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Growing service quality expectations make Distribution Automation (DA) processes increasingly imperative for the power utilities and trigger the next major step in the evolution of distribution systems. A successful distribution system management activity such as DA hinges on the information collected from the network itself using an integrated monitoring system. It enables real-time monitoring of grid conditions for the distribution system operators and allows automatic reconfiguration of the network to optimize the power delivery efficiency and/or reduce the impact and duration of outages. The foundation of the monitoring system infrastructure is based on sensors, transducers and intelligent electronic devices (IED) collecting information throughout the distribution system. Several reports produced worldwide, including CEATI's reports on IEDs and sensors , try to define and show how intelligent the distribution network should look. Hydro-Quebec is showing leadership in this field with its proposed plan for the intelligent distribution network of the future. It should include: a) Network monitoring (to improve reliability), b)Equipment monitoring (to improve maintenance), c) Product monitoring (to improve power quality). Hydro-Quebec has conducted several projects to qualify and quantify the type of data that can be gathered from IEDs. At this time, pilot projects are underway to demonstrate conservation voltage reduction, load management and fault location based on measurements provided by IEDs. This paper discusses the structure of an integrated monitoring system and reports on some of the results and conclusions of HQ's projects.
Date of Conference: 10-13 Dec. 2008