Volt/VAR Management


Utilities have in the past and are currently deploying field apparatus, controls, software, and communications products in order to manage distribution system VAR flow to minimize technical losses and exposure to VAR support charges from generation and transmission providers. Increasingly, utilities are also looking at products to manage distribution system voltages in order to reduce demand and energy consumption and achieve significant energy savings.

Such conservation voltage reduction (CVR) strategies reduce demand and energy consumption while maintaining customer voltage power quality per established standards. The operational benefits are improvements in energy efficiency and system voltages in the distribution system. The business benefits are a greater percentage of energy delivered to paying customers, deferment in investment in peaking generation plants and charges, and a reduction in the environmental impact of energy delivery.

IVVC provides all of the benefits of power factor correction, voltage optimization, and condition-based maintenance in a single, optimized package. In addition, IVVC enables conservation voltage reduction (CVR) on a utility’s system. CVR is a process by which the utility systematically reduces voltages in its distribution network, resulting in a proportional reduction of load on the network. A 1% reduction in voltage typically results in a 0.5% to 0.7% reduction in load.

Eaton's IVVC improves system reliability, efficiency, and productivity by managing voltage profile and power factor, reducing line losses, deferring the costs of new installations, and reducing equipment maintenance costs.

Eaton has over 11 years of experience delivering CBC systems to electric utilities in North America and Hawaii and has deployed tens of thousands capacitor bank controllers during that time.

Operational Benefits

  • Improvements in energy efficiency and power quality in the distribution system
  • Yukon VVC supports Multiple Optimization strategies at the substation bus, Individual feeder, Combination of substation and feeder optimization, and Feeder Voltage Control
  • On Peak & Off Peak substation optimization settings for large customer VAR ramp-ups or simply daytime VAR targets versus nighttime targets
  • Automatic Power Factor (PF) adjustment under light loads such as holidays and weekends, thus eliminating potential leading PF issues including PF penalties that could possibly require dispatching a crew when it would be at a high cost to the utility
  • Immediate response to power provider requests for VAR support by simply changing Yukon’s substations VAR/PF target (Unity, leading or lagging)
  • Feeder voltage protection via the CBCs voltage limits
  • The ability to know your capacitor assets are online and available. Immediate notification of a bank failure such as a blown fuse. 
  • The Yukon VVC & IVVC applications include automated capacitor testing of failed capacitor banks and capacitor maintenance reports.
  • The ability to manually trip/close or change the controller’s settings

Business Benefits

  • Greater percentage of energy is delivered to paying customers
  • Deferment in investment in peaking generation plants
  • Reduction in the environmental impact of energy delivery

How Integrated Volt/var Control Works

IVVC analyzes real-time feeder voltages from regulators, LTCs, capacitors, medium-voltage sensors, and any additional monitoring points, such as customer meters. It also incorporates historical data that helps to determine the effect of each operation. IVVC analyzes real-time feeder voltages from regulators, LTCs, capacitors, medium-voltage sensors, and customer meters. It also analyzes and incorporates historical data to determine the effect of each operation.

IVVC includes an optimization engine to meet a utility’s desired power factor and voltage targets and resolve any conflicts between the two parameters. The application evaluates and controls LTC and regulator set points and tap positions, as well as capacitor bank states, in order to maintain target voltages in the distribution grid. It also evaluates and controls capacitor bank states to manage feeder and substation VAR flows; this allows the utility to maintain a power factor as close to unity as possible. This optimization of resources enables a utility to defer new installation costs by making the most of equipment already in place.

Yukon Volt-var Management IT Installation and Integration

  • Integrates with SCADA, DMS, or OMS systems to support reconfiguration of switches off-nominal switching. (Note: IVVC typically integrates with SCADA, DMS, or OMS systems in order to associate the correct capacitor banks and voltage monitoring points with the correct feeder.)
  • Permits SCADA operators to maintain operational control, but requires less need for operational intervention when IVVC is deployed.
  • Alerts operators of devices that are non-functional or near a routine maintenance threshold, which helps facilitate condition-based maintenance schedules.
  • Supports failover and recovery schemes, which ensures voltage quality when communications fail from the application to the controls.
  • Communicates only when necessary, thus reducing message traffic in the communications network.