Analysis of Planned Outage for Assets Upgrades

Asset Management
Outages

Analyze transformers downstream from where a planned outage will occur to identify opportunities for asset upgrades

The Utility Problem

An outage is a state in which no power is delivered to the end consumer of the electricity, which is also called a no voltage state. Planned outages have been an integral part of the electricity distribution business since the beginning of the electricity distribution industry. Compared to unplanned outages, which happen suddenly due to equipment malfunction or another type of failure, planned outages are scheduled and announced adequately to affected electricity consumers. These planned outages occur mainly due to grid activities related to necessary work on electrical distribution equipment needing upgrades or exchanges. It is important to mention that another planned outage recently emerged in certain parts of the world. The planned outage aims to de-energize the distribution equipment to prevent forest wildfires. 

When particular work needs to be performed on the grid, it often requires de-energizing the equipment. If the equipment’s topology lies on the power delivery path and there is no other path to deliver the power, the activity will require the no voltage state (an outage) to a specific part of the grid. The outage will remain in place until the work is done and the equipment is back in operation. With hundreds of work orders which are issued in utilities every day, many of the work orders lead to planned outages. Utilities classify planned outages as an unavoidable consequence of grid upgrades.

With the emergence of modern analytic approaches, the view on planned outages is changing. These analytical approaches provide new possibilities, making electric distribution operations more efficient. An example is a detailed analysis of the scheduled outages by the Asset Management (AM) department. AM analysts can analyze the grid assets under planned outages and recommend the work or replacement of the equipment during the same scheduled outage time. An example case might be an upgrade of the feeder’s lateral where the conductors should be replaced. This work will introduce the outage into the entire lateral. AM analysts can analyze the assets under planned outages and prioritize other multiple assets for replacement during the same outage, whereas work on these would mean another planned outage. With this approach, the amount of downtime (outages) decreases, which leads to improved outage indicators, financial savings and better satisfaction for electricity consumers. 

 

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