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FLISR (Fault Location/Isolation/Service Restoration) - A key Advance Distribution Automation Application - a 'MUST' in Smart Grid Control Room

In this blog, I am going to highlight one of the Advance Distribution Automation application module- 'FLISR' (also called FDISR), and it importance in future Smart Grid control rooms.
After occurrence of any fault, the key challenge to any power distribution utility is to locate/ detect the faulty section, Isolate the faulty section and restore un-faulted areas, as quickly as possible. Faster the restorations after fault- better its impact on Reliability Indices (tangible benefit) and grater is customer satisfaction (intangible benefit). This FLISR/FDISR module addresses this particular challenge faced by utility.
FLISR module, integrated with 'Fault Indicators' installed at field can locate or detect the faulty section (the section between two switchable elements) and automatically generates switching sequence (SPM-switching procedure management) to isolate the section and restore the un-faulted areas (if alternative source exist). By a single click on the button, all the necessary Isolation and Restoration steps can be performed, automatically, isolating the faulty section and restoring the supply. This module can significantly decrease the Fault Location/Isolation/ Restoration time, compared to conventional SCADA/DMS system (with monitoring and remote control facility only). The module therefore has a direct impact on 'Reliability Indices'- a key KPI for any utility.
Another key functionality of this module - if more than one options are available for Restoration (in N-2 scenario) of un-faulted area, then this module provides all the possible option for restoration, along with the voltage/current index and technical loss impact on distribution network, after restoration, with all these possible options. From there the operator can choose the best possible way for supply restoration. This functionality has a significant impact on 'power quality' in post restoration scenario.
This module will also help the utilities to become sustainable in future. How? Here is the answer- In post fault scenario, the efficiency and quality of 'isolation and restoration' depends on the experience and skill-set of the individual operator in SCADA/DMS control room. There is no doubt that an operator dealing with the network for last 10-12 years is expected to isolate and restore in a faster and efficient manner than a new person in control room. But this FLISR module will help to reduce this gap between an experience and a new operator, as the network control will effectively move from person dependent to system dependent, leading to a sustainable future for utility.
As of today the module, when operated in a real time SCADA/DMS system, has one key 'Operator Interface' only, i.e. generation of SPM, which operator can validate before execution. This stage is provided keeping utility's 'safety practices' in mind. The automatically generated SPM can be validated in 'network simulator' mode (a functionality of SPM) before execution in real-time system. As more and more utilities starts to deploy this module successfully, confidence on this module is also expected to increase, the day is not far away, when this 'SPM-validation' step can be by-passed (looks a bit ambitious at this stage) and direct execution can be allowed from the module itself (today this functionality is available in offline FLISR modules only). This will lead to further reduction in 'restoration time in post fault scenario'.
Due to these above features, I strongly believe that FLISR/FDISR module is a 'must' in all future Smart Grid control rooms.

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