FACES: Monitoring and Optimization of Transmission Assets

Monitoring and optimization of transmission assets by means of a Fault Analysis Classifying Expert System

The growing complexity of the electrical grid due to the inclusion of transmission lines and substation equipment has also brought a growth in the need for analyzing any faults taking place on the network. Understanding the disruptions that take place in the electric power system by studying the data generated by digital relays and digital fault recorders (DFR) is of vital importance to guarantee the reliability and continuity of electrical power transmission services. It is unlikely that the grid will ever become immune to disturbances, so given that the consequences may range from disconnections to the application of penalties by regulatory authorities, this activity will always be necessary.

From the data available for analysis, we would like to highlight oscillographies, analog electrical quantities registries like voltage or current, and digital ones such as circuit breaker statuses and protective system events. The oscilloscope files are automatically saved when a trip is triggered or when a pre-set threshold is violated.  Oscillographies allow for viewing the moment the fault occurs, which in turn allows for identifying the type of defect and the phases involved, defining the status change occurrence times or analog values, pinpointing the fault location, evaluating the protection coordination and other aspects specific to each case. The work involved in the analysis of occurrences can often be intense and/or thorough in the case of a higher impact on the grid, given that the professionals need to deal with a great deal of oscillography data in the assets’ relays and DFRs.

The process of automating fault analysis brings about a number of advantages: it improves the productivity of the employees by reducing analyses times, it improves the system’s reliability, it helps in the speedy and precise pinpointing of the fault and the handling of the data available, it increases knowledge of the system thanks to statistical analyses and it increases return on investment on equipment for storing information.

In order to contribute towards an ongoing improvement in client performance rates, Omexom presents the FACES solution, an automatic transmission system oscillography analysis software featuring tools that allow for the clear, precise geolocation of faults, the identification and classification of the event’s severity, the evaluation of the protection system’s behavior faced with electrical disturbances and the supply of valuable information about the faults in real time, facilitating understanding the fault and decision-making by system operations and maintenance.

The FACES solution is comprised by sub-modules:

  • A remote access system that gathers IED and DFR oscilloscopic data and sends it to a data concentrator once the file has been validated;
  • An automatic analysis module that gathers information in the concentrator and carries out the data processing, locates the fault, evaluates the protective system’s behavior, and classifies the event;
  • A user interface module, whose objective it is to present the results arrived at using automatic event analysis through specific reports.

In a scenario where companies seek to optimize their resources, and where the complexity of the electrical system grows as new equipment is integrated, specialized fault analysis and classification system FACES increases grid reliability by providing a solution that has already been implemented and tested by Omexom clients the world over.

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