Technology Research Area:
Distribution Fault Anticipator and Algorithms
What are distribution fault anticipation algorithms and what do they have to do with TVA's mission?
Distribution fault anticipation (DFA) technology is an early warning system that could give utilities such as TVA a heads up that problems are looming in the networks they use to distribute electricity to customers.
The DFA technology uses a set of algorithms to detect precursors to faults as they are developing, enabling utilities to make corrections before larger problems emerge and disrupt service to customers. It also detects problems with line apparatus that affect efficient operations.
What is TVA doing about this technology?
We know that the technology works, but previous studies of it have required customized hardware for data collection. To commercialize the technology, researchers have devised a plan that includes embedding the DFA algorithms in other hardware that are typically installed on distribution circuits. Researchers are testing this approach to bring the technology closer to common use in power distribution systems
What are the possibilities for DFA technology?
The DFA algorithms lend themselves to embedding in equipment that is part of the smart grid, which has been proposed to use digital technology to deliver power to consumers. This technology could save energy, reduce costs and increase the reliability of power distribution.
The data collected from the DFA project will help utilities embed the technology in the smart grid and deal with disruptions in service before they occur. Potential cost benefits include reduction in scheduled maintenance expense by basing maintenance on actual conditions and targeting crews with specific repair orders. This will ultimately result in lower power rates for the public.