In today’s society, homes, businesses and institutions rely on electricity for the most basic of functions. Unscheduled outages can cause major inconvenience for some, lost revenue for others. From home heating, cooling and appliances, to computer systems, Wi-Fi and even most landline-connected telephones, electricity is essential for residential and business customers. It is no surprise, then, that public frustration with outages can be high, resulting in a barrage of angry tweets, comments and social media posts. Today’s utilities need innovative solutions for faster, more effective outage response. Distributed grid intelligence can be part of the solution for meeting stakeholders’ expectations.
Oakville Hydro’s key innovative solution involved the implementation and application of a highly complex distributed grid intelligence for the electrical network.
Through advanced sensors, this network automatically responds to changing electrical grid conditions without manual intervention, restoring electricity to customers in seconds. Building this network allowed for replacement of near end of life equipment, with automated switching devices. It was an opportunity to deploy smart grid intelligence at the local municipal level to deliver maximum customer impact.
Now, when an outage occurs, the switching devices are able to detect a loss of power and automatically reconfigure the grid to an alternate supply point, allowing for almost immediate power restoration and no human intervention.