Phase Balance Analysis

Grid Operations and Control

It is possible to identify which phase is more or less loaded and switch some loads from this phase to another one, thus optimizing the grid and lowering investment costs.

The Utility Problem

By design, the electricity distribution grids are built as a 3-phase. If some loads are connected to only one phase, or 3-phase loads have more load on one phase, this changes the balance of power flow on each phase. Because of this, one phase in the distribution grid may be more loaded than the other two, or one phase may be significantly less loaded than the other two.

Such a 3-phase power imbalance then causes several undesirable situations. For example, due to the imbalance, the maximum carrying capacity of the line can be affected. This happens even when the other phases have sufficient reserve capacity. Another undesirable consequence of imbalance can be increased losses due to the flow of currents through the neutral conductor, which affects the economics and billing of the grid operation.

In the past (without data analytics), this situation was solved by upgrading the line with a higher diameter line, which would have caused high investment costs. With data, it is possible to identify which phase is more or less loaded and switch some loads from this phase to another one, thus optimizing the grid and lowering investment costs compared to upgrades of the conductors.

 

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