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January 24, 2013

UtiliKeeper Steps Up its Smart Grid Substation Monitoring Capabilities



Kamstrup’s UtiliKeeper has taken aim at medium-voltage smart grid substations, releasing integrations with two popular solutions to improve fault location and substation monitoring.

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The company recently announced its integration with Horstmann’s ComPass B short circuit/earth fault directional indicator along with its integration with administrative supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

On its own, UtiliKeeper collects second-by-second data from substations, which provides detailed pictures of grid load and operations. Depending on the severity of a fault, UtiliKeeper can route issues appropriately. For example, a minor issue could be sent by e-mail or SMS to operational staff while a larger issue could go directly to the SCADA system.

According to Horstmann sales engineer, Hendrik Benzenberg, the Horstmann-UtiliKeeper integration can be used in both new substation installations and in retrofits. “The combination of the significant features and high quality products fulfill the high expectations of the utilities,” he said in a statement.

Because UtiliKeeper already supports the IEC60870-104 protocol, SCADA systems can receive alarms from UtiliKeeper and control its relay ports. With the new integration capabilities, each pair of digital input ports can be configured as either single or double indicators.

“If a tree falls over an overhead line and causes a short-circuit,” explained Kamstrup Smart Grid product manager Henrik Baek Jorgenson, “the two UtiliKeepers in the substations on either side will send an alarm containing substation ID and direction either via SMS, e-mail or directly into the SCADA system, so that targeted repair can be initiated immediately.”

For many smart grid operators, controlling the low and medium-voltage substations continues to be one of the most challenging pieces of the puzzle. One of those operators is Norwegian utility EB Nett AS.

EB Nett AS tested the UtiliKeeper/SCADA integration at one of its Moen substations and reported positive results. “We installed UtiliKeeper, connected it to two breakers and to our control center over fiber and can now very easily remotely control the two breakers connected to UtiliKeeper directly from our ABB Compass (News - Alert) SCADA system,” said EB Nett AS operational engineer Thor Helge Skaug.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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