be a costly and inefficient method that does not adequately support remote assets. As automation and control technologies become more and more interconnected and data can be shared digitally, this process has become streamlined, easier, more cost effective and more comprehensive.
For example, a wind farm operator may have dozens of turbines responsible for reporting to a network operator. An accurate assessment of the condition of a wind turbine requires insight into how each component works. This means evaluating parts such as blades and towers, as well as critical components such as drivetrain generators and turbine controllers individually.
However, not all automation software is suitable for providing remote asset health monitoring. Even in applications such as wind farms, not all assets are designed the same, and replacing parts over time can lead to the installation of new systems from different manufacturers. This means that open automation software is essential to ensure interoperability between condition monitoring software and connected systems.
Many asset management companies and distribution network operators Baeckeoffe Twin CAT3 software As the basis of a condition monitoring system. Built on open automation standards, TwinCAT 3 provides a flexible way to connect assets from different manufacturers to capture performance data, as well as to perform control functions efficiently. increase.
TwinCAT 3 software is also modular in design, allowing you to quickly deploy additional features based on the specific requirements of different assets. This means that control functions can be quickly adapted to the unique needs of the new asset, reducing setup time.
Beyond the report
Simply deploy an open automation software platform such as TwinCAT 3 to meet the minimum asset health data requirements for RIIO-ED1 and RIIO-ED2 reports. However, it also supports a more effective maintenance strategy for operators who want their reporting requirements to directly benefit operational efficiency and cost.
One of the driving forces behind the boom in industrial data analysis and condition monitoring over the last few years is the advancement of sensors. It makes it easier to collect more detailed data from field devices and systems, providing more comprehensive operational insights.
For example, operators can connect substations to gain insights into the performance of transformers, switchgear, and other components. Each of these parts can serve multiple datasets. An operator with a sufficiently sophisticated setup can remotely retrieve data from the transformer regarding voltage, local alarm system events, operating temperature, noise, vibration, and even decomposition of dissolved gas in insulating oil.
Maintenance teams and operations managers will greatly benefit from detailed data insights. Especially if you can get it in real time. This requires a condition monitoring system that can synchronously collect multiple data points from a single source and share them. To do this in real time, the communication protocols that underpin the system must be able to quickly share data packets. This is a feature that EtherCAT is good at, making it ideal for controlling PC-based TwinCAT3.
The cost of failure for power network operators is high, and the size and complexity of modern networks certainly makes PoF a difficult task to minimize. Fortunately, asset health reports are set to maintain regulatory requirements for the foreseeable future, giving operators the opportunity to improve maintenance, make automation software more flexible, and boost revenue. Can be changed to.
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