Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 13:36 EDT

Siemens Joins With A&N Electric and RuggedCom to Deploy High-Speed Distribution Feeder Automation System

September 6, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Siemens Energy, together with A&N Electric Cooperative and RuggedCom, Inc., has successfully deployed an ultra high-speed distribution feeder automation (DFA) system that improves service reliability for the only hospital serving the eastern shore of Virginia, Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Nassowadox, Virginia. The combined smart grid DFA solution allows for optimized fault detection, isolation and restoration (FDIR), minimizing the extent of power outages by quickly isolating affected areas.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20070904/SIEMENSLOGO )

The Siemens distribution feeder automation-decentralized (SDFA-DC) system achieves high-speed operation by detecting faults using Siemens SIPROTEC(TM) protective relays located at each feeder section point — continuously comparing upstream and downstream line current conditions. When a comparison reveals a differential exceeding predefined parameters, the affected relay issues a fault notification to all other relays in the system. The relays then direct switching devices to reconfigure the feeder, isolating the fault and transferring viable line sections to another substation power source when necessary.

System communications are handled by standard WiMAX wireless links consisting of RuggedCom’s RuggedMAX(TM) base stations and subscriber units. Before commissioning, Siemens and RuggedCom engineers determined that WiMAX’s wide bandwidth and near-line-of-sight propagation characteristics would provide an ideal communication platform for critical, high-speed feeder automation applications.

“Because Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital is so critical to our community, we needed a way to reduce the impact of outages caused by numerous automobile collisions with our pole lines. The SDFA-DC distribution feeder automation system from Siemens meets our needs by detecting faults, isolating problems, and transferring to alternative power sources in less than half a second,” says Kelvin Pettit, vice president of system reliability at A&N.

A&N plans to use Siemens technology to expand automation to other distribution feeders as time and finances permit. “In addition to its high operating speed, we chose the Siemens approach because of its scalability. We can purchase a minimum amount of equipment to target critical needs and get the most out of our investment,” says Pettit. Tom Larson, A&N’s vice president of engineering looks forward to the expansion: “A&N Electric Cooperative embraces new technology, and this is another milestone for A&N. We’re on the leading edge and we’re very excited about it.”

“We are proud to be part of this successful project. The effective, seamless nature of the Siemens SIPROTEC(TM) protective relays will assist in allowing the majority of A&N’s customers to enjoy uninterrupted service during the reconfiguration,” comments Thierry Godart, vice president and general manager at Siemens Energy Automation and Smart Grid Applications, when referring to the system’s high operating speed.

Mike Canales, director of facilities at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital says, “We expect most service disruptions to be so short that they won’t be visible to our patients. Our staff will be able to focus on caring for patients without the distraction of checking on equipment or implementing downtime procedures. This is just one of several examples of A&N’s efforts to make a difference here on the eastern shore of Virginia.”

The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for the generation, transmission and distribution of power and for the extraction, conversion and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2010 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of approximately EUR25.5 billion and received new orders totaling more than EUR30.1 billion and posted a profit of more than EUR3.3 billion. On September 30, 2010, the Energy Sector had a work force of more than 88,000. Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/energy.

A&N Electric Cooperative (www.anec.com) is based in Tasley, Virginia and serves Accomack and Northampton counties on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and Smith Island in Somerset County, Maryland.

RuggedCom is a leading provider of rugged communications networking solutions designed for mission-critical applications in harsh environments. RuggedCom’s technology solutions include Ethernet switches, network routers, wireless devices, serial servers, media converters, software and professional services. RuggedCom’s products are designed for use in harsh environments such as those found in electrical power substations and smart grids, intelligent transportation systems, industrial process control and military applications.

SOURCE Siemens Energy

Source: PR Newswire